29 October 2015
One in Three Brits Injured at Work
Nearly a third of Brits have been injured in a work place accident, new research has revealed.
Despite an increasing focus on health and safety in recent years, nearly one in ten employees say they have suffered a serious injury at work including broken bones, concussions, burns and amputations.
Of those injured, 30 per cent of workers said they were blamed for the accident by their boss while nearly one in ten were warned their job would be at risk if they if they continued to highlight safety concerns.
The survey of 3,000 employees, commissioned by law firm Slater and Gordon also found nearly three-quarters of those injured at work were forced to take time off with one in four per cent absent for more than a week.
While nearly 60 per cent of those injured needed hospital treatment, half of those needed regular physiotherapy while one per cent were unable to go back to their job.
Matthew Tomlinson, lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: “Everybody deserves to work in a safe and secure environment in which they do not run the risk of being injured or harmed because of a hazard going unreported or unrepaired.
“An employer has a responsibility to make sure staff are working in a safe environment and if this basic standard is not met an employee has every right to insist on improvements without fear of losing their job.
“It is important that employees know their rights in the work place and seek legal advice when appropriate to ensure no employer can consistently ignore their safety responsibilities to their staff.”
The most common injury people suffered at work was a sprained ankle, followed by deep cuts, concussion and a scold or burn. Other injuries listed included broken legs, fractured arms, hernias, broken necks and even amputations.
After suffering an injury, one in four said they still didn’t think their work place met the required safety standard and more than 40 per cent claim they were forced to accept workplace hazards.
However despite the dangers it seems many work places remain unconcerned with their employees’ wellbeing with nearly a third saying their bosses failed to carry out safety improvements after the accident and one in five claiming they had been asked to do something which they felt it was unsafe.
Under Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulation 2013 (RIDDOR) employers are required to report all work-related deaths, serious injuries and cases when a staff member is admitted to hospital for more than 24 hours.
They must also record all incidents which forces an employee to be absent from work for more than three consecutive days.
However the research revealed one in 20 injured employees say there was no system in place to record their accident despite health and safety laws requiring employers to report serious injuries.
And despite the illegal practices of some employees, more than 80 per cent of people injured at work failed to seek legal advice with 30 per cent afraid they would lose their job.
Matthew Tomlinson said: “These findings are extremely alarming and highlight that thousands of bosses across the country are ignoring health and safety law by not reporting serious injuries in the work place.
“While you are at work, your employer has a legal responsibility to record and report serious incidents.
“An accident book is mainly for the benefit of employees, as it provides a useful record of what happened in case you need time off work or need to claim compensation later on, but recording accidents also help your employer see what's going wrong and take action to stop accidents in future.”
Top ten most common work place injuries:
2) Deep cuts
4) Back injuries
5) Broken bones
10) Fractured bones
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