In 2021/2022, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), reported that 565,000 people sustained non-fatal injuries at work. In 2022/2023, 135 workers were sadly killed in work-related accidents. 26 of those deaths occurred in Scotland.
The most common accident types for workplace injury are reported to be slips, trips, and falls on same level (30%), handling, lifting, or carrying (18%), struck by a moving object (11%), acts of violence (9%) and falls from a height (8%).
Types of accident
The most common workplace hazards in the highest risk sectors include:
- Falling from height. Examples include when working up a ladder or on scaffolding. It is important that risk assessments are carried out for tasks involving working at height and that employees are trained on how to work at height.
- Working with animals. Correct safety procedures should be in place on farms, and this would include employees being trained on safe animal handling and ensuring a safe working environment.
- Electrical hazards. Examples could include defective work tools or hitting overhead power lines. As with any hazard which creates risk to employees, adequate planning of tasks and risk assessments should be undertaken by the employer.
- Working with heavy machinery. Examples include farming machinery, excavators in the construction sector, or moving vehicles such as forklift trucks in factories. Operators of such machinery should be properly and fully trained, and machinery should be regularly checked in order that it can be used safely.
How do I succeed with making a claim?
An employer has a duty to ensure that your working environment is safe. It is the responsibility of every employer to assess all risks to their employees and, once identified, to do everything to reduce those risks to the lowest level reasonably practicable. It is also a requirement for employers to have insurance to safeguard against potential claims if an accident does occur in the workplace.
If an employer fails in its duty to provide you with a safe working environment, and, as a result, you sustain an injury, including serious injury, it is worthwhile exploring whether the employer or insurer is liable to compensate you.
How much is my claim worth?
This will depend on the severity of the injury and its effect on your life, for example, if you are prevented from working.
In addition to the injury/injuries, other heads of claim may include treatment costs, rehabilitation (such as physiotherapy), loss of earnings, pension loss and home adaptations.
What about fatal claims in the workplace?
If you have lost a loved one due to a fatal workplace accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Loss of society is a financial award in Scotland which is intended to compensate family members for the stress, anxiety, grief and sorrow that is suffered when a loved ones death is caused negligently.
Making a claim
If you suffer an accident at work, then you should report it to your employer and have the incident noted in the accident book. You should make sure you have the contact details of anyone who witnessed the accident, and you should take pictures of what caused your accident. It is always best to seek medical attention in the first instance following your accident.
Victims of personal injury have 3 years from the date of the accident or from the date of a loved one’s death to lodge a case at court and serve it upon the Defender e.g. the employer. Should you wish to make a personal injury claim, we would recommend contacting a solicitor as soon as possible.