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Employer Liability (EL)

Despite the number of health and safety regulations currently in force in the UK, over 1 million people are injured at work each year due to the negligence of their employer.

The law requires employers to provide their employees with a safe working environment as well as suitable protective equipment and safety training where necessary. If an employer fails to do this, it can result in an employee sustaining one of a number of injuries, ranging from broken bones to hearing loss.

Where this is the case and their employee has suffered injury and/or associated financial losses in the last 3 years, an employer may be liable for a negligent breach of a duty of care that they owe to their employee.

Who can make a compensation claim for EL?

You could be legally entitled to claim compensation if you have suffered injury or associated financial losses in the last 3 years as a result of a negligent breach of duty by your employer for which they could be liable, if the injury or loss was sustained because:

    Your system of work was unsafe

    You were given inadequate training

    The premises you were working on was unsafe causing you to slip, trip or fall

    The machinery or equipment you were working with was improperly maintained or suffered a malfunction, resulting in it being faulty and dangerous

    You were not provided with the relevant Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to your role

    The construction site on which you were working was unsafe

    You suffered a fall from a height due to a poor working environment or an unnecessarily dangerous task

    You were at unnecessary risk of injury when carrying out a manual handling task

    There was a lack of supervision of your work

    There was a failure to conduct satisfactory risk assessments

Some of the common reasons why an employer may be liable for the injuries and/or associated financial losses that you have suffered at work are considered below.

Faulty or dangerous equipment

All employees have the right to be protected from potentially faulty or dangerous equipment by their employers, who must ensure that all equipment is maintained and checked for safety on a regular basis to avoid malfunctions that could cause injuries.

Negligent employers that do not provide adequate protection for their employees can be held liable if faulty or dangerous equipment results in injuries.

Faulty or dangerous equipment can cause a wide range of injuries depending on the equipment itself and the nature of the work being carried out. While it is of course important to avoid all kinds of injuries at work, there must surely be extra emphasis placed on ensuring industrial equipment is safe as unsafe equipment has been known to cause devastating injuries, such as amputations, and even death.

All industrial equipment and the use of such equipment must regularly be subject to risk assessments to identify faults in order to prevent a workplace accident.

It is also imperative that employers make sure that their employees who are operating potentially dangerous equipment are trained to do so to prevent misuse which can cause the equipment to become faulty as well as being a danger in itself.

Lack of or poor PPE

By law, employers must make sure to provide employees with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where necessary in jobs that can be hazardous.

Negligent employers that do not provide proper protection for their employees with regards to their work could be held liable if their employee suffers injuries due to a lack of PPE.

There are many items classed as Personal Protective Equipment, including the following:

    Hard hats

    Goggles

    High visibility jackets

    Ear protection

    Safety boots

    Gloves

These items can be vital within different professions in order for employees to avoid injury. Where employers do not provide the relevant equipment, employees tend to sustain often serious injuries. By way of examples, head and brain injuries may be sustained if a person is not provided with a hard hat at a building site, a person may suffer from serious fractures if they are not provided with a high visibility jacket when working on road works and a person may suffer from hearing loss if they are not given ear protection when using a pneumatic drill.

It is crucial that employers recognise the risks and potential risks that their employees are facing so that they know what PPE to provide to them to minimise those risks and do their legal duty to protect their employees to the best of their ability.

Construction sites

Sites on which different forms of construction are taking place can be extremely dangerous places for employees due to dangers and risks that are exclusive to constructions sites, such as falling tools, hazardous chemicals and exposed wiring.

Negligent employers that do not provide adequate protection for their employees with regards to their work may be held liable if their employee suffers injuries on a construction site.

Various injuries can be caused on construction site, such as severe fractures from falling objects, third degree burns from electrocution or corrosive chemicals, or internal bleeding from being hit by moving, heavy machinery.

It is extremely important that employers regularly carry out risk assessments at construction sites to avoid a situation arising where an employee suffers such a serious injury. Health and safety regulations require employers to do this because of the many potential dangers at construction sites that can cause life-changing injuries if there is a failure to identify and eliminate them.

Many employers fail to provide adequate training for their employees that work on construction sites. This training can help employees manage their own safety if they are taught how to identify risks and if they are aware of where existing dangers on the site are.

Falls from a height

Unfortunately, falling from a height is a relatively common way that a person in a workplace may sustain serious injuries, particularly in the construction industry, making a lack of protection from employers even worse if their employees are at risk of falling from a height.

Negligent employers that do not provide proper protection for their employees with regards to their work may be held liable if their employee suffers injuries after falling from a height.

Falls from a height can cause serious brain and spinal injuries, as well as severe fractures and life-altering organ damage.

It is vital that employers educate employees that are at risk of a fall from a height of the potential hazards and risks, such as walking on weak or unstable roofs, while the necessary risk assessments and safety measures should be put in place where employees are working on scaffolding, on top of buildings or up ladders so devastating injuries can be avoided. A simple barrier across an open and dangerous area can mean that such an incident is avoided.

Manual work

Any type of manual work, whether it is moving heavy boxes or laying bricks, can cause injury if the conditions in which a person is working are not safe due to the negligence of their employer.

Negligent employers that do not provide satisfactory protection for their employees with regards to their work may be held liable if manual work results in injuries.

Manual work can cause various injuries depending on the nature of the work being carried out, including spinal or back injuries, muscular injuries or serious limb fractures. These potentially serious injuries can all be avoided if employers take reasonable steps to minimise the risk of injury to their employees, but unfortunately this is sometimes not the case.

It is crucial that employers provide suitable lifting equipment for employers, such as forklifts, where the objects that require moving are too heavy for an employee to be reasonably expected to move manually. Where this is not done, serious injuries may be sustained.

Employers requiring manual work often fail to recruit people on their suitability to carry out manual tasks and, exacerbating this problem, many employers do not provide adequate training for their employees, whether suitable or not, putting them at real risk of injury.

What if I don’t know who was to blame?

Employers owe a duty of care to their employees to ensure that their working environment and process of work are safe.

If you have suffered injury or associated financial loss in the last 3 years due to an incident at work but are not sure whether your employer should be liable or not, get in touch with us and one of our specialist EL advisors will be more than willing to discuss this with you in the hope of advising you of the best course of action.

What may I be entitled to claim for?

If you were involved in an incident in the last 3 years for which your employer could be liable, you may be able to claim for the following things:

Pain, suffering and loss of amenity

This consists of compensation for the injury aspect of your employers’ liability claim and the impact of those injuries on your past, present and future domestic and social activities.

Treatment costs

NHS waiting lists are not getting any shorter, meaning that free treatment for the injuries you have sustained as a result of your employer’s negligence may not be available within a suitable time period.

This means that you may require private treatment from a specialist so your recovery can begin and progress as soon as possible. Specialist private care can be expensive, but your compensation can include an award for the cost of all private treatment so your financial security will not be compromised as a result of you requiring such treatment.

Additionally, if you require painkillers and other aids to recovery, the cost of these can be included in your compensation claim.

Future treatment costs

Treatments required in the future that is a direct result of injuries suffered as a result of your employer’s negligence can be costly, but these costs may be included in your claim for compensation so that you do not have to be placed at the bottom of a long NHS waiting list but can instead rely on private care for all of the treatment your require.

Care

If a person sustains injuries that can be attributed to their employer’s negligence, they may need assistance to carry out tasks that they previously had considered as simple. For example, if a person has suffered spinal injuries as a result of a fall from a height, they may struggle to prepare food or bathe without help.

These situations often result in the injured person’s friends and family selflessly offering to give up their time and other commitments such as employment so that they can care for the infirm person in their time of need.

Claiming compensation for injuries that result from an employer’s negligence may include the cost of care so that family and friends can be reimbursed for their kindness.

Loss of earnings

Injuries sustained due to an employer’s negligence can often result in the injured person being unable to work.

This could result in the injured person losing part of their salary, overtime pay and bonuses having missed work. They may even be forced to return to work on a reduced number of hours or quit their employment altogether.

If this applies to you, your loss of earnings can be calculated and be added as part of your compensation claim.

Loss of congenial employment

If it is the case that you were injured and cannot return to your pre-accident employment, especially if you had trained to be part of that profession for many years and at cost, part of your claim can include a claim for compensation for having to relinquish participation in your chosen career and maybe having to retrain to work in alternative employment.

Pension loss

If injuries mean a person cannot return to their pre-accident employment, it can also mean that they are unable to benefit from their pension, whether that is a work pension or a private pension.
Where this is a factor, a claim for compensation can include a claim for the cost of the pension loss suffered by an individual.

Disadvantage on the open labour market

Persistent injuries or a long spell away from employment while recovering after an injury sustained at work can make a person an unattractive prospect for potential employers in the future.
If this is an unfortunate by-product of injuries caused by your employer’s negligence, a claim for compensation related to this disadvantage may be included.

Damage to personal property

An accident at work may cause damage to personal property, such as mobile phones or clothes.
The cost of repairing damage to such items or the cost or replacing them can be included in your claim for compensation.

Travel expenses

Injuries and property damage often require a person to make trips to various places in order to see to these matters.

Expenses for travel to and from the hospital, GP’s practice or a mechanics can be included in your compensation claim.

Will my job be at risk if I make a claim against my employer?

Workplace accidents are common, so employers are required to have employers’ insurance cover in case one of their employees suffers injury.

You should not be discouraged from making a compensation claim for the fear of being dismissed by your employer if you are legally entitled to do so because it is your employer’s insurance company and not your employers that will deal with your claim.

Additionally, there are legal safeguards in place to prevent employers from dismissing their employees for reasons that cannot be justified. If your employer is liable for injuries you have sustained, you have every right to make a claim and this does not give them the right to alter your employment status with them in any way.

Quantum Legal’s No Win No Fee* Service

The Quantum Legal EL Team operate a No Win No Fee* scheme for employers’ liability claims. This means that you will not be liable for our fees if we do not succeed in obtaining compensation on your behalf for personal injury and/or associated financial losses; if we are successful in making a claim on your behalf, we shall look to the negligent party’s insurers for payment of our fees. You will also not need to pay anything up front or even before the conclusion of your claim; payment of our fees is only due once you have received the financial benefit of your claim from the third party in full and final settlement of your claim. Please call us on 08455 191919 if you require more information.

Here at Quantum Legal, we pride ourselves in putting the interests of our clients first in every service we provide.

The knowledge and experience among our EL team mean that they are perfectly placed to deal with your employers’ liability related personal injury and financial losses claim by acting on your behalf to obtain the compensation that you deserve.

Our dedicated team of EL specialists will aim to successfully conclude your claim in the shortest time frame available and our friendly and knowledgeable staff will keep you informed of all key developments along the way.

So if you have been injured and have suffered financial losses in the last 3 years as a result of an incident for which you believe your employer could be liable, call the Quantum Legal EL Team on 08455 191919 to speak to one of our specialists and start your claim today!