Health And Safety Breach Accident Injury Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?
By Lewis Cobain. Last Updated 9th 2023. If you have been injured following a breach of health and safety regulations by your employer, you might be interested in making an accident at work claim. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, your employer has a duty of care to take reasonable steps to protect you from harm. If you can prove that your injuries were sustained as a result of your employer’s negligence, you may have grounds for an eligible personal injury claim.
Within this guide, we’ll discuss when and how long you have to start a personal injury claim. Furthermore, we will consider the types of evidence that you could collect to help prove liability in your claim. We’ll also explore different types of health and safety breaches in the workplace that could lead to an accident. Finally, we will discuss how one of our solicitors could represent you in your case with a No Win No Fee agreement.
Our advisors are here to help if you have any questions. Their advice is free and available 24/7. Below are a few ways to get in touch with us:
Select A Section
- What Is A Breach Of Health And Safety Procedures?
- What Is The Health And Safety At Work Act?
- How Long Do I Have To Claim For A Breach Of Health And Safety Law?
- What Is A Breach Of Health And Safety Regulations By My Employer?
- Claims For Health And Safety Breaches In A Public Place
- Health And Safety Breach Claims For Self Employed And Contractors
- Common injuries Caused By Health And Safety Breaches
- Health And Safety Breaches – Evidence To Support A Claim For Injuries
- What Can You Include In Your Health And Safety Breach Accident Claim?
- Breach Of Health And Safety – Calculating Compensation
- Breach Of Health And Safety – Case Study
- No Win No Fee Health And Safety Breach Accident Claims
- Health And Safety Solicitor – Contact Legal Expert For Health And Safety Legal Advice
- Helpful Links And Resources
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.
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.
If you suffered an injury due to a breach of health and safety law and would like to make a claim, you must generally start the claiming process within the three-year personal injury claims time limit. This is according to the Limitation Act 1980. This can be from the date of the accident or potentially the date you became aware of your injuries. Although it typically applies to most personal injury claims for injuries related to health and safety breaches, there can be some exceptions. These include:
- Claimants that lack the mental capacity to start a claim. A litigation friend could be appointed to start a breach of health and safety injuries claim on their behalf during the time limit’s suspension. However, should they regain capacity and a claim was not started, they then have three years from this date to claim.
- If a claimant is under the age of 18. If a litigation friend does not start a claim on their behalf, the claimant will have three years following their 18th birthday to begin a claim.
Call our advisors for health and safety breaches examples.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Work-related stress
- Skin conditions diseases such as occupational dermatitis.
- Musculoskeletal problems that might include back injuries.
- Breathing and other respiratory problems such as occupational asthma.
- Fractures that result in arm injuries or foot injuries.
- Soft tissue injuries
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.
Examples Of The Causes 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.
When claiming compensation for the breach of the duty of care owed to you, you need evidence to support your claim. In other words, you need to be able to prove that your injuries were caused by a failure to uphold acceptable standards such as those set out in HASAWA.
Regardless of where the incident occurs, you’ll need as much evidence as possible. For example:
- Accident book – If you’re injured at work due to a health and safety breach, then you can fill out the accident book. Having an accident is a legal requirement if your organisation employs 10 or more people.
- Video evidence – For instance, CCTV footage.
- Repair and maintenance logs – If your injury was caused by damaged or faulty machinery, it could be that it was overdue for maintenance or repair. There may be a written account of when the equipment was last serviced.
- Medical evidence – Test results, medical records, and X-rays are all examples of medical proof. They can also help in valuing your claim.
- Contact information for witnesses – If you can collect the details of any eyewitnesses, they could provide a statement about what they saw.
- Photographs – Both of any physical injuries, and of the hazards that caused them.
To find out more about gathering evidence to support claims for health and safety breaches, get in touch with our advisors today. This is not a complete list, and there will be other examples they can tell you about.
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.
If a breach of health safety occurs, someone may be harmed in an accident. If you were injured due a breach of health and safety regulations by your employer, you may have grounds for compensation.
The severity of your injury and its impact affects the payout you may receive. Solicitors also use compensation amounts from the Judicial College Guidelines as a guide in valuing claims. This publication includes a list of compensation amounts calculated using previous court payouts.
Some injuries that could occur due to a breach of health and safety, with corresponding payouts, are listed in the table below. These amounts, taken from the April 2022 edition of the JCG, are only guides and may not match the amount you receive.
|Injury type||Severity||Settlement band||Notes|
|Injury to the back||Severe||£38,780 to £160,980||May include a broken back or similar permanent injuries.|
|Injury to the back||Moderate||£12,510 to £38,780||More serious than the category above.|
|Injury to the back||Minor||Up to £12,510||Similar to minor injury types to other body parts.|
|Injury to the ankle||Very severe||£50,060 to £69,700||Long-term damage and injuries causing loss of function.|
|Injury to the ankle||Severe||£31,310 to £50,060||Medium-term damage which will be recovered from.|
|Injury to the ankle||Moderate||£13,740 to £26,590||Including less serious fractures and breakes. Recovery will be full.|
|Injury to the ankle||Modest||Up to £13,740||Milder or more minor damage to the soft tissues|
|Injury to the knee||Severe (i)||£69,730 to £96,210||Much more serious than the above cateogry. Recovery will need to be over the longer-term.|
|Injury to the knee||Moderate||Up to £26,190||The 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.
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.
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.
You can get free legal advice from our friendly advisors at any time after being injured at work. They work around the clock and can answer your questions about health and safety legal requirements. Furthermore, they can determine your eligibility to claim at no extra cost to you via a free consultation.
Below are a few ways you can get in touch with us:
- Call our dedicated team on 0800 073 8804
- Complete a contact form and we’ll be in touch
- Pop up to an advisor at any time using our free online chat function
Have you suffered an accident due to health and safety breaches at work? If so, read our guide to getting the compensation you deserve.
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.
Find out how much you could be able to claim if you were injured in a forklift accident in the workplace.
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.
Contact details for the Health and Safety Executive.
Key figures for Health and Safety in Great Britain 2020/21.
See our guide exploring how long you have to put forward your personal injury claim.
Learn more about claiming for whiplash with a pre existing condition by reading our helpful guide.
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.