Slipping Accidents At Work

Slipping in their duty – the employer’s responsibility to keep workers safe

2010 seems to be the year that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) plan to clamp down hard on preventable accidents in the workplace. Through issuing a series of press releases, the agency hopes to draw attention onto the most common causes of work related accidents and injuries – slips, trips and falls from height.

A Stark Reminder

Just taking London as an example shows just how much of a problem the situation really is. In 2008-9, 14,576 people were killed or injured in their workplace, resulting in a loss of 1.7million working days and a series of compensation claims and prosecutions against companies that failed in their duty of care. The impact, not just on individuals and their families but on the economy too, is enormous. And nearly all of these accidents were entirely preventable.

The HSE believes that every employee has the right to work in a safe environment. Although our HSE laws may sometimes seem a little draconian, they are there for a reason – to keep people safe at work. Something as simple as a wet floor with no warning signs can cause a serious injury as the result of a slip or fall, and responsibility ultimately lies with the employer or business owner to prevent this type of common accident.

The construction industry still leads the field in work-related deaths and serious injury, mainly from falls from height. Although recognised as a dangerous environment, employers still have a responsibility to ensure that their worker’s safety is a priority. ‘Cutting corners’ to save a few pounds can easily lead to tragic consequences, particularly when time is of the essence and deadlines have to be met. Even then, there is no place for complacency, particularly when a situation that could be safe is made more hazardous through overlooking basic HSE legislation. It is this ‘slapdash’ approach that the HSE will be focusing on during 2010, and companies have been warned.

Worker’s rights

Any injury or illness at work that can be directly attributed to employer negligence is justification for a compensation claim. Not only does this compensate the worker or their family for injuries and loss of earnings, but it also serves as a useful reminder to the organisation that they have failed in their basic duty of care obligation and allowed a situation to arise that was entirely preventable.

By bringing a claim against an employer, the injured party may be helping to prevent anyone else having to suffer the same injuries (or even worse) by putting the spotlight firmly on an avoidable hazard. It is often the only way that some employers can be reminded of their responsibilities and hits them where it hurts most – in their pocket.

As the country struggles to climb out of recession and jobs are precious, many will be worried that bringing a claim against an employer could mean the end of their job. This is not the case. Any employer who discriminates against an employee bringing a righteous claim can be brought to account a second time at an Industrial tribunal – not a situation that any employer wants. So the message in 2010 is – don’t be afraid to remind an employer of their responsibilities. Health and safety is everyone’s concern; employers, workers and the governing agencies. Through co-operation and compliance, 2010 could be the year when the horrific statistics of deaths and injuries at work start to drop dramatically.

Workplace slip injury compensation claim experts

The Work Accident Solicitors have vast experience handling compensation claims relating to slips and trips and we would be happy to help you as well.

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