Agency News, London:
As the UK’s workforce returns to the workplace following the relaxing of government restrictions and the phasing out of furlough payments by September, but despite this good news, businesses are bracing for the inevitable rise in accidents at work.
For furloughed employees or those who have been working from home for many months, returning to the office and the need to refamiliarise themselves with the workplace and its equipment could lead to increased risk of injuries and accidents.
According to the latest data from the Health & Safety Executive, in 2019/2020 almost 39 million working days have been lost due to work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries, with 693,000 workers sustaining a non-fatal injury, costing an estimated £5.6bn in loss of output, healthcare costs and other payments.
But it is the human cost to individuals injured at work that often goes unreported.
Pryers Solicitors support employees in claiming compensation for injuries sustained at work.
One case left former armed forces serviceman Neil with a lifelong back injury and mental health problems, after an 18-foot fall through an attic floor on his first day at work for a roofer. As Neil was working as a casual labourer with no formal contract, both the roofer and the property development company paying his wages, denied liability.
“No-one was willing to take responsibility for his safety whilst working on site”, explained Charlotte Waller, an experienced personal injury solicitor at Pryers. After gathering evidence on the extent of his injuries, she was able to negotiate a settlement of £32,500 to compensate Neil for his injuries and financial losses.
You can read Neil’s story here:
In another case, PhD student Tom worked part-time for a well-known high street sports and leisure retailer to help fund his studies. One day he was asked to erect some tents on a display area on a raised wooden platform at the front of the store. There was no protective guard, and the task had not been risk assessed.
Tom fell, fracturing his ankle and sustaining tendon damage, which left him unable to carry out physical activity. Having had his foot set in plaster twice, the ankle failed to heal. Tom had an operation to have wires inserted into his foot, but unfortunately the operation was unsuccessful. Tom underwent two further operations over 18 months to correct the problem and alleviate his pain. His studies suffered as a result.
The retailer quickly conceded fault, and Waller was able to negotiate a settlement of £21,500 including compensation for loss of income and future expenses. “Personal injury claims are all about achieving a swift resolution for our clients and helping them get the compensation they deserve,” she explained. “I worked with Tom to ensure we found the right balance with this settlement.”