Workplaces can be dangerous environments. Even an innocuous
office space can be home to hundreds of potential hazards,
anything from trailing computer leads, unsupportive chairs and
glare from VDUs can cause a work accident. According to the
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) there are hundreds of
thousands of work accidents in the UK every year, with 35
million working days lost due to an injury sustained in the
workplace. 28 million of those were due to work related illness
and 7 million were due to workplace injury.
Employers are legally required to carry out a risk assessment in
their workplace. It is not difficult to carry out a simple risk
assessment and it can save money through avoiding the likelihood
of personal injury claims and more importantly the suffering
caused by a work accident.
The main consideration for an employer is whether a risk is a
significant hazard. Most risks will be obvious and precautions
already addressed. For example most office employers supply a
suitable chair and proper facilities such as lighting, good
ventilation and a comfortable environment. It is important
however, that employers check and adhere to the provisions of
the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
(Management Regulations). The regulations indicate the need to
identify all hazards that are likely to cause a work accident
and that could cause personal injury to anyone in the work
environment including members of the public.
Under the provisions of the regulations employers are required
to do a thorough assessment of all areas that they feel could
potentially prove hazardous. There are also more specific areas
that need to be addressed, such as manual handling.
If staff are required to lift objects as part of their role then
they will need to be properly trained on how to lift safely to
minimise the risk of injury. They will also need to follow
guidelines under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
which state that:
Avoid hazardous manual handling operations so far as is
reasonably practicable, for example by redesigning the task to
avoid moving the load or by automating or mechanising the
Make a suitable and sufficient assessment of any hazardous
manual handling operations that cannot be avoided
Reduce the risk of injury from those operations so far as is
reasonably practicable. Where possible, you should provide
mechanical assistance, for example a sack trolley or hoist.
Where this is not reasonably practicable, look at ways of
changing the task, the load and working environment
There are many other regulations that need to be followed such
as noise regulations in environments such as airports, for
manual workers using drilling equipment and nightclub workers.
The risk assessment in this situation should be carried out
before work begins in order to minimise the risk of a work
accident such as tinnitus or a more serious personal injury.
If you have sustained a work related injury and are suffering as
a result then you may be entitled to claim personal injury
compensation. If your employer has failed to carry out adequate
work place risk assessments then they have failed in their duty
of care to you and you are entitled to seek legal advice about
your personal situation.
For advice regarding making a work accident claim or to learn
more about personal injury visit www.the-claim-solicitors.co.uk,
or alternatively you can call them on 0800 197 32 32 for free
www.the-claim-solicitors.co.uk have many years experience of
handling personal injury claims and can help anyone suffering
from work related injuries to move on with their lives.