A workplace being a safe environment (with a reduced risk of accidents and their common causes) benefits everyone who uses it. This guide offers tips on actions you can take, whether as an employer or an employee, to make both your work and working environment safer, and help prevent an accident in the workplace.
The guide will not only offer helpful workplace safety measures, but provide you with information about the most common causes of workplace accidents and the laws around workplace health and safety; for example, employees being provided a practically safe working environment is a legal requirement. You could be eligible to make a claim for compensation for suffering an injury because of an unsafe working environment.
Employer liability will be discussed along with the steps you as an employee can take to receive compensation for your injury.
Advisers are available for any questions you might have. They offer free legal advice and can walk you through the process of making a personal injury claim. You can contact them now using:
- The number at the top of the page
- Our contact page
- The live chat feature
Choose A Section
- Guidance – How Can You Prevent An Accident At A Workplace?
- Determining Compensation For Your Work Accident
- Understanding Accidents At Work
- How Do Accidents At Work Happen?
- What Happens If I Get A No Win No Fee Agreement?
- More Information – How Can You Prevent An Accident At A Workplace?
Understanding your working environment and the risks you are likely to face can help you prevent an accident in a workplace. Two ways you can do this are through risk assessments and examining work accident statistics.
Work Accident Statistics
Work accident statistics can offer you information on the most common types of accidents and injuries faced in workplaces. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a directory of work accident statistics from reports made under Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.
The non-fatal injury statistics for the years 2014 – 2021 show:
- Slips and trips are the most common type of accident causing non-fatal injuries
- Fractures & sprains and strains are the most common type of non-fatal injury
- The back is the most affected site of reported injury
Risk assessments are a way to evaluate both a task and the area the task will be performed in. They encourage employers and employees to think about possible hazards and can prevent injuries.
An example is a risk assessment before performing a manual handling task of carrying a crate across a warehouse.
Assessing the task could involve:
- Checking the weight of the load to see if it is safe to carry across alone or if it would need equipment, or an extra person, to help safely perform the task
- Examining the crate to make sure it is secure and safe to lift
- Making sure you are aware of and using safe lifting techniques
- Examining the area the crate would be placed on, to make sure the weight could be easily offloaded
Assessing the area could involve:
- Looking for possible hazards in the path, such as slipping or tripping hazards like loose cables or spills
- Ensuring the task was performed in safe conditions, e.g. good lighting to make sure the path is visible
- Acknowledging and planning for different factors in the environment, e.g. people walking around you or moving objects like machinery.
The HSE offers risk assessment templates for different types of industries that can be used to assess and understand the different types of risks they might face.
How Often Do Accidents Happen In Work?
Employers are not required to report every accident that happens to the HSE. Three types of injuries they have to report are
- Serious injuries known as specified injuries
- Injuries that lead to deaths
- Injuries that lead to a worker being incapacitated for seven days or more
Of these types of reportable injuries, in the year 2020/21 there were 51,211 non-fatal injuries and 142 fatal ones.
Compensation in a work accident claim will be influenced by the nature of the injury and the financial effect it has had on you.
For an estimate of what you could be awarded, you can compare your injuries against the injuries and compensation brackets listed in the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). The JCG is a publication commonly used by insurance firms and solicitors when assessing compensation amounts.
We’ve included a table illustrating some figures from the 2022 edition of the JCG below.
|Chest Injury: (b)
|A physical disability from a traumatic chest injury
|£65,740 to £100,670
|Chest Injury: (d)
|A penetrating injury leaving some damage but no long term effects
|£12,590 to £17,960
|Moderate Neck Injury: (ii)
|Stiffness, pain and discomfort from a soft tissue injury
|Minor Neck Injury: (iii)
|A minor neck injury that takes between 3 months and year to heal
|Serious Shoulder Injury
|Neck and shoulder pain from a dislocated shoulder
|£12,770 to £19,200
|Moderate Shoulder Injury
|Discomfort and problems moving the joint lasting for nearly 2 years
£7,890 to £12,770
|Moderate Back Pain: (ii)
|Pain from disturbed ligaments
|£12,510 to £27,760
|Minor Back Pain: (iii)
|Minor back pain with a recovery without surgery occurring within 1 to 2 years
|£2,450 to £4,350
|Moderate Ankle Injuries
|A ligament tear that affects a person's ability to walk
|£13,740 to £26,590
|Modest Ankle Injuries
|A less serious ankle sprain
|Up to £13,740
If you suffered financial losses because of the injury, you can also claim the losses back as part of your compensation.
The type of losses you can claim back include:
- Loss of income
- Costs towards care or treatment
- Adaptations you’ve had to make to your house
Maintaining records of how the injury is affecting you financially can be beneficial. They may be used as evidence in your claim.
Our advisers can offer you more information about compensation and actions you can take if your employer did not do enough to prevent your accident in the workplace.
The responsibility to prevent accidents in the workplace ultimately falls on employers. Health and safety legislation, such as Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA), make it an employer’s responsibility to ensure they protect the health and safety of their employees.
Accidents in the workplace could happen for a number of reasons including:
- A lack of maintenance: An area can fall into disrepair which can make an environment hazardous. An employee could suffer a sprained ankle because of tripping on a broken step on a staircase, for instance.
- A lack of training: Manual handling activities can carry the risk of injuries, and can lead to back pain and other injuries from sprains and strains. Providing training on safe lifting techniques can help prevent two of the most common workplace injuries.
- Poor Housekeeping: A failure to address hazards like spills or items left carelessly on the floor can lead to injuries from slips and trips.
If you suffered an injury because of an unsafe working environment that your employer should’ve rectified, you might be eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim.
Reach out to our advisers now to discuss your claim and for more information on the measures your employer should take to prevent an accident in the workplace.
Accidents can occur in the workplace because of a lack of careful or mindful action that could help prevent them.
If you suffered an injury because of your employer’s negligence, you can gather evidence of the circumstances of the accident to possibly use in a personal injury claim.
Evidence can come in the form of:
- Witness statements: Collect the contact details of witnesses who can provide statements for your claim.
- CCTV (or similar recordings like photographs): If your accident was recorded, you can request the footage to possibly use as evidence.
- Medical Evidence: Medical evidence of the injury can be important. A personal injury solicitor can help you arrange an independent medical assessment to provide a report for use in the claim.
We understand that collecting evidence might seem like a difficult process. A conversation with our advisers can help you better understand the process, and possibly even see you connected with a personal injury lawyer who can help you collect evidence in your claim.
A No Win No Fee agreement can be an easier way to fund legal representation.
If your solicitor agreed to handle your claim under a No Win No Fee agreement, they would not charge you an upfront solicitor’s fee nor any ongoing ones. Payment to them would only be made on the condition that your claim was successful and you were awarded compensation. This would be a success fee, a legally capped percentage of the compensation that you had both previously agreed to.
If your claim was not successful, they would not take the success fee.
If you’d be interested in hiring a solicitor on a No Win No Fee agreement, then reach out to one of our advisers. They can discuss your situation with you and potentially put you through to a solicitor from our panel.
Get Advice On “How Can You Prevent An Accident At A Workplace?”
Employer liability is an important part of a work accident claim. Our advisers can offer you information on the actions your employer is expected to take to prevent a workplace accident, and advise you on whether your employer could be found liable for your injuries.
You can speak to one now using:
- The number at the top of the page
- Our contact page
- The live chat feature
We’ve included other links you might find useful below.
The HSE offers three useful guides on:
- How to avoid common causes of back pain in the workplace
- Preventing slips and trips at work
- Ways to make your place of work safe
Thank you for reading our guide on how to prevent an accident in the workplace. Other guides we offer include:
- A guide to accident at work claims
- Claim compensation if you’ve been injured by a moving object at work
- Manual handling injury claims
- How to claim compensation for hand injuries at work
- How to claim compensation after a head injury at work
- A guide on claiming compensation for a workplace injury
- Claim compensation after suffering a finger injury at work
- How to claim compensation for eye injuries at work
- Forklift accidents at work
- How to claim compensation for a knee injury at work
- Back injury at work claims
- How to make a fall from a height claim
- Finding construction accident solicitors
- Making a claim for a sprained ankle at work
- Making a claim for a concussion at work
- How to make factory accident claims
- How long do I have to claim after an accident at work?
- What are my rights after an accident at work?
- What do I need to do after an accident at work?
- Working with serious injury solicitors
- A guide to claiming compensation for fatal work accidents
- How to make a work injury claim
- Can my employer sack me after an accident at work?
- How to claim for an accident at work
Writer Marlon Clarke
Publisher Ruth Vaughn