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It is surprising that with all the safety requirements that are needed in the 21st Century accidents at work do still occur, some very minor but some can be quite life changing. We all live very busy lives and are under pressure to meet targets. However, nothing should prevent an employer from carrying out a risk assessment -in order to try to prevent any accident from occurring.
Workplace accidents are a fact of life, thankfully with legislation and better risk assessments they might be in decline, however they still do occur.
There are reported cases where two roofing companies have been fined after a worker fell nine metres through a skylight onto concrete flooring below. The man suffered life-changing injuries and required surgery to install metal rods into his back. The Company were fined in the Magistrates Court. They heard how another company to complete re-cladding work on the fragile roof had subcontracted them. At the time of the fall, no nets or guardrails were being used. A Mobile Elevating Working Platform which had been provided as an anchor point for the fall arrest equipment did not have enough capacity. When he fell, the injured person did not have his harness attached to anything.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the principal contractors of the work, failed to have effective management systems in place to control the risk associated with working at height and on fragile roofing. Both Companies pleaded guilty and were fined. The case highlights the importance of proper planning, supervision and implementation of work at height especially on fragile roofing.
What should you do if you are involved in such an accident where you think that your employer was negligent? Below are are some examples:-
- Did they leave rubbish at the top of a stairwell causing you to fall?
- Did they over load a piece of equipment which caused you to fall?
- Did you slip on some stairs causing to fall down due to spillage?
- Where you asked to carry a heavy load that caused you an injury?
- Where you subjected to noxious fumes?
- Did you come into contact with Asbestos?
The above are but a short list. Asbestos claim are a separate matter and people might only be aware of problems many years after they first come into contact.
How do you go about making a claim? If you are involved in a work related accident please make sure that your employer competes the Accident report book and more importantly that you sign it and complete a statement. Obtain a copy. If necessary Health and Safety Executive will become involved (HSE). Photographs speak volumes so if you are able to do so safely take a photograph or video of where the accident took place. These are some basic tasks before you consider taking legal advice.
Melanie Neale Head of Personal Injury at Hammersmith law firm Hubbard Pegman and Whitney (HPW) has had experience in dealing with cases involving Industrial Accidents and the devastating effects that it can cause to her clients.
Melanie Neale (ACILEx)
Direct Dial: 0208 735 9774