Factory and Warehouse personal injury claims experts.
As an employee, you have the right to work in a safe environment, and your employer has a duty to keep you as safe as possible in your workplace- ensuring risks are kept to a minimum, so injuries are avoided.
Factories are especially dangerous places to work, and if your employer has been negligent, and failed to protect you from being injured, then you may be able to make a personal injury claim, on a no win no fee basis, with MG Legal’s expert personal injury solicitors.
How do injuries occur to factory workers?
If you work in a factory or on a production line, you will usually work long hours, and in conditions where you are surrounded by other employees, and work with heavy, dangerous, plant and machinery. If any machinery in a factory is not maintained, not serviced regularly, or is by its very design, a dangerous piece of equipment, and you sustain a personal injury, then, if your employer has been negligent, you may be able to make a claim for personal injury, on a no win no fee basis.
Factory machines and equipment are often used to lift or move items, cut, chop or burn woods and metals, and press fabrics and metals. The injuries caused by factory equipment, to factory employees, can be easily cause injury if it is used incorrectly or if the machinery is not safe and regularly serviced. Whatever the factory machinery is used you’re your employer needs to keep it safe, and fit for use by employees.
There are of course lots of ways that factory workers are injured, other than being injured by dangerous machinery. MG Legal’s expert personal injury solicitors have acted for factory workers who have been injured as a result of the following circumstances:
a slip, trip or fall in the workplace
by lifting heavy objects
as a result of a collision with a forklift truck
the negligence of another work colleague
being hit by falling objects
exposure to harmful chemicals
lack of training
lack of personal protective equipment
Has my employer breached their obligations to me?
To counter the potential threat of personal injury to factory workers, the law put in place the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and The Six Pack Regulations. Most of the requirements of the 6 pack Regulations were not new, they simply spelled out in more detail what a responsible employer should already have been doing to comply with the requirements of the 1974 Act. The six pack regulations, are made up of the following:
The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations
Subject to the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations, all employers must assess all significant risks to their employees. Most factories will employ far more than 5 people, and if you work in a factory, then your employer must keep a record of any risk assessment that has been carried out, and detail any procedures that are in place, or to be put in place, once a risk has been identified. Employers must pay particular attention to expectant mothers, when assessing any risk in a factory, and, if the risk identified cannot be rectified, the expectant mother must be given paid leave until their workplace is safe. Likewise, particular attention must be given by employers when carrying out risk assessments for those who are classed as minors, being younger than 18 years of age. If of school leaving age, the factory worker’s parents are to be given details of the risk assessments carried out by their child’s employer, including details of the risks identified by their employer, and the procedures put in place to maintain the safety of their child. The employer must appoint as many competent persons as are necessary to ensure compliance with health and safety laws.
Manual Handling Operations Regulations
If you are a factory worker, it is imperative that your employer must prepare a risk assessment of your job role to ensure that you are provided with the correct equipment to lift any object which could cause a risk of personal injury.
Your employer must reduce the risk involved to the lowest reasonably practicable level, and provide equipment to assist all factory workers when lifting or carrying any work-related equipment. Risk assessments must be carried out on a regular basis, and if they are not, and no manual handling training is provided, and you suffer a personal injury as a result, then you may be able to purse a claim for personal injury, on a no win no fee basis, with MG Legal’s expert personal injury solicitors.
Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations
Whilst you wouldn’t imagine the Display Screen Equipment Regulations featuring heavily in a factory environment, they do feature heavily. There are workstations in any factory, and many working in the quality control, accounts or the human resources department. As a result of this, employers must carry out risk assessment of all workstations in order that factory employees are subject to the lowest possible risk of personal injury when using display screen equipment. Employers must ensure that regular breaks, away from display screen equipment are taken by factory workers, in order to avoid any personal injury. Subject to the Display Screen Equipment Regulations, factory workers using any display screen are entitled to an eye and eyesight test paid for by their employer. The test must be repeated at regular intervals. If it shows that special spectacles or lenses are needed for DSE work, the employer must cover the cost of this as well.
Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations
Probably the most onerous of the regulations, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations imposes duties on factory owners relating to everything from maintenance of equipment, and ventilation, to cleanliness and the amount of space owed to employees in a factory environment.
Any factory worker, from vehicle manufacturing to clothing production, must work with machinery that is maintained, and kept in good repair by their employer. Injuries in factories are often as a result of human error, meaning the negligence of fellow employees, of from poorly maintained machinery, including missing safety guards, or live electrical wires on display. As most factories are used to produce equipment, or goods to sell, often chemicals are used, or the machinery will use oil, any there will be substances in the air, including chemicals, and dust that can cause personal injury to factory employees, if the workplace is too enclosed. Employers have a duty to ensure that the factory is sufficiently ventilated, and that there is enough clean, fresh air to breathe.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations, offer employees protection against poor working conditions, with little or no lighting, the temperature of the factory mustn’t be too hot or too cold, and the all factory workers must be provided a clean, place to work, with a design that allows the clear routes for factory workers to move about, windows that are made of safety glass, and washing up facilities for factory employees who eat meals at their place of work.
The nature of the Regulations, is to ensure that our working environment causes as small a risk of personal injury to employees as possible. The Regulations will have more relevance in factories where there are hundreds of workers, and the goal is to produce as many saleable items as humanly possible, on a daily basis. Factory employees are some of the most injured, with many employers forgetting to carry out any risk assessments, or turning a blind eye to faulty machinery, and workstations that are cramped, dark and poorly ventilated. MG Legal have successfully brought many hundreds of claims against employers using breaches of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations as evidence of their negligence.
Provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations
Another part of the 6 pack that ensures that employees are not only supplied with the correct equipment for their job role, but that the machinery must be properly maintained, stabilised by being attached to the floor, or other equipment if necessary, and that all buttons and controls pertaining to the working of the machine, including of course, the emergency stop button, are in use, and clearly identifiable. To avoid any injury to factory workers, the employer should take measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery and to protect against the ejection of articles, substances, gases, liquids, dusts etc, overheating, fire or explosion, disintegration of parts of equipment, extreme hot or cold surfaces.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations
Personal Protective Equipment is equipment that will protect employees against health or safety risks at work. Depending on the job role, PPE can include items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses. If chemicals are in use, as they are in many factories, then PPE should include respiratory protective equipment (RPE)
Why is Personal Protective Equipment Important?
Any workplace, from an office, to the shop floor in a factory, contain hazards- whether they are tripping hazards, or the risk of being burnt or squashed by machinery, there should Personal Protective Equipment supplied to all employees where their working environment demands it. Making the workplace safe includes providing instructions, procedures, training and supervision to encourage people to work safely and responsibly.
Even where engineering controls and safe systems of work have been applied, some hazards might remain. These include injuries to:
• the lungs, eg from breathing in contaminated air
• the head and feet, eg from falling materials
• the eyes, eg from flying particles or splashes of corrosive liquids
• the skin, eg from contact with corrosive materials
• the body, eg from extremes of heat or cold
PPE is needed in these cases to reduce the risk, and if your employer has failed to provide Personal Protective Equipment, or the equipment they have supplied is faulty, out of date, or doesn’t fit you, and you are injured as a result of the lack of effective PPE equipment, then you can pursue your employer for any personal injury you have sustained in the workplace.
What PPE should my employer give me?
On this point, the Health and Safety Executive are able to assist, and any employer must follow the HSE Guidance. MG Legal’s personal injury solicitors know that the following PPE is required should an employer wish to remain within the law, and away from the risk of any potential claim for personal injury in the workplace:
Types of PPE you can use:
For your eyes
One of our most important senses, our eyes need protecting. The most obvious hazards to our eyes will depend on the type of factory you work in. In factories where chemicals and molten metals are used, there is the risk of personal injury arising out of chemical or metal splash, or even the risk of dust, projectiles, gas and vapour or radiation entering the eyes.
In order to avoid factory employees being injured, risk assessments must be carried out and the most suitable PPE equipment being offered to factory employees. With our eyes, safety spectacles, goggles, face screens, faceshields and visors should be offered, with the eye protection offering the appropriate impact and dust protection, and being designed to fit the head and neck, properly. Many of our clients have been injured as a result of employers not offering protective eyewear to employees, and foreign objects such as shards of metal, or chemical splashes getting in the eye.
Injuries caused by falling
Working in an environment, with more than one level, such as a factory, means that employees face the risk of injury as a result of falling from height, resulting in broken arms, legs, and sometimes injuries that are debilitating enough to completely change the way we live. Other risks can include a risk of falling or flying objects, risk of head bumping, and chemical drips or splashes from above, causing burns to the head and upper body.
When working in a factory, Industrial safety helmets, bump caps, hair nets and firefighters' helmets should be offered to employees. In order to avoid chemical burns and welding burns from above, head and neck protection, such as scarves should be offered to factory workers.
To avoid deafness and injury to the ears
Many factory workers complain of loud noises, from working with noisy machinery, or even the products they work with in a factory, such as sheet metal, car parts, or steel drums that make a deafening noise. Often in factories, if earplugs, earmuffs or canal caps are not offered as PPE, to employees, personal injury can occur. Subject to the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations, employers must offer factory workers the appropriate ear protection for the work they are carrying out. The correct ear protection must be offered, and training given so factory employees can use the ear protection properly.
To prevent injuries to hands and arms
In a factory environment, MG Legal’s personal injury solicitors have won compensation for clients who have suffered with abrasions, cuts and lacerations, punctures and chemical burns to their hands and arms, as a result of no PPE Equipment being availed to them. Other injuries clients have been injured by electric shock, as a result of no gloves or gauntlets being offered by their employer.
To prevent respiratory disease
If a factory has oxygen-deficient atmospheres, is dusty or the work involved involves the use of toxic gases and vapours, then to avoid personal injury, respiratory protective equipment (RPE) must be worn. Some respirators rely on filtering contaminants from workplace air. These include simple filtering facepieces and respirators and power-assisted respirators.
It is the duty of the employer to ensure that any Respiratory Protective Equipment, fits properly, with tight-fitting respirators such as filtering facepieces, half and full masks available to employees. If risks assessments show that fresh-air hoses, compressed airline and self-contained breathing apparatus are required, then factory employees must wear this equipment.
What should I do If I am injured in a factory accident at work?
If you work in a factory and have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, including your employer, another employee, or another member of staff, then MG Legal’s team of personal injury specialists have prepared a little guide, so you know what to do if you are injured, and want to make a claim for personal injury:
If you are injured at work, the you may need to seek medical attention. Your place of work should have a designated first aider, and if not too seriously injured, they may be able to help you in relation to any minor cuts, burns, or whiplash injuries. If you are more seriously injured, then you should seek the assistance of medical staff, immediately, as an ambulance may be required.
If you are able to do so, take photos of whatever caused you to be injured, whether its faulty equipment, or something you have tripped over. If you are unable to take photographs, or video footage, then ask a work colleague to do so for you. As with any claim for personal injury, evidence is key, and contemporaneous footage of the object that caused you to be injured, could help your claim for personal injury compensation.
Take photos of your injuries, immediately after the incident occurred, and keep a diary, on a day to day basis, of your injuries, showing how you are recovering. Again, ensure that the photos are date stamped, or that your mobile ‘phone keep the metadata to prove that the date of the injury.
Your employer is duty bound to prepare an accident report of the incident, as soon as practicable, after you have been injured. Ensure that you are happy with the content of the report, and have your say to ensure that the report is factually correct, any witnesses to the incident are included in the report, and the injuries you have sustained are detailed in the accident report.
If you are injured in an accident at work, and the injury was caused by your employer’s negligence, then you should receive full pay whilst you are recovering and unable to work. If you have suffered any out of pocket expenses as a result of your injury, then make sure that you keep any receipts for these items.
Contact MG Legal, and one our of our work-related personal injury specialists will be more than happy to answer any questions that you have, and walk you through the personal injury claims process.
How long have I got to make a compensation claim if I have been injured at work?
If you have been injured as a result of negligence in the workplace, if you are over 18 years old, you have three years from the date of your injury to pursue a claim for personal injury. So, in most cases this will be immediately should it occur in an accident, or if the injury stems from an industrial illness, if everything appears ok to start with and then you later find out about an issue later, your three years starts from the day you find out this information.
There are exceptions, for those under 18 years old at time of the injury, in that minors have three years from their 18th birthday within which to make a personal injury claim. Time limits may differ if you are acting on behalf of someone with limited mental capacity, if you are acting as guardian or subject a lasting power of attorney. If you have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to contact one of MG Legal’s personal injury experts, here…
Why choose MG Legal for my personal injury compensation claim?
The team of personal solicitors at MG Legal have been working in all things personal injury, including work related personal injury, and factory accidents, on a daily basis, for a combined total of 30 years. We only employ a small desiccated team of personal injury solicitors, so you only deal with the same person until your claim is concluded, and all of the claims for personal injury in the workplace that we accept, are on a no win no fee basis. At MG Legal, each solicitor takes a personal interest in each case and we have a dedicated department dealing with personal injury claims. Our team is well versed in the always relevant pieces of case law as well as having extensive experience of dealing with all types of injury and settling claims successfully at all stages of the process.
Whilst it is highly unlikely that your claim will run all the way to Court, (the vast majority settle without the need for Court proceedings at all), we are not afraid of a denial of liability, and our success rate, which exceeds 99%, is testament to the fact that when we take a claim on, we explore every avenue of argument and employ every negotiating tactic learned throughout lengthy careers in the field of personal injury to ensure your claim really does have the best chance of success at every step.