Work accidents and illness

People are employed in a variety of jobs, which range from manual through to office based. Every workplace has its risks, some greater than others but whatever the job the employees expect to be safeguarded against these risks.

In the UK there is Health and Safety legislation which is designed to protect employees at work and reduce the risk of an accident and injury.

Employers have a duty of care to protect their employees against the risks of an accident or an illness which may arise from their job. They have an obligation to report any accidents and to pay company and/or statutory sick pay.

But if an employer fails to put safeguards in place or the existing ones are inadequate then this increases the risk of an accident.

If you sustain an injury at work which was not your fault then you may be entitled to compensation.

What type of work accident can you claim for? Claims can be made for a wide range of accidents and illnesses which are discussed separately within this section.

Types of work accidents and illnesses

These include:

These are the most popular types of compensation claims.

Industrial and office environments

Many claims are made as a result of working in an industrial environment such as a factory or a building site. Whilst it is reasonable to assume that a greater proportion of accidents will happen in that environment due to the nature of the work; there are others which happen in office environments.

You may not think of an office as being particularly risky but there are a range of potential hazards which can cause a long term injury or illness. One example is computer work.

Many office based jobs involve working with computers and this is fast becoming the norm.

However, there are dangers associated with this. It has been found that performing repetitive actions, such as typing on a keyboard or staring at a monitor for a long period of time can cause health problems.

A good example of this is repetitive strain injury or RSI for short. This occurs as a result of someone performing a series of repetitive movements – hence the name - over a period of time. This puts a strain on the part of the body involved in those movements and can lead to chronic injury or illness.

RSI is covered in more detail within this section.

So the message is, whatever the job there is an element of risk involved with it. It is important not to discount the likelihood of an accident even if the job is office based and appears to be a risk free environment.

Any employee is expected to use their common sense at work and be mindful of their actions and how that might affect their fellow workers. They have a duty of care to themselves and those of their colleagues which equally applies to their employer. If this fails then the employee is at risk.

Effects of a work accident or illness

It is important not to underestimate the impact a workplace accident has upon you, and your family.

Whilst most of us have taken the odd day or two from work with sickness this is comparatively mild when compared to the effect of an accident. A serious accident can result in a long term injury or disability which permanently changes your life.

It can mean time off work, possibly on a long term basis which results in a loss of earnings, pension rights and financial stability. This drop in income affects your family’s standard of living and may push you into financial hardship.

The likelihood of this is greater if you have to give up work completely.

There may be additional expenses to content with such as the cost of specialist services such as physiotherapy, medication, treatment, even trips to hospital and back. All of these cost time and money.

If you are fortunate enough to be awarded compensation then this can cover all of these expenses and go a little way to improving things for both you and your family.

Claiming compensation for a workplace accident or illness

Find a personal injury lawyer, solicitor or a claims company who have experience in dealing with these types of claims. They should understand the many complex issues involved and deal with each case on an individual basis.

If you want to know more about the claims process then visit our making a claim for compensation section.

Find out more about work accidents and illness in this section.

Personal Injury Guide

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