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Thousands of UK workers are employed in factories and warehouses. Factories in particular, by their nature, are usually noisy and hectic. In this environment, accidents inevitably happen. Factories can be dangerous places to work in and accidents can result in very serious injury.
“The owner of a factory or a warehouse owes a duty of care to each of his employees to avoid exposing them to a risk of injury.”
The employer must therefore:
- Provide appropriate training
- Provide safe tools and equipment
- Provide and maintain safe machinery
- Provide a safe system of work
- Provide appropriate supervision
- Provide and maintain a safe place of work
In addition, the employer must comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and all regulations made under it including the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
These Regulations affect all areas of the work premises where workers may go and are highly relevant so far as accidents in the factory and in the warehouse are concerned. Duties are imposed not only on the owner of the factory but also on anybody who has control within the premises. For example, lighting must be adequate; glass in doors and windows must be correctly fitted; and gates and lifts must be safe.
In addition, the Regulations provide a duty on the factory owner to maintain appropriate cleaning arrangements and that the workplace is kept clean and tidy. All floors and corridors should be safe and free from tripping hazards. All equipment and systems to which the Regulations apply are maintained in “an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair”. A number of different types of Regulations exist. No two accidents are the same and we will advise you on the appropriate way forward.
Common types of accidents that occur in factories and in warehouses involve forklift trucks and such accidents generally occur due to lack of adequate training. In some instances, the driver suffers an injury but it is common for other employees to suffer significant crush injuries.
Another common type of accident involves moving machinery. If, for example, the machine does not have the correct guard fitted or is defective, or if employees have received inadequate or no training at all, accidents can happen. Accidents frequently happen when employees are expected to clear a blockage on the machine when it is still in operation or when the necessary safety equipment is not properly fitted leading commonly to injuries to the hands and fingers.
Your employer is legally obliged to take out insurance cover known as Employers Liability Insurance to cover themselves in the event of an accident. Therefore, it is the insurers who would pay the compensation and not your employer. Your employer is not allowed to discriminate against you simply because you are making a claim. Obviously, we cannot guarantee how your employer will react although in our experience, it is very rare indeed for the employer to be difficult. In fact, most employers are anxious to assist the injured employee to recover and aid a speedy return back to work.
Legal aid is not available for these types of claims and we therefore offer assistance under a No Win No Fee Agreement. For free legal advice, contact our specialist Personal Injury team on 023 92 483322 (Havant) or on 023 80 631111 (Southampton). Alternatively, complete the response e-mail slip.