Is your work getting more dangerous?
May 21, 2014
Accidents at work happen all too often and it seems it may be getting worse. It is certainly now harder to prove your claim for work accident compensation so you need to make sure you get legal advice from specialist personal injury solicitors. Our lawyers have many years’ experience of pursuing successful compensation claims for people injured at work.
A recent article in the Daily Telegraph highlighted the fact that UK builders are putting themselves at risk – 39 people died in the construction industry between 2012 and 2013, the majority of them by falling from a height.
Being a bin man also carries risks. Ten people died collecting, treating and disposing of waste between 2012 and 213 with a fatality rate of 7.8 per 100,000 employees.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing is the riskiest industrial sector accounting for approximately one in five fatal injuries to workers. Of the 29 workers fatally injured between 2012 and 2013 almost half were farmers, while another 17 per cent were hired hands in the industry. Five of these were killed by animals, while five more died by drowning or asphyxiation.
Even less hazardous professions carry risks. A librarian was killed between 2012 and 2013 in the “libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities industry”. There were also 46 non-fatal major injuries.
Estate agents may have a sedate career path but 4 people died in the rental and leasing activities industry between 2012 and 2013, with 70 people suffering from major, but non-fatal, injuries in the same period.
Yet against the background of these figures it seems the Government is continuing to attack the protection employees might be entitled to if they suffer an injury in the course of their work. On 1 October 2013 section 69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act became law. Hidden in the bill was a significant change, namely that breaches of statutory duty will no longer give rise to civil liability unless specifically provided for by the relevant statute. This means that an employee who has a work accident will only be able to pursue a claim for compensation for a specific breach of a statutory duty if he can prove his employer was also negligent. In most cases, breach of a statutory duty will amount to negligence anyway but there are circumstances in which it may be impossible to prove liability where previously, it was automatic.
What if a machine on a particular day causes an injury? Say the tyre bursts on the company motorcycle when the employee is riding at speed causing him to crash and suffer a serious head injury?
Before 1 October 2013 even if the employer had properly maintained the machine and the malfunction could not have been foreseen, the employee could still recover compensation for his injuries. Post 1 October 2013 in the same circumstances the employee may have no case at all even when he had the injury simply carrying out his work, because he can’t prove the employer should have known the machine would misbehave.
It is even more important now to get an expert solicitor to consider the prospects of success in any work accident claim. Witness evidence and documentary evidence will be more important than ever. Marsons Solicitors offer specialist advice from their team of experienced lawyers. If you have had an injury and would like to know whether you can claim for personal injury, please call Beth King for a free initial discussion.
To read the full article in the Telegraph:
The information contained in this article is intended for general guidance only. It provides useful information but it is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice as the articles do not take into account specific circumstances. So do please Contact US for legal advice on the issues raised.