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The most common work-related injuries in the UK

The most common work-related injuries in the UK

Accidents in the workplace can occur in any industry. While the severity of injury and illness can vary dramatically between work environments, incidents must be managed properly by both the employee and employer.

The appropriate reporting procedures must be followed to ensure full visibility in case of any further investigations. If required, injured or sick employees must also be given authorised leave and at least statutory sick pay to aid the recovery process.

What exactly is a workplace injury?

Any unforeseen incident at work that causes harm to a member of staff can be classed as a workplace injury. They usually include the need for some sort of medical treatment or time off for the employee to recover.

A non-work related injury or illness doesn’t count, but anything caused by an employee performing their duties or interacting with the work environment certainly can. It could be an immediate consequence of an event or the impact of long-term exposure to a certain hazard.

Where the liability lies for a workplace accident can be more difficult to determine. Misuse of company equipment or inappropriate behaviour can see the employee responsible for their own injuries. Faulty equipment or failure to mitigate the risks of a harmful work environment can see the employer held liable.

What are the most common types of workplace injuries?

Slips, trips and falls are the most common cause of injury in the workplace, representing 30% of reported non-fatal accidents according to the most recent RIDDOR figures.

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Handling, lifting and carrying injuries, such as repetitive strains, are second most common at 18%. Employees being struck by a moving object or vehicle is third at 11%. Other incidents such as violence at work and falls from a height are more rare, but still a threat.

Workplace injuries can also include cuts, burns, traffic collisions and harm caused by equipment.

When can an employee make a claim?

Employees can make an accident at work claim against their employer, but only if certain criteria are met. They should be able to prove that the accident or injury wasn’t their fault and that the employer failed to mitigate the hazard or was responsible for any wrongdoing.

Circumstances such as workplace violence or negligence from another member of staff can see employers held responsible because of a concept called vicarious liability. Claims must also be made within 3 years of the event.

Workplace injuries can impact an employee’s ability to work or make them feel unsafe in their job. As such, it’s essential that they are supported throughout the process by their employer and legal teams if required.

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