Guest post regarding unsafe working environments in the UK.
Numerous reports in the UK have proven our workplaces to be unsafe. As many as a quarter of construction sites have been deemed unsafe by the Health and Safety Executive and the rate of work related injuries and illnesses sustained across other industries remains high.
When an employee sustains an injury or illness at their place of work, the responsibility almost always falls with the employer. It is the job of an employer to create a safe space in which their employees can work; however, the situation in the UK shows a trend of negligence in this respect.
Figures from the HSE tell us that during 2009/10, there were almost one million people in the UK who were unable to work due to illnesses or injury which had occurred as a result of negligence in their place of work. On top of this, there were over one million people who were still in work, despite their suffering from an injury or illness sustained at work. These numbers highlight the importance of safety in the workplace. In such situation, it is important for workers to know what their options are.
More often than not, workers in this situation can be entitled to compensation. Where it is the employer at fault, victims of work related accidents can find their health costs covered by compensation. If it becomes necessary for the worker to miss work as a result of the incident, they will often be entitled to receive any missed pay as a part of the compensation. When filing such a claim, the worker is protected entirely as it is illegal for the employer to take any action against them based on this claim.
Too often, workers who sustain injury in the workplace are rewarded nothing but a burden. Not only do they have to suffer the physical repercussions of an incident, but they are faced with the financial cost of being unable to work. The reason that such compensation is available is due to the fact that the accident was caused through no fault of their own, but negligence on the behalf of their employer. The compensation cannot prevent the injury, but it can limit the damage done to the victim in any such event.
With the number of people in the UK being forced out of work due to injuries which were not their fault, one might expect something to be being done about the state of health and safety in UK workplaces. On the contrary, the number of claims being made each year is actually on the increase – rising 3% in just five years.
Where workers find themselves becoming the victim of such an incident it is important that they work with their employer to receive all the help they can get. Where this help is insufficient, workers should rest safe in the knowledge that legal help is available, and the law on their side, should they wish the pursue a claim in any more depth.