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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Accidents At Work

A landmark case has seen the Supreme Court uphold a personal injury claim after a care worker was left injured when she slipped on ice on her way to the home of a terminally ill woman.

The ruling could have a severe impact on employers as the case involved a woman obtaining an injury when on her way to work. Miss Kennedy seriously injured her wrist after a slip on icy conditions with the Supreme Court ruling that her company, Cordia, was duty-bound to provide equipment to staff if they could not control the risk of slipping on ice.

They employers of Miss Kennedy had carried out a risk assessment and identified the risk of slips or falls as “tolerable.” According to the most recent risk assessment the company had not considered the risk of injury in inclement weather with no mention of providing staff with protective equipment, such as non-slip attachments for footwear.

According to the Supreme Court, Miss Kennedy was injured as a result of being exposed to a risk against which she should have been protected by the provision of personal protective equipment, and her employers should have adequately dealt with the dangers.

The case, which is seen by many as a landmark case, highlights the importance of risk assessment and could be exceptionally beneficial to employees who believe that their employers are not taking the necessary steps to protect them either on their way to work or when working.

Contact Us

If you have been injured in an accident in the workplace that occurred through no fault of your own either in the workplace or on your way to work, you could be entitled to make a personal injury claim. Contact us today using our online contact form or call our team of personal injury experts.

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Last year, 142 workers were killed in accidents at work. The majority of these cases were in industries such as construction, building and manufacturing. These industries are especially dangerous due to the heavy machinery such as lorries and forklift trucks that are often used. Workers in these fields may be required to work on scaffolding or climb ladders.

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A number of personal injury claims following accidents in the workplace come from high-risk areas of employment such as the construction industry or agriculture. However, while many do not believe that accidents are common in an office, there many hazards in an office that can result in serious injury.

Despite many initiatives to try and reduce the number of workplace accidents, there is still a substantial risk to employees who work in an office environment.

Common Accidents in Office Environments

When it comes to accidents in the office workspace, slips, trips and falls are without a doubt the most common. A slip, trip or fall often occurs as a result of negligence or the fault of another person. Accidents can occur through someone failing to clean up a spill, not moving a hazard out of the way or leaving a wet floor with no warning. Computer and laptop leads or printer wires are also an exceptionally common cause of office accidents. 

Another common type of accident is shocks and burns with electrical goods often causing accidents if they are poorly maintained or wet. Falling objects can also result in serious injury and are common in the modern day workplace with many offices attached to a warehouse. Poor office design and lack of storage can result in some objects being placed in dangerous storage spaces.  Such accidents often lead to serious head or neck injuries.

I’ve Been Involved in an Accident in the Workplace: Now What?

If you have been involved in an accident and are in discomfort as a result of the injuries sustained, it is vital that you seek medical assistance. Not only will this give you peace of mind by ensuring that all of your injuries are being monitored, but it will also ensure that you have obtained treatment and been given advice that will help you recover as quickly as possible. 

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Tagged in: Accidents At Work
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Thousands of people lose their life or are seriously injured every year across the UK due to accidents in the workplace. The number of injuries affects workers, employers and the British economy with many having to take time off of work as a result of their injuries. 

With many in Glasgow employed in some of the most dangerous areas of work, such as manufacture or construction, it is important to make sure you are protected when in the workplace. Whether you work at height or in an office, your employer has an obligation to ensure you are safe in the workplace. 

Employer's Duty of Care

Regardless of where you work, you have the right to be safe in the workplace. Your employer has a duty of care to you and all of those working. As part of this duty, your employer should provide you with the correct equipment and safety equipment so that you can complete your job. Equipment must be suitable for the purpose, with ineffective or inappropriate equipment often being the key to an accident. Equipment must be stored properly, maintained and kept in good condition. 

Employees must also be given the correct safety equipment to protect them if they are in a vulnerable working condition, such as working from a height. Employers must ensure that their staff are well informed of the correct processes and trained to use any machinery safely. Employers have an obligation to carry out training to protect staff, or else, if there is an accident, they run the risk of a serious court case or compensation claim. 

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The Scottish Fire and Rescue (SFRS) service has been fined £54,000 for failing to ensure proper health and safety procedures were in place, resulting in the death of a firefighter.

The SFRS admitted to breaches in their health and safety procedure which resulted in the death of Ewan Williamson in 2009. He is the only firefighter to die fighting a fire in the history of Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade. 

"Co-operation of the Highest Degree." 

The SFRS had pled guilty to a charge that was brought forward from the incident, however when imposing the fine the judge stated that he took into account that he was dealing with an organisation designed to prevent injury and death and preserve property. He also stated that the SFRS had a remarkably high health and safety record in general and that the case regarding the Edinburgh firefighter was an isolated incident. 

He said there had been "co-operation of the highest degree"  from an employer with good health and safety record

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A woman is being treated after she sustained facial injuries following a robbery in Glasgow near Bellahouston Park. 

The woman was assaulted, knocked to the ground, and robbed of her rucksack in a late night attack that left her with injuries that required treatment.

The victim flagged down a police car and is still receiving treatment at the Southern General hospital days after the attack.

Robbery

The woman was removed of her bag which contained personal items but no money. Police have failed to apprehend the victim who was described as black, late twenties to early thirties, 6ft tall wearing glasses, a black hooded top with white piping and dark trousers.

Detective Sergeant Raymond Hunter said: "We are currently carrying out door to door enquiries in the area and examining CCTV footage to help us trace the man responsible for this cowardly attack.”

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A sheriff has ruled that safety failings when reversing a roller on a construction site was responsible for the death of a man following a fatal accident in the workplace in Perthshire. 

David McClorey died from blunt force trauma during a reverse operation after he became trapped between a roller and a digger. Mr McClorey had been working on a site to raise electricity pylons. 

Despite receiving CPR and paramedics arriving, Mr McClorey died at the scene.

Fatal Accident Inquiry 

A fatal accident inquiry into the death of the 31-year-old heard that the accident occurred as the workers were attempting to syphon fuel from one vehicle to another. Mr McClorey had been guiding the vehicle back toward the digger but got trapped and crashed as a result. 

The inquiry heard from the driver of the vehicle that there was a visual of Mr McClorey for the vast majority of the time when completing the maneuver with communication occurring through hand gestures. 

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A poll from construction union Ucatt has revealed that more than half of construction workers in the UK are concerned that there has been no improvement in health and safety,

The damning results come as workers believe that there has been no effort in the last year to improve on health and safety issues resulting in more accidents in the workplace. Furthermore the poll found that 21% of workers believed their boss did not take health and safety seriously. 

Rise in Deaths

The damning poll from the union comes prior to an expected rise in the number of deaths and accidents on construction sites. According to home builders Berkeley Homes, number of serious injuries and deaths will have risen in 2014 from the previous year. 

There were 42 deaths on British building sites in 2013, with 5,000 seriously injured.

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Just under 10,00 NHS staff workers were injured at work in the Glasgow area between 2011-13 according to figures uncovered recently, representing a third of all NHS injuries throughout Scotland.

Between 2011-2013, there were over 35,000 injuries across Scotland varying from slips, trips and falls, violent assaults, staff being knocked out, punctures on dirty needles and infections. Despite the alarming figures NHS Scotland insists that the numbers represent a decline on the number of injuries seen in the past.

The figures were uncovered by the Liberal Democrats and showed a worryingly high rate of violence against staff. 

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Jim Hume said: "Whilst our health boards operate vigorous accident reporting and prevention systems we know that accidents can occur because of potentially unsafe behaviour or conditions.

"It is worrying that violence against staff also remains a high cause of injury. Injuries such as slips, trips and falls are always preventable.”

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The family of a Sheffield worker have called for more awareness regarding health and safety laws in the workplace in the UK to prevent others losing their lives. 

Michael Dwyer, was killed when a steel casting fell on him which resulted in him being crushed against a shipping container. An inquiry into his death found that he had not been instructed properly about what he was doing that day and was not properly prepared to undertake the task.

The family of Mr Dwyer has called for a raised awareness of health and safety rules with construction sites resulting in the most accidents and injuries in the UK.. 

Dangers in Scotland

Research conducted earlier this year found that almost 40% of Scottish construction were failing workers, with dangerous practices being common at the 145 construction sites inspected by the HSE. 

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A new Bill proposed by the Scottish Government could see negligent bosses face life in prison following a fatal accident in work, under new plans to tackle health and safety malpractice.


Comes after evidence

The bill has been backed by by the UK's biggest trade union Unite following evidence from the HSE which showed that 40% of construction sites fell below health and safety standards with mismanagement and failure to plan and comply with health and safety regulations being one of the major problems in the Scottish workplace.

The move aims to punish those who knowingly endanger the life of workers by failing to have proper health and safety matters in place.

Tackle Recklessness

MSP Richard Baker, who proposed the new Bill that is expected to pass through the Scottish Parliament said: "Scots law is currently not adequate to deal with companies where there has been a fatality because of negligence or recklessness.”

He added:”Directors and managers responsible for health and safety should be criminally liable when there are deaths caused by negligence or recklessness."

Contact Us

If you have been involved in an accident at work that was not your fault, or have been involved in an accident due to negligence, contact us today using our online contact form.

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The construction industry remains one of the most accident prone areas to work in in the UK with a new HSE report finding that 40% of construction sites are failing to meet the proper health and safety requirements.

One in five construction sites inspected fell short of the required standards and required enforcement orders to be distributed by inspectors. The report found that many of the most likely dangers in the office were due to poor planning and management of the construction site, and could be preventable.

Failure to provide basic safety measures for people working at height was the most common issue found by Inspectors with 42% failing to properly protect staff who work at a height.

Summary Results

The report from the HSE found that out of the 1748 sites inspected, 40% received notices for either poor standards or dangerous practices with 313 prohibition notices and 235 improvement notices issued.

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Around 40% of construction sites fail to meet health and safety standards according to the national regulator for workplace health and safety, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Almost half of the close to 1,750 sites were found to have unacceptable conditions with some workers partaking in dangerous working practices. The report comes weeks after analysis from the HSE found that there were just under 2000 accidents and  injuries in construction across the UK last year, with manufacturing having 3159 reported.

Enforcement Action

The latest findings from the HSE report found that many of the dangerous aspects of working were preventable with some of the dangers being down to simply poor management and planning. One in five (over 350 of the sites inspected) sites fell so short of the required standards, that enforcement action needed, with over 300 prohibition notices required and 200 improvement notices distributed.

The most common issues when it came to injuries and accidents in the workplace related to height and falls, with over 40% suffering from an accident due to falls. Failure to control dust and asbestos contributed to 22% of all accidents with insufficient welfare being a cause of 12% of all injuries and accidents/ 35% of all notices served by HSE inspectors were distributed purely on health reasons.

Failure to Provide Basic Safety Measures

Despite numerous factors affecting health and safety in the workplace, failure to provide basic safety for people working at height was most common issue found by Inspectors with 42% of all notices enforced as a result of lack of safety measures.

HSE’s Chief of Construction Philip White said: “These results show that whilst the majority of employers in the refurbishment sector are getting it right, a significant part of the industry is seriously failing its workers.

“The inability to properly plan working at height continues to be a major issue, despite well-known safety measures being straightforward to implement.

“ It is just not acceptable that Inspectors had to order work to stop immediately on over 200 occasions because of dangerous practices.”

He added: “We also find health is often overlooked as its implications are not immediately visible, however the effects of uncontrolled exposure to deadly dusts such as asbestos and silica can be irreversible.

“We urge industry to ensure the most basic of measures such as use of protective equipment and dust suppression methods are put in place to help protect the future health of workers.”

Conviction Rates

According to studies conducted by the HSE there were 674 cases across the UK which resulted in an employer being prosecuted for health and safety breaches in 2013/14, with a conviction rate of 94%. In total, fines given out amounted to more  than £18 million.

Contact Us

For specialist legal advice regarding personal injury please contact our legal team based in Glasgow today.

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Recent statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that whilst Britain remains one of the safest places to work in Europe, there is still a worrying percentage of those injured or made ill through their employment, with construction, manufacturing and agriculture topping the list of jobs in which staff are most likely to suffer a serious injury.

Injury Statistics

Figures from the HSE found that in 2013/14:

  • 1.2 million people suffered from an illness due to work related issues
  • There were 133 fatalities in the workplace, down from 2012/13 which saw 150 deaths in the workplace 
  • Over 28 million working days were lost due to either work related injuries or illnesses.

What the Figures Represent 

Judith Hackitt, the chair of HSE said: “These latest figures remind us what health and safety is really about. 

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Employers  have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and  also anyone else who could other people who might be affected by their business. Employers are obliged to do whatever is reasonably practicable to ensure this.

Employers must asses risks in the work place and take steps to mitigate them, this includes: 

- making employees and others aware of potential risks

- Providing adequate training

- Providing safety equipment

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A waste recycling firm in Ayrshire was in court today (6 October) after safety failings resulted in a worker losing his arm. 

Steven Dawson was an agency worker who was working as a line supervisor for Lowmac Alloys Ltd, in Irvine when the accident occurred. His left arm was severed at the shoulder whilst he was clearing a conveyor belt blockage on 8 February 2011.

The case was heard at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, where it was described that Mr Dawson was alerted to a problem with the conveyor belt and attempted to fix the problem by unhinging the guard to clear a blockage. His arm came into contact with the belt and pulley of the machine resulting in the severance of his arm.

The firm was fined £118,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 2(2)(a) and (c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. 

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 When you call on 0141 530 5428 you will speak in confidence and with no obligation to our dedicated, highly trained First Response Unit. Like us they are based here in Scotland and ready to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also contact us online by completing our claim form.

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Protecting, the risk assessment company, have published research that shows that 74% of UK workers fear reporting poor health and safety in their work place.  These employees fear that complaining about health and safety in their work place may single them out as being a problem employee and cost them their job or hinder promotion plans.

This concern for job security and proseperity means that many dangerous health and safety violations in factories, construction sites, shops and offices go unreported for too long, if at all.  

The survey by Protecting involved 1600 employees from various job backgrounds across the United Kingdom, the survey found:

•74% of employees surveyed would be too afraid to report a health and safety concern at work

•81% were too scared to report a health and safety problem if they believed it to be trivial. Things such as broken furniture or flooring being in disrepair.  

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Macfarlan Smith Limited , a pharmaceutical company based in Edinburgh has pled guilty to failing to ensure the health and safety of an employee in relation to an incident where a reversing lorry crushed the employees head and chest.

Alexander Mackenzie, was emploed at Macfarlan Smith Limited and was working  at the company's Wheatfield Road premises in Edinburgh when the incident occurred. Mr MacKenzie attempted to signal a reversing lorry into a loading bay however the driver did not see him, as he was watching another employee who was also signalling to the lorry driver. Mr MacKenzie was as a result crushed between the lorry and the wall of the loading bay suffering injuries to his head face and chest.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the case and found that no suitable risk assessment has been carried out for this task. Also it was deemed that there was no safe system of work and that the naccident could have been prevented had reasonably practical precautions been taken.

Macfarlan Smith Limited pled guilty to contraventions of Section 2(1) and Section 33(1)(a) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £12,000.

Gary Aitken, Head of the COPFS Health & Safety Division said:

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An animal feed company has been fined £240,000  for safety failings after an after a lorry driver dies of fatal injuries after being by a two-tonne, fully-loaded grain bin falling from a fork-lift truck.

David Leslie was employed by a feed services firm and was picking up a load from East Coast Viners Grain in Stonehaven, when the incident occurred in March last year. 

 Mr Leslie sadly passed away after suffering crush injuries to his head, neck and chest.

 The accident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)  which revealed that East Coast Viners Grain LLP did not have adequate safety measures in place for the task being carried out. It was also found that operators were left to carry  out tasks in any way they saw fit, without any guidance or regulation.

The HSE also discovered that there had been previous incidents of grain bins slipping from the forks of the trucks, but no mechanism to secure them had been put in place. 

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A failure by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to introduce adequate safeguards against toxic workplace dust mean workers are being put at risk of contracting lung cancer or other respiratory diseases say experts.

The Scottish university academics have the HSE regarding its recommended safe level of exposure to the substance crystalline silica, a powder created when working with bricks, concrete and plaster.

Silica is second biggest cause of occupational cancer deaths after asbestos and exposure to the substance can cause a range of other illnesses including silicosis, tuberculosis, kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and arthritis.

The HSE states that limitations in technology mean it is impractical to monitor for the presence of the substance below the exposure standard.

Professor Rory O'Neill, of Stirling University's Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety Research Group and author of a new report on the substance, said: 

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