Personal Injury Claims as a result of Health and Safety at Work Failings
Posted on 22nd August 2019 at 16:18
Whatever profession you find yourself in, whilst at work, as an employee, you are owed a duty of care by your employer. This duty of care is governed specifically by the Health and Safety at Work Act, of 1974. This Act states that employers are to follow a set standard towards employees which include the following:
- To ensure there is a safe system (also referred to as ‘plant’) of work, that is safely maintained.
- To provide adequate training, specific to the tasks being carried out. This also includes being trained on how to use certain systems, programmes and machinery.
- To provide protective clothing and equipment, where required. For example, supplying protective gloves when handling chemical products to prevent contamination or burns.
- To appoint a competent Health and Safety Officer within the work place, who issues concerning health and safety can be reported to.
- To ensure there is sufficient information, and instruction, available in relation to the work being carried out. There should also be appropriate supervision in place.
Follow the link to the Act, for more information: http://www.hse.gov.uk/legislation/hswa.htm.
Legislation goes on to set out certain regulations, specific to different types of work and their requirements. For example, the Personal Protective Regulations of 2018 stipulate that employers are to supply employees with protective items such as safety helmets, harnesses, eye wear etc. where necessary. Where working as a builder, it would be expected that a safety helmet would be worn, to reduce the risk of any harm being caused by items falling overhead. The item required will be dependent on the working environment, however, all have the same aim of avoiding injury being caused by potential risk factors. The regulations relate not only to the protective equipment, but also provide guidance on how the equipment is to be stored, and how employees may be instructed and supervised when using such equipment.
When assessing the likely success of pursuing a potential claim for personal injury, our accident claim solicitors would always consider where, in accordance with the legislation, the failings have arisen from. If our solicitors in Preston believe that there has been sufficient failing by the employer, that would constitute a breach of the duty of care owed, then it may be possible to pursue a claim for personal injury.
Our personal injury solicitors Preston have recently discovered one tragic incident where there have been fatal consequences. A lorry driver, from East Sussex, has sadly passed away whilst unloading a lorry, due to a container falling on his head from above. The man, said to be in his 20s, was unloading scaffolding bars from a lorry outside South Cliff Tower, a multi storey block of flats. A metal container has been said to have fallen on top of the lorry driver, causing a severe head injury that resulted in his death.
Health and Safety Executives have attended the scene and a spokesperson for the public body has stated that “HSE are aware, and are assisting the police”. The investigations into the tragedy are on-going and a post-mortem examination will be carried out to determine the exact cause of death. An inquest into the death can then commence, which our personal injury solicitors will be following closely. Keep up to date with us, by checking our ‘Legal News’ section on our website, on this case for more information as and when it arises.
Whatever the outcome of the investigation, the principles of health and safety remain the same. Risks should be managed and harm should be avoided – for more guidance on how to keep safe at work, see the official GOV.UK advice page by following: https://www.hse.gov.uk/.
If you believe that you have been subject to injury, as a result of a breach of duty of care owed to you, contact our solicitors in Preston today. Our team of personal injury solicitors specialise in claims arising out of Health and Safety at work failings and are on hand to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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