UK Accident at Work Law and Regulations
Accident at work law and regulations in the UK
Following road traffic accidents, accidents at work are the biggest cause of injury. If you are injured at work as the result of an accident that was not your fault then you may be entitled to claim compensation for personal injury, loss of earnings and any other associated losses.
Philip H Cuerden Solicitors deal exclusively with accident compensation claims and have a specialist team of Personal Injury Lawyers experienced in dealing with Accidents at Work.
Accidents at work are to be considered both at Common Law and pursuant to Act of Parliament, Regulations or European Directives.
At Common Law, the obligation of an employer to his employee is “to take all reasonable steps to avoid risk to his employees” which has been said to require the employer “to use reasonable skill”, first to provide and maintain proper machinery, plant, appliances and works; secondly to select properly skilled persons to manage and super intend the business, and thirdly to provide a proper system of working.
It has often been said that an employer must provide the four “safes”:
- Safe place of work
- Safe plant and equipment
- Safe fellow employees
- Safe system of work
With regard to Statute, the following require consideration:
- Health and Safety Work Act 1974
- The Employers Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969
- Personal Protective Equipment of Work Regulations 1992
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
- Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
- Work Place ( Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
Health and Safety Work Act 1974:
The above Act provides the following general duties of employers to their employees:
- It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable the Health Safety and Welfare at work, of all his employees to include:
- The Provision and Maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health
- Arrangements for ensuring so far as is reasonably practicable safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances
- The Provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure the health and safety at work of his employees
- The maintenance of any place of work in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and the provision and maintenance of means of entry and exit that are safe and without risk.
- The provision and maintenance of a working environment that is safe and without risks to health and with adequate facilities and arrangements for employee’s welfare at work.
Personal Protective Equipment of Work Regulations 1992 provides:
- Every employer shall ensure that suitable personal protective equipment is provided to his employees who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work.
Provisions and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 provide:
- Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is so constructed or adapted as to be suitable for the purpose for which it is used or provided.
Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 provide each employer shall:
- So far as is reasonably practicable, avoid the need for his employees to undertake any manual handling operations at work which involve a risk of them being injured or
- Where it is not reasonably practicable to avoid a need for his employees to undertake any manual handling operations at work which involve a risk of them being injured:
- Make a suitable and sufficient assessment of all such manual handling operations to be undertaken
- Take appropriate steps to reduce the risk of injury
- Take appropriate steps to provide any of those employees who are under taking a manual handling operation precise information on the weight of each load and the heaviest side of any load whose centre of gravity is not positioned centrally
Work Place (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 provide:
- The workplace and the equipment devices and systems shall be maintained (including cleaned as appropriate) in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.
- Effective and suitable provision shall be made to ensure that every enclosed workplace is ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air.
- During working hours, the temperature in all work places inside buildings shall be reasonable
- Every workplace shall have suitable and sufficient lighting
- Every workplace and the furniture, furnishings, fittings, floors, walls and ceiling shall be kept sufficiently clean and waste materials shall not be allowed to accumulate in a workplace except in suitable receptacles.
- Every room where persons work shall have sufficient floor area, height and unoccupied space for purposes of health, safety and welfare.
- Every floor in a workplace shall be of a construction such that the floor is suitable for the purpose for which it is used and shall have no hole or slope or be uneven or slippery.
- Take suitable and effective measures to prevent any person falling a distance likely to cause personal injury or any person being struck by a falling object likely to cause personal injury.
- Every window should constructed with a safety material and/or protected against breakage.