Your employer has a responsibility to provide a working environment which is as safe as possible for you and your colleagues. In the past, factories were extremely dangerous places to work, with risk of injury from machinery and harmful substances, as well as the possibility of developing a long term condition or illness dues to poor working conditions.
This is something which changed gradually over the years, until the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 was passed, which sets out basic legal standards which every employer is legally required to meet.
Although negligence can happen beyond the limits set out in the Act, it still provides a useful guide for the kind of steps which you should expect your employer to take. If they’ve failed in their duty of care to you, then you may be able to make a compensation claim.
Claiming compensation for a factory accident can help you to start rebuilding your life and can also help to make your place of work safer, so that similar accidents don’t happen again in the future. To start a claim, you can get in touch with a legal advisor for free on 0800 234 6438. They’ll be able to let you know whether they think you’ll be able to make a case, and can then pass you on to a specialist personal injury solicitor.
Media coverage can lead some people to think that work accidents are fairly trivial, but the fact that 147 people were killed at work in 2018-19, according to HSE figures while 581,000 suffered some form of personal injury during the same period, would suggest that there’s still a lot of room for improvement to safety conditions in many workplaces.
Some of this may be explained by employers who don’t fully appreciate their responsibilities, instead just thinking that ‘accidents will happen’ and that taking risks is simply part of earning a living. The truth of the matter is that any employer is expected to:
Take out employers’ liability insurance to cover any compensation claims made, and have the insurance certificate (hard copy or digital) located where it’s easy for employees to access and read
If you’ve been injured in a factory and feel your employer didn’t display the kind of diligence and safety awareness outlined above, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
You should start the claims process as soon as possible – not only will this mean that the accident will still be fresh in your mind, but it will also make it easier to gather evidence which a personal injury lawyer will use to build your case.
For example, evidence could include:
It can be truly heartbreaking to lose a loved one in an accident. On top of the emotional turmoil which can be caused by such a life-changing event, you may also be faced with financial difficulties – for example, you may have been financially dependent on the person who passed away.
You may be able to make a compensation claim if you are:
Making a claim at such a difficult time will probably be the last thing on your mind, but the money you receive can really help you start to rebuild your life. For example, your compensation could cover:
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, all employers have a duty to ensure the risk of their workers being injured is kept to a minimum. This includes making sure you’re given the right training, equipment and supervision needed to safely perform your job, and to carry out regular risk assessments to ensure all necessary precautions are taken.
If they breach this duty and you’re injured as a result, then you’re well within your rights to make a claim for compensation.
It’s against the law for your employer to fire you or treat you any differently if you make a claim against them. They will have employers’ liability insurance to cover the cost of your compensation claim anyway so they won’t be out of pocket.
In the unlikely scenario that you are dismissed because of your claim, this would be considered unfair dismissal, and you would be able to take further legal action against them.
Unless your claim is particularly high value or is very complicated, it will generally be made by your specialist personal injury lawyer using Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury (Employers’ Liability and Public Liability) Claims. This sets standards and procedures that parties to a claim must follow before formal court proceedings are issued.
They aim to encourage parties to settle their dispute without the matter having to go to court and to ensure all the paperwork is in order and deadlines followed if the case cannot be settled out of court.
Starting a claim is easy – the first step is to speak to a legal advisor for free on 0800 234 6438. They’ll be able to answer any questions you may have and can let you know whether they think you have a claim. They’ll then be able to pass you on to a specialist solicitor who will be able to negotiate your compensation on your behalf.
The amount of compensation you receive will depend on how serious your injuries are and how long it’s likely to take you to recover. Your solicitor will look at the full impact of your accident and will work hard to make sure you receive all the compensation you’re owed.
For example, your compensation could cover:
If your injury leaves you with a long-term disability, you may also be able to claim compensation to make any necessary adjustments to your home and vehicle.
Because personal injury solicitors look at each case on an individual basis, it’s not possible for to say exactly how much compensation you might be able to receive before starting your claim – however, you can use our compensation calculator to get a guideline figure.
Lucy is a NCTJ trained journalist who studied law at the University of Greenwich. She is a legal journalist and editor with more than 20 years’ experience writing about the law.
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