Work Accidents – The Statistics

Going to work could be bad for your health, according to the figures for 2007 – 2008, released by the Health and Safety Executive. These statistics show that the UK’s economy lost a total of 34 million workdays as a result of injury or ill health. Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations of 1995, reporting illnesses and accidents that are related to work is a legal requirement. The information gathered can then be used to minimise risks and health hazards. However, it seems that there is a long way to go before any workplace can be considered to be totally safe.

In the year between 2007 and 2008, 2.1 million workers suffered ill health that they believed to be a result of their working conditions, according to the report. Of these 1.3 million were suffered by people working and 563,000 of this figure were new cases. 229,000 workers suffered an injury that, under the RIDDOR guidelines, were deemed to be reportable. In addition, a further 136, 771 injuries were reported. However, this does beg the question: how many injuries and illnesses go unreported each year?

Injury and accidents are more often associated with work environments, such as building sites and industrial facilities. However, office workers are at as much risk of accidents that can result in time off from work as their front-line counterparts. Slipping and tripping is responsible for almost 50% of all office accidents, according to the HSE, and over 30% of accidents that require three or more days’ absence from work. Around 25% of office accidents occur where stairs are involved and a further 25% are brought about where lifting heavy objects is required.

It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that, where necessary, the correct training and safety-equipment is provided. Of course, employees have a duty of responsibility where potentially hazardous situations are involved but, ultimately, the buck stops with the employer. Many employees find themselves reluctant to report any accidents or to launch a negligence claim against their employer, fearing that it could result in dismissal or some form of disciplinary action. On the contrary, a sensible employer should welcome any form of complaint in this department; the claim is not a personal one and could highlight areas of the workplace that could endanger other employees. An injury-in-the-workplace claim could save a business owner significant sums of money in future claims.

If you believe you are the victim of an accident at work that is the responsibility of your employer, you should seek the services of a work-accident injury lawyer. These specialists will have a fluent working knowledge of the laws that are in place to protect your rights. Many of these lawyers offer a free initial consultation to determine whether or not you have a case that is worth pursuing. To help your chances of a successful claim, you can ensure that your accident and injury has been recorded as fully as possible. This means taking steps such as reporting the injury to your Health and Safety representative and filling in an accident report. In addition, keeping a written record of any symptoms you experience after the event can only help your cause.

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