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Health And Safety Breach Accident Injury Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

By Daniel Archer. Last updated 30th May 2022. Welcome to our guide on health and safety breach claims. Have you been injured or become ill due to a breach of health and safety? A health and safety breach accident can happen in the workplace, whilst travelling, in the shops, or in fact anywhere where you could be injured as a result of someone either being negligent or choosing not to follow the correct health and safety procedures. The consequences of these accidents can be injury or illness, ranging from mild to long-term, severe, or even death or a fatal injury.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive showed that in the year 2020/21 there were a total of around 441,000 working people injured at work according to self-reports made by employees to the Labour Force Survey. A high percentage of these health & safety at work claims will have been caused by poor working practices or insufficient working conditions.

health and safety accident breach claims

Health and safety accident breach claims guide

Whether an employer or someone who is responsible for running a place in which members of the public will enter (such as a shopping mall or leisure centre), they are legally required to ensure that the correct health and safety procedures have been followed and that both customers and employees are kept safe. This legal requirement is sometimes referred to as a ‘duty-of-care’ in personal injury claims cases. Under legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, if an employer is found to have been negligent, you could make a health and safety negligence case for compensation against them.

Read the rest of our guide below to find out more about making a successful health and safety breach accident claim. Then, when you are ready, contact Legal Expert today by calling our team on 0800 073 8804 to speak to our team. Or fill out our online contact form and an advisor will get back to you.

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A Guide To Health And Safety Breach Accident Claims

If you have been injured in an accident that was the result of a breach in health and safety procedures that happened in the last three years (or which was diagnosed within the last three years) you could be eligible to make a health and safety breach accident compensation claim with one of the personal injury lawyers we can provide.

All employers owe their employees a duty of care to make sure that they are kept safe in the workplace. This duty of care extends beyond members of staff to those indirectly employed, such as people carrying out work for the company/ employer or anyone carrying out work requested by the employer. Even those who are agency workers, the self-employed, or sub-contractors can also make a health and safety claim against their employer for health and safety breaches at work. As well as the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, other regulations such as the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 put further obligations on the worker. As well as these regulations, there are further directives which cover specific industries and workplaces such as working at height or for those working in construction.

What Is A Breach Of Health And Safety Procedures?

What is a breach in health and safety procedures and how much can I claim for a health and safety breach are two common questions we hear in connection to potential health and safety breach claims. Breaches in health and safety arise any time when employers (or others) have not correctly followed the health and safety procedures that they should have. These arise when:

  • A health and safety policy is altered, but not communicated to employees.
  • Adequate health and safety training has not been given to employees, or where updates are not communicated.
  • Health and safety equipment, such as PPE equipment, is not provided to workers when the employer was required to.

Health and safety breaches examples might include exposing people to excess noise, exposure to hazardous chemicals or dangerous and risky situations.

What Is The Health And Safety at Work etc. Act 1974?

In the UK, there is a wide array of different pieces of legislation in place to help guide companies through the process of ensuring their workplace is as safe for employees as it can be. Legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 works in conjunction with bodies like the Health and Safety Executive to give businesses practice advice on what steps they can take, as well as helping to enforce regulations.

The 1974 Act formed the basis of health and safety law in Britain and required all employers to carry out all necessary risk assessments, to implement any reasonable measures to prevent accident or injury, to give clear and actionable training and to have emergency process and procedures in place.

Further legislation, such as the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 help to give guidance in the application of this. With broad and substantial legal frameworks in place, as well as applicable guidance from bodies such as the HSE, health and safety breach accidents should not happen. In the event of a breach of health and safety regulations by an employer, you could be entitled to sue your employer for health and safety breaches.

Can I Sue My Employer For A Health And Safety Breach?

The simple answer to this is yes, you may be eligible to do so. To best answer this, our team will need to talk to you on an individual basis and assess the circumstances leading up to your accident and its consequences on your health. Health and safety breach accident claims include a wide variety of different injuries and illnesses. They could be caused by a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 or other legislation.

According to the HSE statistics, the most common cause of injuries in the workplace in 2020/21 were slips, trips and falls and manual handling accidents. However, not all of these were related to breaches in health and safety guidelines.

Breaches in health and safety procedures can be minor, or they can be very serious. Not wearing the right gloves may result in a mild injury but incorrectly erecting a scaffold could lead to fatal accidents. There are so many situations which could result from not doing things in the right or safest way that without discussing your case with you, it is difficult to make a full assessment.

To find out if you have a valid claim following an incident of workplace safety negligence or health and safety negligence at work, contact us today.

What Is A Breach Of Health And Safety Regulations By An Employer?

According to legislation, all employees and workers are owed a duty of care by their employer. This means that they must take any steps which are necessary and reasonable to make sure that the overall health, including the wellbeing and safety of all workers, are protected. However, this should not just be a legal duty; as a business, it can be a key part of creating a relationship of trust between employer and employee.

If you have become sick or injured whilst at work, you will need to clearly demonstrate that there was a breach in your employer’s duty of care that resulted in you sustaining harm. You will also need to show that this was the direct cause of your injury. Regardless of whether the breach of health and safety regulations was by an employer or employee. You may well also be able to make a claim as employees also owe each other a duty of care to ensure that they are kept safe. Under these circumstances, you could make a health and safety breach accident claim for health and safety negligence at work.

Call our team to find out more about making a claim following a breach of health and safety.

Claims For Health And Safety Breaches In A Public Place

The penalties for non-compliance with health and safety legislation can be very high when people are injured in a public place. In a similar way to how employers owe their employees a duty of care, people in control of a public space, including shops, leisure centres, and other spaces owe their customers and any other people on their property a duty of care.

Under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957, they are responsible for keeping them safe and mitigating any hazards that they may face. The operator of the public place (whom so ever is liable for it) must control any risks that could arise which would adversely affect people’s health and safety. This applies whenever spaces are provided for use by the general public.

Health And Safety Breach Claims For Self Employed And Contractors

Contractor, temporary, and self-employed workers often think that these types of claims don’t usually apply to them. However, under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, people can still make a claim, even if they are not a contracted member of staff. People often think they are not eligible to make a claim and that they would not have anyone to make a claim against.

However, this is not the case. Whilst it is true that those who are self-employed or even some contractor or agency workers may be responsible for keeping themselves safe, there are circumstances in which they can still make a compensation claim for a health and safety breach accident if it was caused by negligence on the part of someone else.

Common Injuries And Health And Safety Breaches Examples

The Health and Safety Executive records and tracks the different injuries and illnesses that are reported by employers under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences 2013.

It’s difficult to say whether the injuries sustained by employees arise from breaches in health and safety in the workplace. However, the reports provide an insight into the injuries often sustained in different types of workplace accidents.

Some of the most frequent of these might include:

As well as conditions which can arise immediately, longer-term health and safety breaches examples conditions include diseases related to asbestos, hearing damage, cancers, and injuries related to vibration.

Certain workplaces and industries report higher numbers of different forms of these cases. Construction workers might be more prevalent to suffering musculoskeletal issues, whilst those in certain industries might experience greater chances of skin conditions from exposure to hazardous materials. Those working with dust and fumes may also be more likely to suffer problems with their respiratory system.

What Are Some Examples Of Health And Safety Breaches?

A breach of health and safety can take place in a variety of ways, in many different scenarios. In many environments, there will be people responsible for taking all reasonably practicable steps to make sure the risk of injury is reduced or removed.

Below, we’ve given some examples of a health and safety breach. However, this is not a complete list. There are other ways in which health and safety standards may not be upheld.

  • Inadequate training – An employer may not have supplied an employee with a sufficient level of training. For example, the employee may need to use specialist equipment to perform their role. If they are injured due to being unable to use the equipment safely due to insufficient training, this could be a breach of health and safety.
  • Slips, trips and falls – For example, there could be spilled liquid on a shop floor. If it is not cleaned up in due time, or sign-posted correctly, then a customer or employee could lose their balance and fall, injuring themselves.
  • Hazardous chemicals – These may not be stored properly, leading to improper or unsafe use.

Get in touch for more examples and information. If you’ve been injured due to a breach of duty of care, compensation could be owed to you. Call our advisors today to find out.

What Can You Include In Your Health And Safety Breach Accident Claim?

General and special damages may make up your compensation settlement following a successful personal injury claim. The amount you receive will vary depending on the specific circumstances of your claim. However, you could use our personal injury claims compensation calculator to get an estimate of what your claim is worth.

The section below will look at how much you could be awarded for specific physical or psychological injuries under general damages.

As well as general damages which cover the pain and suffering your accident caused you, you can also claim for any medical bills. If you have had to buy medication or have private treatment outside the NHS, or simply have had to pay any form of medical costs (or are expected to in the future) you can claim these costs.

You can also claim the cost of travelling to and from any appointments associated with your accident or injury. This could be travelling to a specialist or general medical appointments which are part of your treatment.

If you have experienced a loss of earnings, or benefits, as a result of your health and safety breach accident, you can include the costs of these as part of your compensation claim. As with the categories above, you will need to provide evidence of these losses, and that they were caused by the accident and resulting injury or illness.

You can also claim the cost of current or future care. This might include help around the home or other forms of care.

These additional expenses may be claimed under special damages provided you have evidence to support any financial losses, such as receipts or payslips.

How Much Can You Claim For The Consequences Of A Health And Safety Breach?

In the table below we look at some of the most common forms of injury or illness (or other forms of compensation) which you might suffer after an accident caused by a breach in health and safety, as well as how much you could be awarded for them.

The figures are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines, a publication often used to help value claims alongside medical evidence.

Injury typeSeveritySettlement bandNotes
Injury to the backSevere£38,780 to £160,980May include a broken back or similar permanent injuries.
Injury to the backModerate£12,510 to £38,780More serious than the category above.
Injury to the backMinorUp to £12,510Similar to minor injury types to other body parts.
Injury to the ankleVery severe£50,060 to £69,700Long-term damage and injuries causing loss of function.
Injury to the ankleSevere£31,310 to £50,060Medium-term damage which will be recovered from.
Injury to the ankleModestUp to £13,740Milder or more minor damage to the soft tissues
Injury to the kneeSevere£69,730 to £96,210Much more serious than the above cateogry. Recovery will need to be over the longer-term.
Injury to the ankleModerate£14,840 to £26,190Including less serious fractures and breakes. Recovery will be full.
Injury to the kneeModerateUp to £26,190The claimant may have experienced some loss of ability to use the knee.

Call our team for more information on how compensation is calculated following an injury sustained after health and safety negligence at work or elsewhere.

Breach Of Health And Safety Case Study

The consequences of a breach of health and safety regulations by your employer if they fail to observe different legislation can be extremely serious, even fatal. In this study of a case (carried out by another solicitors firm), we see how serious these can be.

The accident and injuries

This example of health and safety breaches happened at the branch of Hugo Boss (a fashion designer and retailer) in the Bicester Outlet Shopping Village in 2013. The victim was a child who was fatally injured when hit by a large mirror in a changing room. The mirror weighed eighteen stone and fell onto the child. Whilst the child was rushed to the hospital, his head injuries proved fatal, and he died four days after the accident.

The case and settlement

The case proceeded to the magistrates and ultimately, the crown court. The company was fined £1.2 million. This was not a compensation settlement for the family but does illustrate how serious the consequences of a health and safety breach accident can be.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-34153922#:~:text=Designer%20clothing%20company%20Hugo%20Boss,outlet%20store%20in%20June%202013.

No Win No Fee Health And Safety Breach Accident Claims

Once you have decided that you are going to pursue a compensation claim for your health and safety breach accident, there are two things you may need to think about. These are, which personal injury claims service or solicitor you will hire, and how you will fund legal representation if this is something you want to do. For many people, figuring out the finances at what can already be a stressful time can be the hardest part. This is where making a No Win No Fee health and safety breach accident claim can help.

No Win No Fee means that you can hire a solicitor to represent your claim for the consequences of a health and safety breach accident without having to pay any costs upfront or while your claim is ongoing. With a No Win No Fee claim, you only pay a success fee to your solicitor when your claim is successful. Being able to make a claim using No Win No Fee means that your personal injury solicitor will assume all the risk in working with you on your claim. When you do come to pay for your solicitor’s services, you will already have your settlement and be able to easily manage the fees.

Additional benefits of using a No Win No Fee personal injury lawyer is that you know they will be dedicated to your case and that they will not have taken it on without a high chance of compensation being awarded. Hourly solicitors may not be as motivated to work on your behalf as they will be paid their full fee, no matter the outcome of your claim.

For more information on health and safety breaches examples to understand whether you’re eligible to claim under a No Win No Fee agreement, call our team.

How Legal Expert Can Help You Make A Claim For Injuries Caused By A Breach In Health And Safety

At Legal Expert, we are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve under a no win, no fee agreement for your health and safety breach accident claim. We understand that when you are making a personal injury claim, you have a lot of choice between different solicitors and personal injury claims management services. We always put our customers and clients needs first. We know that the injuries or illnesses which you have sustained as a result of your health and safety breach accident could have had very serious, lasting and even traumatic consequences, and we also understand the distress you may be going through. This is why we ensure that when handling your personal injury claim, we get you the biggest possible compensation settlement. We also try to do so in as efficient and (for you) hassle-free way as possible.

The consequences of not following health and safety regulations can be huge for the person who has been affected by the injury or illness and whoever caused your accident (through deliberate action or negligence) should be held accountable. You can read the comments on our site to see how we have helped people in the past and how we could help with your health and safety at work action.

Talk To Legal Expert Today About Claiming Following A Breach Of Health And Safety

Have you been injured as a result of a health and safety breach accident? The health and safety breach could have happened at work or in a public place, but no matter the location, the team at Legal Expert can help people bring successful health & safety breach compensation claims against the party who owed you a duty of care.

Contact our dedicated team today by calling 0800 073 8804 or fill out our online contact form. You can also find further ways to get in touch with us by viewing our other details here. We are ready to start working with you on getting you the compensation you deserve and to help you through a no win, no fee agreement.

Health and Safety Breach Claims- FAQs

In the sections below, we have answered some commonly asked questions regarding health and safety negligence at work and elsewhere.

Who Do I Report A Health And Safety Breach To?

It’s important that breaches of health and safety regulations are reported, as failure to comply with the regulations can result in illness and injury. The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for health and safety in many workplaces, but they aren’t always the right people to contact. You can find a list of alternative enforcing authorities on the HSE website.

You might also find that your query or issue can be solved without going to HSE. You should always speak to your employer first with any concerns that you have so that they’re given a chance to deal with the issues. You may find it useful to know what to expect from your employer in terms of health and safety, and you can find this information on the HSE website.

I Don’t Work In A Dangerous Injury, Can I Still Claim For A Health And Safety Breach?

Yes. Health and safety regulations aren’t just for physically demanding or high-risk roles like construction or warehouse work. Your employer has a duty of care to ensure your safety whether you’re setting up scaffolding or working on a computer.

Your employer should be undertaking regular risk assessments to make sure that any risks to you and your colleagues are removed or, if this isn’t practicable, minimised. This includes things like making sure that walkways are clear of obstruction to reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls.

It’s not just one-off accidents resulting in injuries that your employer should be looking out for. Things like display screen equipment (DSE) carry a real risk of eye strain as well as pain in the shoulder, neck and arms. Find out more about DSE safety on the HSE website.

What Are Health And Safety Breaches Examples?

There are various scenarios in which health and safety could be breached, such as in a public place. As per the Occupiers Liability Act 1957, the person in control of a public space has a duty of care to do everything they reasonably can to prevent members of the public from experiencing harm.

If they fail to do so, it could result in them breaching health and safety procedures causing others to experience harm. For instance, you may sustain a severe head injury after falling down the stairs in a restaurant due to a poorly lit stairwell.

If you have experienced a similar incident, you may be eligible to seek compensation provided you sustained harm as a result of someone else acting negligently.

What Is A Breach Of Health And Safety At Work?

All employers owe their employees a duty of care as per the Health and Safety At Work etc. Act 1974. Part of their duty of care includes taking reasonable steps to prevent you from sustaining harm. For instance, they should carry out regular risk assessments to highlight and address any hazards that pose a risk to employee safety.

However, in some cases, employees may fail to do so. As a result, you may have experienced a deep laceration on your wrist after using faulty equipment that your employer failed to maintain the safety of.

For more information on whether you could claim for a breath of health and safety at work, call our team.

Helpful Links And Resources

I Had An Accident At Work, What Are My Rights?

Have you suffered an accident due to health and safety breaches at work? If so, read our guide to getting the compensation you deserve.

I Am Self Employed And Had An Accident At Work, Can I Claim?

How much can I claim for a health and safety breach in work leading to an accident when I’m self-employed? Find out in our guide.

Forklift Truck Accident Claims

Find out how much you could be able to claim if you were injured in a forklift accident in the workplace.

Consequences Of A Breach In Health And Safety

Find out more about the consequences of a breach in health and safety processes and procedures in this guide from the Health and Safety Executive.

Get in touch with HSE 

Contact details for the Health and Safety Executive.

Health and Safety stats 2020/2021

Key figures for Health and Safety in Great Britain 2020/21.

Time Limit In Personal Injury Claims

See our guide exploring how long you have to put forward your personal injury claim.

We hope you have found our guide on health and safety breach claims helpful. If you have any questions, please call our team on the number above. They can provide further guidance on the steps you can take following a breach of health and safety.

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