Accidents at work and what you can do about them

Accidents which lead to illness and injury are very common in the workplace, despite health and safety protocols being implemented into most workplaces across the UK. For the most part the injuries are relatively minor and the illnesses short lived, however sometimes they are more serious and can end up having a lasting impact on the sufferer. Although it cannot take away the pain and suffering a serious injury or illness has caused, an accident at work claim can often  help a person to get their life back on track without having to worry about missing work or their financial situation.

Types of accidents at work

There are a whole range of accidents at work that can occur for different reasons. Sometimes an accident is caused by an obvious health and safety hazard such as a slippery floor or an unmanned ladder, however at times hazards are not so blatant. For example, exposure to loud noise at work can often lead to serious hearing damage and hearing loss. This might be a very loud, isolated noise, or moderately loud noise heard over a period of time.

Another example is that asbestos fibres can lead to serious breathing and lung problems, but are invisible to the naked eye so many people don’t realise that they are breathing them in. Heavy lifting accidents are common in workplaces such as warehouses and can gradually harm workers over a long period of time. Although these examples are not necessarily one-off ‘accidents’, the fact remains that they have a long-term impact on those who suffer afterwards, which is why it is possible to make an accident at work claim even if there was no one specific accident, but a range of incidents which caused damage to your health.

Injuries and illnesses caused by accidents at work

The types of injuries and illnesses that can be caused by accidents or recurring incidents at work will, of course, depend on what sort of job you have and where you work. For example, if you work in construction, you are at risk of suffering from a wider range of illnesses and injuries that someone working in an office is at risk of. Saying that, people who work in offices are still at risk of becoming ill or injured from work; repetitive strain injuries are very common for people who work at a computer or laptop in the same position every day to suffer from.

Other common injuries and illnesses caused by accidents or exposure to certain substances at work include:

  • Skin irritations and reactions, including dermatitis and eczema
  • Repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Hearing loss and damage
  • Asbestos related diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma
  • Vibration white finger and hand-arm vibration syndrome
  • Back, neck and shoulder injuries
  • Asthma and other breathing difficulties

All of these illnesses and injuries can be prevented as long as the proper health and safety precautions and protocols are taken and followed in workplaces. As mentioned above, there are certain workplaces in which employees are at risk to a wider range of accidents. In these workplaces, manual labour tends to be central to the job. This includes construction site work, vehicle manufacturing, factory work, gardening, and any jobs or industries that are similar to these.

How to pursue an accident at work claim

Many people believe that accident at work claims are a scam, and an easy way to get money for suffering that isn’t actually real. However, claims that aren’t real or don’t have enough evidence to be successful won’t be taken on by a solicitor. This means that it is very difficult to fake an injury or accident and work and claim money for it.

However, if you have genuinely suffered from a workplace illness or injury and want to pursue an accident at work claim, your first port of call should be an industrial disease solicitor. They will assess your case, and if it has prospects take it on and do all the hard work for you. You can still be working at the place you are claiming against and can continue to work there whilst your claim is ongoing if you would like to. 

It might seem unnecessary to pursue a claim after having an accident at work or falling ill because of work;however, it can be helpful for you and your colleagues. Accident at work claims can not only compensate you for physical, psychological and financial suffering, but they can also highlight pitfalls in health and safety within your workplace and therefore save your fellow employees from suffering too.