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I Was Injured In A Tiredness Or Fatigue Accident At Work Can I Claim Compensation?

By Mark Ainsdale. Last Updated 12th August 2021. Welcome to our accident at work caused by tiredness guide. Tiredness or fatigue at work can lead to serious injury. If you are hurt because of a heavy workload or long hours working on night shifts, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation for the pain and suffering you endured through no fault of your own.

Tiredness in the workplace is now taken very seriously because of fatigue. Workplace statistics show that many injuries are caused when you are not functioning at your best. You may have to work long hours without enough breaks, or it could be that you work night shifts which means your sleep pattern is negatively impacted, leaving you tired and drained.

When you are tired, you are more at risk of having an accident at work because your concentration is affected, and the more tired you are, the more risk there is of you being injured at work.

If you have suffered a fatigue-related accident in the last 3 years and would like to know if you can file a personal injury claim against an employer or a third party who may be responsible for your injuries, please click on the Select A Section below. This can help you claim after an accident at work caused by tiredness.

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A Guide To Fatigue And Tiredness In The Workplace

Fatigue at work

Tiredness or fatigue accident at work

Before we explain how to claim, let’s look at fatigue and tiredness in great detail. Health and Safety Executive statistics show that a high percentage of workplace accidents are caused by tiredness and fatigue.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is now recognised as a medical condition and must be taken seriously by employers and employees. There are specific industries where employees are more at risk of suffering a fatigue-related accident, whether a slight cut, a general accident injury or a more severe head injury.

All employers, by law, must ensure their staff are protected from injury and, more especially, those in high-risk industries where a tiredness or fatigue accident at work is more commonplace.

Other notes

There are over 3.5 million shift workers throughout the country working across a variety of industries. Working long hours in healthcare, transport, the oil and gas industry puts a shift worker at risk of fatigue and ill health. Fatigue is not just feeling a little “tired”. It is a serious condition that must be considered a “hazard” in the workplace. As such, employers must risk assessing the possibility that employees may suffer from fatigue.

If you work long hours, take on a lot of overtime, work nights, or your employer has not set in place well-planned rotas, it could affect your working performance more than you may first realise. Fatigue affects your mental capacity regarding judgment, too, which could lead to a fatigue-related accident in the workplace.

If you suffered a fatigue-related accident at work and need to know how a personal injury lawyer can help you understand the process of filing a personal injury claim, at Legal Expert, we have years of experience working on successful fatigue compensation claims for clients in the past. Please continue reading to find out more about claiming after an accident at work due to tiredness.

What Is Fatigue Or Tiredness In The Workplace

The estimation is that accidents from stress and fatigue in the workplace cost the UK anything from £115 to £240 million a year, with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) calculating that around 20% of road traffic accidents involve travel related to work.

There are over 3.5 million shift workers in the UK working across many industries. Accidents that occur due to fatigue are typically a result of poor shift rotas and shifts that are too long. Studies strongly suggest that a person’s mental and physical performance deteriorate when they work long hours without sufficient rest time. In short, the effects of fatigue in the workplace can result in a lack of concentration, slower reactions and less awareness, which can lead to serious accidents caused by tiredness. Other examples associated with tiredness/fatigue include the following:

  • A lack of attention
  • Absent-mindedness
  • A reduced coordination
  • Not being able to assess risks correctly
  • Reduced productivity

Further details

Your mental and physical performance can also be negatively impacted when your internal clock is disrupted during working shifts. However, fatigue is also closely associated with workloads, especially if their daily tasks are monotonous, complicated, or machine-paced.

There are plenty of examples of a high-profile accident at work caused by tiredness. Some of the most significant accidents which were reportedly caused as a result of tiredness/fatigue include the following major incidents:

  • Chernobyl
  • Texas City
  • Challenger
  • Exxon Valdez
  • Herald of Free Enterprise

To find out how a personal injury solicitor can assess whether you have a strong case to claim compensation, whether it’s against an employer or third party, please contact us today. We will walk you through the process of filing a claim for a tiredness or fatigue accident at work.

Which Industries Are More Susceptible To Accidents Caused By Tiredness?

There are several industries where tiredness and fatigue are contributing factors to accidents in the workplace. And if you know how to claim, you could base your claim on any of these sectors. These industries are below:

  • Emergency services
  • Transport – this includes truck drivers and company drivers
  • Healthcare
  • Oil industry
  • Gas industry
  • Chemical industry
  • Manufacturing
  • Utilities
  • Retail
  • Entertainment

All too often, chronic fatigue syndrome can occur when a person has to work badly organised shift rotas and when shifts are longer than they should be. If you have to work long hours without enough rest time or the chance to take as many breaks as you should, fatigue soon sets in, which puts you are risk of being injured in a work accident. Jobs that entail monotonous routines that are machine-paced or where long hours with heavy workloads are the norm put people at risk of suffering stress and fatigue in the workplace.

We can assess your claim before offering valuable legal advice on a No Win No Fee basis taking all the financial pressure off the table to get your claim started.

What Risk Factors Could Lead To A Tiredness Or Fatigue Accident At Work?

Certain risk factors can lead to accidents caused by tiredness in the workplace. As such, tiredness and fatigue must be carefully and correctly managed like any other work-related hazard. Other key fatigue-related risk factors that must be taken into account in a workplace include the following:

  • Higher fatigue-related accidents occur during night shifts, especially when you have to work longer hours without the necessary breaks and at the end of a rota.
  • Under UK law, employers have a duty to manage all risks associated with tiredness and fatigue, even when you request to work overtime or extra hours. The same can be said if you ask for a preferred shift due to social reasons. It is worth noting that even if an employer adheres to the Working Time Regulations as set out by UK legislation, it is not enough to manage any risks due to fatigue.
  • An employer should risk assessing any changes to your working hours, and the key considerations they must take into account must adhere to HSE principles, and this includes using the Executive’s “fatigue risk index.”

Other risk factors

  • An employer must also discuss working hours and shift rotas with employees and assess whether an employee’s preference may cause them to suffer fatigue during a shift.
  • Employers must also set a policy where limits on working hours are set, including any overtime and swapping of shifts. This adds needed safeguards against fatigue. Employers must also keep a close eye on a policy to ensure it is respected and enforce it when necessary.
  • If overtime is requested constantly and employees swap shifts too often, it may be a clear indication that staffing levels need to be looked at and that not enough resources are available
  • Shift schedules must be carefully planned, including a person’s workload, the type of work they undertake, the length of a shift, the number of breaks during a shift and the amount of rest time between shifts.
  • Employers must accept that “sleep disturbances” may result in fatigue and “sleep debt” and that anyone working night shifts is more at risk.

These are just some of the risks that could result in an accident at work caused by tiredness.

Which Fatigue Could cause injuries At Work?

Tiredness or fatigue accident at work

Accident at work statistics

Injuries commonly associated with a tiredness or fatigue accident at work can be slight to very severe. You may suffer a slight cut or a much more severe laceration. Burns and scalds are commonplace in fatigue-related injuries in the workplace, thanks to not assessing risks properly. Other common injuries due to fatigue at work include the following:

  • Serious head injuries
  • Severe back injuries
  • Depression
  • Long-term sleep issues

Stress Leading To Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Although chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is not well understood, studies show that it’s typically characterised by extreme tiredness and fatigue. In short, it is a debilitating disorder that can be hard to shake even when you rest up for long periods of time. The condition is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and is a “systemic exertion intolerance disease”. A tiredness or fatigue accident at work could be when you suffer from this disorder.

However, research suggests that stress can play a role that includes anxiety due to work overload, long shifts and, in particular, working night shifts, which disturb your normal sleep pattern. CFS is a medical disorder most common in women between the ages of 40 and 50 years old.

What Duty Of Care Does An Employer Have To Prevent Fatigue Or Over Tiredness?

Under UK law, employers must protect all employees, whether permanent staff or temporary. Fatigue and tiredness must be manageable like any other identifiable hazard in the workplace. Failure on the part of an employer to ensure staff remain safe could mean they show negligence in their duty towards them.

UK legislation, namely The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, clearly states that employers must protect staff from injury, including preventing and managing fatigue in the workplace. In short, managing fatigue in the workplace is an employer’s duty of care.

Under UK law, employers must protect all employees, whether permanent staff or temporary. Fatigue and tiredness must be manageable like any other identifiable hazard in the workplace and failure on an employer to ensure staff remain safe. Failure to do so could mean an employer showing negligence in their duty, thus causing a tiredness or fatigue accident at work.

Under UK legislation, namely The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers must protect staff from injury, including preventing and managing fatigue in the workplace. In short, managing fatigue in the workplace is an employer’s duty of care.

Other points

Employers in high-risk industries have a particular duty of care to protect their employees in the workplace and must continually carry out risk assessments when it comes to fatigue. This means checking the following:

  • Working hours
  • Heavy workloads
  • Nature of the work

With shift work, employers must factor in every aspect of your job which could put you at risk, and this includes the following:

  • Shift rotas/timing
  • The number of breaks taken during a shift
  • And the length of shifts influencing long working hours

Further notes

Employers must consider how much overtime you can do and how much shift-swapping is done. If both appear too high, then employers must consider improving staffing levels as well as allocation. With this said, employees too must respect the Working Time Regulations 1998, which are detailed below:

  • Employees must not work over 48-hours a week (including an opt-out)
  • Staff must not work more than 6-hours without taking a 15, 30 or 45-minute break – this depends on the hours they work
  • Adult staff can have 11-hours off time in between their working hours/shifts
  • Staff can have 1 day off a week (7 days) and no less
  • People who work at night should not work more than 8-hours a day (24 hours)

The regulations for drivers are different, and they are below:

  • Drivers have a limit of 9 “driving” hours a day
  • They can work up to 56-hours a week
  • And drivers must take a 45-minute break having completed 4.5 hours driving (this can divide into 2 rest periods)

Speak to our advisors if you have any questions about claiming after an accident at work due to tiredness.

Eligibility For Making A Workplace Fatigue Claim

Anyone who suffers an injury due to a tiredness or fatigue accident at work in the last 3 years due to a mistake of a third party or through the negligence of an employer, whether the injury was slight or more severe, could be entitled to file for compensation for the pain and suffering endured through no fault of their own. If you feel this is the case for you, a personal injury lawyer can establish whether this is so.

To speak to a personal injury solicitor, call us today to explain what fatigue and safety in the workplace entails. We can advise you whether you have a strong case to file a personal injury claim against a third party or employer. We offer a no-obligation, free, initial consultation, which allows us to establish who could be liable for your pain and suffering.

What Can The Symptoms Of Tiredness Or Fatigue At Work Include?

If you routinely have a heavy workload or work long hours at night, you may be more at risk of suffering extreme tiredness and fatigue, which puts you in danger of being hurt in the workplace. Common symptoms relating to “burn-out”, tiredness and fatigue are as follows:

  • Chronic stress
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Detachment
  • Cynicism
  • A feeling of ineffectiveness
  • Feelings of not achieving anything

Fatigue and extreme tiredness in the workplace often relate to stress and prevent you from effectively carrying out your day-to-day tasks in the workplace. More importantly, it puts you at a much greater risk of suffering an accident in the workplace. Hence, if they survive, the victim could claim for their accident at work due to tiredness.

What Can My Tiredness Or Fatigue Claim Include?

If you’re in a tiredness or fatigue accident at work and need to know more about how to make a claim, the list below provides information on the sort of out of pocket expenses that you could include in tiredness at work claim:

  • General damages
  • Travel expenses
  • Medical costs
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of anticipated income
  • Care claim

Calculating Settlements In Claims For Tiredness

Compensation for tiredness or fatigue accident at work claims can vary from case to case because the circumstances surrounding an incident play an important part in establishing liability. The nature of an injury/illness would be taken into account. The personal injury claims calculator below offers ballpark amounts that were awarded to people who filed tiredness compensation claims in the past, and the amounts are based on the Judicial College compensation guidelines:

Head InjuryMinor£1,650 - £10,450Cuts, bruises and soft tissue damage that heal quickly.
Head InjuryModerate£13,750 - £220,000Medium-term injuries which cause discomfort, and potentially restrict lifestyle
Head InjurySevere£203,500 - £291,500Long-term serious injuries that take time to fully recover, if at all
Head InjuryVery Severe£203,500 - £302,500Awarded when 24 / 7 care is needed
Brain DamageMinor£11,000 - £31,075Poor focus and/or lowered memory function
Brain Damage Moderate£31,075 - £159,000 Severe impact on psychological capability
Brain DamageSevere£159,000 - £1+ MillionSerious disablement
Back injuriesSlight to very severeA few hundred pounds to £141,150Less severe injuries where recovery is achieved within 3 months to extremely severe injuries that result in damage to the spine

Arm injuriesSlight to very severe£5,280 to £104,370minor
fractures between elbow and wrist to very severe permanent injuries
Spinal injuriesSevere - debilitating£258,740 to £322,060Injuries involving paralysis tetraplegia
Chronic painmoderate to very severe£24, 580 to £73,670Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
Chronic painmoderate to very severe£18,480 to £55,240Other pain disorders
Injuries that result in death (full awareness)£10,000 to £18,890
Loss of benefits£5,500 to £550,000Awarded when a person is unable to work which results in a loss of income for the time it takes for them to recover
Projected loss of earnings£11,000 to £440,000Amount awarded depending on how an injury negatively impacts a person's ability to work

No Win No Fee Tiredness At Work Claims

Working with a Legal Expert personal injury lawyer on a No Win No Fee basis means not having to pay any money to get your case started. Ongoing legal fees can be expensive, which prevents people from filing a personal injury claim. Agreeing to work with us with a Conditional Fee Agreement removes the pressure of having upfront and ongoing fees.

You only pay once your case is successful, whether a court rules in your favour or the defendant’s insurers offer to settle your personal injury claim out of court, which is often the case. You don’t have to pay anything if your case is unsuccessful because of working with a CFA in place. So, we take on all the risks for your claim for an accident at work caused by tiredness, not you.

We Are Personal Injury Claims Specialists

We work with personal injury solicitors with years of experience in filing successful tiredness or fatigue accident at work claims for clients in the past. Working with a personal injury lawyer on a No Win No Fee basis allows you to concentrate on making a full recovery without the stress of finding the funds to begin your case. With our Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) in place, we can start acting on your behalf by contacting the defendant’s insurers to inform them about your impending claim.

Our initial, free, no-obligation consultation allows you to ask any questions about your case while at the same time allowing us to establish whether a third party is responsible for your tiredness or fatigue accident at work claim.

Contact us

You can contact us through our claims lines which are open 24/7, 365 days a year. So, it’s our mission to get you the level of chronic fatigue syndrome compensation you deserve. Our team of personal injury lawyers have years of experience in handling tiredness or fatigue accident at work claims. Furthermore, Legal Expert is nationally recognised with regulation by the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

How To Get In Touch

By filling out the “callback” form, we will get back to you asap. A personal injury solicitor will answer any questions you may have about a personal injury claims time limit.

For more direct response, you can call us free of charge on 0800 073 8804, or you can email us at info@legalexpert.co.uk, and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you within 3 hours (Mon-Fri) to answer questions on an injury caused by tiredness and/or fatigue claims.

Useful Links

The following link offers valuable advice on how to make a personal injury at work claim:

Guide to accident at work claims

The following link provides essential information on working with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis:

Guide to No Win No Fee claims

The following link takes you to the Health and Safety website, which provides information about accidents in the workplace statistics:

Health and Safety at work statistics

The following link takes you to the NHS website, where you will find essential information on chronic fatigue syndrome:

NHS – Chronic fatigue syndrome

Accident At Work Caused By Tiredness FAQs

Can I claim compensation for an accident at work?

Yes, so long as there is enough strong evidence to support your claim.

How long does an accident at work claim take to settle?

This generally takes between 6-12 months to reach an out-of-court conclusion.

How does fatigue affect worker safety?

If workers tire and react slower, they may not notice hazards or make more mistakes. Therefore, worker safety potentially decreases due to fatigue.

What may be the result of a worker having fatigue?

This could mean slow reactions, minor memory loss, less awareness and a higher risk of causing accidents.

What happens if an organisation don’t report an accident at work?

In this scenario, the company could receive a large fine from RIDDOR.

Is there a time limit for reporting an accident at work for a claim?

Yes, you should do this within 3 years of the accident.

How long does it take to receive an offer of compensation?

You should receive your settlement within 14 or 28 days.

What are the 3 types of fatigue?

These are transient, circadian and cumulative fatigue.

Thank you for reading our accident at work caused by tiredness guide.

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