Freeclaim Solicitors take a look at workplace injury prosecution

Compared to the average worker, workers in the construction industry are four times more likely to be killed at work - according to latest figures from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE)


United Kingdom – WEBWIRE – Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sadly, it’s often only after the death or major injury of an employee that firms take action to improve safety but hopefully, by bringing these cases to court, we’ll raise awareness of the issues and help prevent future incidents.

Compared to the average worker, workers in the construction industry are four times more likely to be killed at work - according to latest figures from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), with workplace falls and dangerous machinery topping the list of most common reasons for companies being prosecuted due to health and safety breaches.

With workplace injuries predicted to increase due to the Health and Safety Executive funding cuts, experts are saying that injuries sustained due to lack of appropriate health and safety measures or ‘corner cutting’ will soon be frighteningly high.

Baroness Donaghy, ex labour adviser stated that “I do believe that if the recession is ending, the number of accidents will increase. Is it a ticking timebomb? Possibly right, yes. There is a real danger, without a well-resourced HSE, that corners will be cut.”

Workplace falls and dangerous machines have ranked as the two most common reasons for companies and employers in the North West being taken to court due to health and safety breaches. With 65 cases being brought successfully to the court by the Health and Safety Executive in the last year (April 2013 – 2014), 14 of those have involved working at height and 12 have involved unsafe machinery.

One such case involved three workers being injured due to a floor collapsing in a Trafford mansion.
Belmont Homes of Cheshire Ltd and Waymac Ltd of Sale were successfully prosecuted by the HSE after it was found that badly planned work had put the lives of multiple workers in danger.

The four-storey, six bedroom mansion valued at £2 million on South Downs road in Bowdon, was under construction when the floor collapsed due to concrete beams being moved. Three men fell with the floor, with the concrete beams subsequently falling on top of them.

Two workers escaped with minor injuries, but one, a 47 year old from Wythenshawe suffered a crushed arm which resulted in the loss of use in his left hand and limited use of his left arm, as well as multiple broken bones.

A HSE investigation found that neither company had assessed the potential risk of collapse during modification work. This resulted in both building firms paying a total of £72,000 to the victims.

In the North West alone, 23 people on average are killed while at work every year, with an estimated 181 deaths across Great Britain. Falls from height accounted for almost a third of workplace fatalities to workers in 2012/13.

Unsafe machinery cases have also risen, with one such case involving a recycling plant in Kelbrook. The company in question was fined £46,000 after a worker nearly lost his arm after it became trapped in machinery.

Steven Smith, HSE’s Head of Operations in the North West, said: "Sadly, it’s often only after the death or major injury of an employee that firms take action to improve safety but hopefully, by bringing these cases to court, we’ll raise awareness of the issues and help prevent future incidents.”

Freeclaim Solicitors specialise in workplace injury claims, and can help you get the compensation you deserve, should you be injured due to your employer’s negligence. With over 25 years’ experience and a proven track record in workplace injury claims, Freeclaim are the best choice to handle your case.

Offering free no obligation advice and a no win no fee basis, you have nothing to lose by contacting their workplace accident lawyers. Visit www.freeclaim.co.uk or ring the 24 hour helpline on 0800 612 4472 today.


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