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Workplace Accident

Nobody goes to work expecting to be injured. Sadly, accidents do happen. Workplace accidents can arise for a range of reasons including:

  • Faulty machinery or equipment
  • Unsuitable equipment
  • Moving heavy items without the proper equipment or assistance
  • Slipping or tripping
  • Falls from height
  • Mistakes or carelessness by colleagues
  • Hazards in the workplace
  • Poorly planned processes or procedures
  • Lack of training
  • Failure to carry out a proper risk assessment
  • Exposure to harmful substances such as asbestos

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Compensation can be claimed where it can be shown an accident at work was caused by the fault of the employer. Our Health & Safety Law is there to protect people while they are at work. The duty your employer owes you can be described in general as comprising:

  • Providing a reasonably safe place of work
  • Providing reasonably safe equipment for use at work
  • Providing a reasonably safe system of work (processes, procedures etc.)
  • Reasonable training and instruction

There is a wide range of regulations which cover an employer’s duty towards its employees. The law in this area has become a little more complex since a change in the law in 2013 but the regulations that exist still must be complied with by an employer. The regulations which feature most commonly in compensation claims include the following:

  • Maintenance of work equipment
  • Suitability of work equipment
  • Manual handing tasks
  • Floors within a workplace – keeping them free from any item likely to cause a person to slip or trip
  • Proper planning and risk assessment of any job where a worker is required to work at height
  • Organisation of any route within a workplace used by workers on foot or in vehicles
  • Carrying out risk assessments of a large variety of tasks at work
  • Control of hazardous substances at work
  • Provision of personal protective equipment such as gloves, safety shoes/boots, eye protection, masks, hearing protection, head gear or other protective clothing

Our team of experts can advise you on how your accident and injury may involve one or more of these regulations. And an employer’s duties remain no matter what type of workplace they operate, including:

  • Factories
  • Offices
  • Building Sites
  • Shops
  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Premises owned or operated by another business or person, in some situations
  • Vehicles being driven in the course of your work
  • Vehicles being loaded or unloaded

Call now for a free no-obligation discussion.

What compensation can you claim?

  • Compensation for the pain and suffering you have had, and might still have, as a result of your injuries
  • Compensation for loss of income if your injuries have meant you were unable to work for a period
  • Compensation to reflect any future injury-related difficulties you may have in working
  • Compensation for help given to you by family members with care or everyday activities you cannot do because of your injuries

Examples of Accidents at Work

Compensation can be claimed for injuries suffered in any type of workplace but there are some specific types of work where particular features exist. These include:

Construction Site Accidents

The construction industry is one of the UK’s largest sectors and accounts for a large number of employees in the UK. Unfortunately, statistics show a higher than average rate of injury in the construction sector. Construction sites have long been recognised as involving particular dangers and risks to those working on them.

Construction site accidents can arise for a range of reasons including:

  • Faulty machinery or equipment
  • Unsuitable equipment
  • Poorly constructed apparatus such as scaffolding
  • Moving heavy items without proper equipment or assistance
  • Falls from height
  • Failure to identify, highlight and protect from exposed edges of temporary apparatus such as scaffolding poles
  • Failure to provide proper safety equipment such as harnesses or head gear
  • Slips or trips
  • Poorly planned procedures
  • Poorly organised procedures for certain tasks
  • Lack of training
  • Failure to carry out proper risk assessment
  • Failure to adhere to a risk assessment, for example, due to pressures to complete a project by a particular deadline
  • Poorly fixed ladders
  • Poorly footed or supported ladders

While the basic legal principles in a construction site accident are similar to other types of accidents at work, construction site accidents can be particularly complicated. That is why you need a lawyer with sufficient skill and expertise in this area to assess and advise fully on all points that might arise.

There has been for many years a wide range of regulations which impose duties on employers in relation to their workers. There have been particular regulations focussing on the construction industry because it is recognised that there are special features within the sector. Not only is there a specific set of construction regulations, there are regulations governing specifically any employment where the worker has to undertake work at height.

One particular challenge in construction site accident claims, particularly from larger sites, is the often complex network of main contractors combined with several levels of sub-contractor. That can create complexity in identifying who holds the ultimate legal responsibility. Some lawyers don’t always understand fully how the law operates in these situations. That is why you need an expert Scottish construction site accident specialist at LawWin to represent you. In responding to a claim, an insurer will often seek to pass blame on to another contractor so you need a solicitor who has the expertise and experience to establish who has overall responsibility for your accident.

I am self-employed – can I claim?

Yes, in many situations you can. On construction projects, it is common for workers to be classed as self-employed. In many situations, a duty of care is still owed to you which means that you may well be entitled to claim compensation for an injury. It is not always a straightforward matter, though, and that is why you need expert advice at the outset on whether you may have a basis for making a claim.

Contact LawWin now for a free no-obligation discussion.

What can I do to help my claim?

LawWin’s expert team will take the time to understand fully the circumstances of the accident. It is helpful if you can provide information such as the following:

  • Whether your accident was reported and, if so, to whom? Was it your own employer, a main contractor or both?
  • If there were other people involved in the circumstances of your accident, whether they work for a different contractor and if so, who?
  • An understanding of the layout where the accident happened
  • Details of your income if you have been absent from work because of your injuries

What compensation can you claim?

  • Compensation for the pain and suffering you have had, and might still have, because of your injuries
  • Compensation for loss of income if your injuries have meant you are unable to work for a period
  • Compensation to reflect any future injury-related difficulties you many have in working
  • Compensation for help given to you by family members with everyday activities which you cannot do because of your injuries

Manual Handling – Lifting or moving items

Lifting and moving items is an ordinary part of daily life for many of us. But for those who have to lift or move items at work, an employer has a duty to take reasonable care to avoid workers suffering injury due to lifting or moving of items. Injuries, particularly back injuries, resulting from lifting or moving large or heavy items have long been recognised as a particular problem arising in many types of workplace, construction sites, shops and offices.

An important part of that duty is whether an employer has complied with the terms of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992. These regulations have been a cornerstone of Health and Safety Law for 25 years but are often misunderstood even by some lawyers.

What Must An Employer Do?

A Manual Handling task is one in which bodily force is required to lift or move an item. Employers have a general duty to undertake risk assessments when appropriate. Having done so, the regulations then require the employer to:-

  • Where practicable, avoid the need for employers to undertake any manual handling task. So, is it practicable that any sort of mechanical aid be provided to move the load? Does the item need to be lifted or moved at all?
  • If it is not practicable to avoid the lifting or moving of the item, the employer must have further risk assessments specifically on the manual handling aspects of the task. That risk assessment must be “suitable and sufficient”.
  • Having done the risk assessment, the employer should reduce, to the lowest level practicable, the risk of any injury to the worker undertaking manual handling tasks.
  • Where practicable, the employer must ensure that information is given to workers about the weight of particular items.

If you have been injured in a manual handling task, contact LawWin for a free no-obligation discussion. Cases we commonly encounter include those where an employer has a risk assessment of sorts but it was not sufficient and failed to identify all the risks properly; and where an employer had risk assessments but the risks identified were ignored in the day-to-day reality of running the workplace.

Falls at Work

Hazards which might cause a person to fall, such as by slipping or tripping, exist in many areas of life, not just the workplace. But for some, the risk of a slip or a trip is greater at work.

  • Supermarket or other shop workers are often at greater risk from spillages due to the amount of stock being moved by other staff and by customers
  • Factory workers are often at risk from substances on the floor from machinery or components
  • Construction, Communications and Utility workers are often required to work at height

Whatever your situation, it is important you get advice from experts in workplace accident compensation claims. When it comes to safety of floors in a workplace, an employer’s duty of care is different from, say, the duty a Council has about a pavement. That’s one reason you need the advice of one of LawWin’s expert advisers.

For workers who are injured after falling from height, there is a specific set of regulations which apply to those tasks. Those regulations impose some important responsibilities on an employer. It’s important you know that the experts in the LawWin team can apply the law fully and correctly.

How can LawWin help?

As the specialist claims division are one of Scotland’s leading law firms, LawWin’s specialist team of personal injury experts will be with you every step of the way to reduce the worry about making a claim and to secure the best possible outcome for you in the claim. We will:

  • In our first discussion with you, take the time to understand fully not just the accident circumstances but also what the injuries have meant for you, your family and your life
  • Provide you with the peace of mind of knowing that we will act on a no win/no fee basis
  • Make sure we are armed with as much information as possible to persuade the responsible party’s insurers to accept liability for the accident
  • Move quickly to progress your claim as speedily as possible
  • We can in many cases help you to obtain private treatment, rehabilitation and therapy services to help you on the way to your recovery
  • Ensure we have all information to allow us to maximise the amount of compensation you receive should your claim succeed including:
    • Full medical evidence on all injuries suffered by you as a result of the accident
    • Information to confirm any wage loss or loss of other income suffered by you because of the injuries;
    • Details of help given to you in or around the house by family members, cleaners or tradesmen