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When Could You Make An Unsafe Work Area Claim?

By Jade Carrington. Last Updated 22nd May 2024. Have you sustained an injury at work? Are you wondering if you’re eligible to make an unsafe work area claim? This article explains what an unsafe work area means as well as how it could lead to an accident, including what injuries you could sustain as a result.

The guide will also explore your rights in a work accident claim and how our expert solicitors can help with your personal injury claim. Furthermore, we’ll look at No Win No Fee agreements and the benefits that they can offer you. 

What Are Unsafe Working Conditions?

Before making your claim it might help to ask, what are unsafe working conditions? When you’re in the workplace, you have a right to work somewhere where the risk of injury has been reduced as much as practicable.  This is your employer’s duty of care, and it’s set out in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

If your employer has failed to take all of these reasonable steps, then your working environment could be unsafe. If you sustain an injury as a result of this, then you may be able to claim. 

We encourage you to contact our advisors; they are available 24/7 to provide free and relevant legal advice. They can help determine the legitimacy of your claim and may be able to connect you with one of our expert solicitors if your case is valid. Get in touch with our advisors today by: 

A man lying at the bottom of a flight of stairs after falling.

Select A Section

  1. Your Employers Duty Of Care To Provide A Safe Working Environment
  2. How Could An Unsafe Work Area Cause An Accident?
  3. What Injuries Could Be Included In An Unsafe Work Area Claim?
  4. What Are My Rights If My Work Area Is Unsafe?
  5. Unsafe Work Area Claim Calculator
  6. How To Make An Unsafe Work Area Claim

Your Employers Duty Of Care To Provide A Safe Working Environment

A duty of care is the way an employer conducts themselves to take responsible steps to ensure that employees are provided with a reasonably safe working environment. 

The duty of care owed by an employer is established in the HASAWA. This piece of legislation outlines the health and safety regulations to ensure that the workplace is adequately safe for employees. Some examples of the steps that employers can take include:

  • Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – In accordance with the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (PPEWR) all employers should provide suitable PPE for employees where necessary, such as hard hats and respirators. 
  • General housekeeping – Employers need to ensure that all walkways and emergency pathways are unobstructed from boxes. loose wires and spills. 
  • Providing and maintaining work systems – The provided work systems including equipment, tools and machinery should be kept to a standard that means they are safe to operate.

If unsafe working conditions caused you to suffer an injury, to be able to make a compensation claim, you will need to prove:

  1. Your employer owed you a duty of care.
  2.  They breached this duty. For example, they failed to keep walkways clear, causing unsafe working conditions.
  3. This caused you to suffer your injuries.

Contact our advisors for information on when an unsafe work area claim could be justified. 

How Could An Unsafe Work Area Cause An Accident?

It may not be possible to keep a work area 100% safe. However, if an employer fails to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the space, it can increase the chance of an accident leading to an injury.  

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999,  an employer should conduct risk assessments to discover what hazards exist within the workplace and try to remove or reduce them. An employer can do this by identifying risks, assessing the harm, putting in control measures and reviewing the measures to ensure they are working as expected.

The employer should also tell relevant employees about the workplace risks and provide free, relevant training 

Where To Report Unsafe Working Conditions

If you believe that your workspace is unsafe the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a robust system for reporting health and safety issues. You should speak to your employer or a union representative if a health and safety issue can be solved internally. Otherwise, the quickest way to contact HSE is via the contact details they’ve included on their page on reporting concerns

Contact our advisors today to find out more information on making a work injury claim. 

What Injuries Could Be Included In An Unsafe Work Area Claim?

There are a number of different injuries you could sustain as a result of a breach of duty of care that caused unsafe working conditions. Here are a few examples:

  • There is a spillage on the floor but there have been no wet floor signs displayed. This could lead you to slip and fall on the spillage and result in you breaking a bone.
  • You work with corrosive substances but have not been supplied with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). As a result of these unsafe work practices, you sustain a chemical burn injury.
  • Your employer has supplied you with a known faulty ladder to use on a building site. While you are at the top of the ladder, it breaks, causing you to fall from a height. Falls from a height due to unsafe conditions can lead to serious injuries such as paralysis and brain damage.

However, you will need to prove that an employer breached their duty of care and that this caused the unsafe working conditions that caused your injury to be able to make a claim. Contact our advisors today as they can help identify whether employer negligence has taken place.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Workplace Injury?

The HSE documented that the most common workplace non-fatal injury reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 by employers is as follows:

  • Slips, trips and falls – 33%
  • Handling, lifting and/or carrying – 18%
  • Struck by moving object – 10%
  • Acts of violence – 8%
  • Falls from a height – 8%

In 2020/21, employers reported 51,211 non-fatal injuries under RIDDOR. The most commonly reported injury sites are in the table below:

What Are My Rights If My Work Area Is Unsafe?

You have the right to be safe when working at your job. To make an unsafe work area claim you must show that an employer breached their duty of care directly causing you to sustain an injury.

You must also file the claim within the 3-year personal injury time limit. However, a few exceptions to this apply.

For instance, if you’re under the age of 18 at the time the accident happens, then the time limit is suspended until you come of age. While you’re underage, a litigation friend can make a claim for you.

Unsafe Work Area Claim Calculator

In a successful unsafe work area claim, you will receive general damages, which relate to the pain and suffering caused by your injury. The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) outline the possible compensation bracket amounts for general damages categorised by the type of injury and the severity level. 

Please see the below table for an array of different injuries separated by seriousness as published in the 17th edition of the JCG:

InjurySeverityGuideline Compensation BracketsNotes
More than one serious injury and/or illness with special damagesSeriousUp to and above £500,000Compensation for suffering more than one serious injury and/or illness with financial losses like loss of wages and prescription costs.
BackSevere (a) (i)£111,150 to £196,450The most severe damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots. Incomplete paralysis with severe pain and impaired sexual function is included within this award.
Moderate (b) (i)£33,880 to £47,320Where there may be some residual disability from crushing or compressing fractures causing constant pain and discomfort, or a prolapsed disc requiring surgery.
Brain damageModerate (c) (iii)£52,550 to £110,720The injured person has concentration and memory problems that might impact work ability. Dependence on others will be limited.
Less severe (d) (i)£18,700 to £52,550Where a good recovery has been made, but minor concentration and mood problems may persist interfering with work and daily life activities.
ChestDamage to chest and lungs (c)£38,210 to £66,920There will be some persistent disability.
Hip and pelvisModerate (b) (i)£32,450 to £47,810Considerable injury to the hip or pelvis, however, permanent disability is minor with no great major future risk.
NeckModerate (b) (i)£30,500 to £46,970Dislocations and fractures that may require spinal fusion.
Moderate (b) (ii)£7,890 to £13,740Where soft tissue or wrenching-type injuries could mean that spondylosis is required.

As part of your claim, you may be eligible to receive compensation for special damages, too. Special damages can reimburse you for the costs that arise due to your injury. We urge you to keep any receipts for incurred costs such as:

  • Loss of earnings, including loss of future income if your injuries stop you from returning to work
  • Property adaptations
  • Travel to and from medical appointments 

For more information about how much you could receive in an unsafe work area claim, get in touch with our advisors today. 

How To Make An Unsafe Work Area Claim

The idea of making an unsafe work area claim alone could be daunting. For this reason, we recommend seeking legal advice. However, you might be worried at the financial risk posed when you pay upfront for a solicitor without any guarantee that you’ll be awarded compensation at the end of the process.

Our solicitors offer a type of No Win No Fee arrangement known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is an affordable option for those wishing to use a solicitor’s services. The CFA option requires no upfront fees, and you pay nothing for your lawyer’s services if your claim is unsuccessful.

A CFA lawyer will only take payment via a success fee if your claim is successful. It is a small capped percentage of your compensation.

If our CFA lawyers could help you, then contact our advisors today by:  

Related Claims For Accidents In The Workplace

Please read our other useful guides:

Compensation Calculator For An Accident At Work

Can You Claim For An Accident at Work Without An Injury?

I Got Hurt At Work, Do I Need A Lawyer?

Learn about making a claim if a driver hit a cyclist with a car while pulling out of a driveway through our helpful guide.

Or take a look at the following helpful external links:

NHS – Broken bone

Statutory Sick Pay

HSE- Specified injuries to workers 

Contact our advisors today for more information on making an unsafe work area claim. They’ll be happy to offer you free legal advice. 

Written by Eaton

Edited by Stocks

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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