Industrial Work Related Injuries
There are many millions of people employed in a wide range of industries with workers interacting with each other on a daily basis, commuting, working, etc, and as a consequence it is inevitable that accidents and injuries will take place from time to time, possibly by deliberate, wilful employer negligence.
Employees need to receive full medical treatment immediately after any accident at work to restore their health to ensure full recovery, whilst the negligent party needs to be held accountable. Mitigation measures need to be undertaken to ensure that no repetition occurs either in the short or long term.
The employees who are victims of industrial work injuries, either physical, biological, health-related or psychological need to understand the nature and implications of the work accident. An injured employee needs to consult both medical specialists such as GP Doctors for their treatment recovery, as well as claims specialists, insurance companies and legal representatives to seek informed advice and guidance about personal injury claims.
Work accident injuries can vary in scope, nature and type, and include :-
- Contracting an Industrial Disease
- Physical Accident such as a Slip, Fall or Trip in places such as a construction site and offices
- Health and Safety Negligence by employers or other employees
- Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) - Result of continuous repetitive movements which cause pain in muscles, nerves and tendons, e.g. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, Tendonitis, Vibration White Finger Syndrome; symptoms cause discomfort, swelling, throbbing, stiffness, numbness, pain and cramp. This disease mainly occurs over prolonged periods of repetitive movement, taking part in strenuous high intensity activities without allowing muscles to recover properly, using awkward postures during activities, use of heavy, vibrating machinery, use of computing equipment, typing, telephoning, or driving over a long period and varies from situation to situation gradually getting worse over time.
- Asbestos - long term exposure leads to shortness of breath, chest pains. coughing, tiredness, and cancer, requires specialist medical care and there are strict guidelines regarding its usage. sometimes it takes many years before the symptoms become evident.
- Chemical Injury - these painful injuries may occur after exposure to toxic, corrosive chemicals and can have life changing consequences which can lead to long term disability, death or disfigurement. Chemical injuries may vary in nature or type and can include skin irritations leading to dermatitis, eye injuries causing eyesight loss, ingestion causing fatality, or sometimes the impact may occur later in life. The severity of impact maybe diverse and vary from individual to individual. The employer has a duty of care to provide a safe working environment with suitable employee training, protective safety equipment, control of hazardous substances (The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations) and ensure the workplace is safe, secure. Any negligence from the employer can cause life altering consequences for the employee.
- Industrial 'Occupational' Deafness - these usually occur in places such as factories, construction sites and music halls, where there are high levels of noise consistently, and damage maybe due to lack of appropriate training or safety equipment being provided. Employers have a duty of care to ensure they comply with The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 Act, and s suggested level of minimum noise levels and safety equipment are clearly outlined. Symptoms maybe lack of hearing in both ears, hearing loss, ringing, buzzing or hissing noises, missing conversations and difficulty in hearing. As a consequence an individual's lifestyle may completely be altered and extreme inconvenience caused.
An employer has a duty of care towards his employees and must provide a safe working environment, and any negligence on their part could cause harm to their staff, and will lead to a compensation claim should it result in injury. Injuries usually mean time off from work, physical disability, mental stress, medical expenses, travel costs, bills, physiotherapy costs, loss of earnings, lifestyle changes, career changes and financial losses. All employers have to legally undertake an employer's liability insurance and any potential compensation claims will be paid by them.
An injured employee from a work accident has the legal right to claim compensation for any personal injury caused by negligence. Usually a compensation claim is the only method by which an injured worker can obtain finances to restore their health fully and recompense their financial losses. An injured employee will need to discuss his particular circumstances with a Solicitor so that the specific details of the accident can be worked out, and any associated costs clarified before proceeding as well as any no win no fee agreements. The amount and entire process for a potential claim can be outlined by a Solicitor. It must always be remembered that many claims will be settled out of court.
During a personal injury claim against an employer, an employee cannot be legally dismissed and should inform their GC claim specialist or legal representatives of any issues or concerns.
An injured employee who has been subject to a life changing incident must always seek the best advice after the incident so that he is able to recover fully from the health accident with the correct medical treatment and all associated costs are recovered, as well as being recompensed for any personal financial losses incurred. A suitable legal representative or Claims specialist must be sought and engaged.