Health & Safety Regulations. Everything you need to know

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1 Health & Safety Regulations Everything you need to know

2 Not all of those people injured at work would be entitled to compensation from their employer. In order to recover damages it is necessary to show that an employer has been either negligent or in breach of statutory duty. Statutory duties are the Health and Safety Regulations which have been introduced into our law as a result of Britain s EU Membership. Originally claims could only be brought in negligence. In order to establish that an employer is negligent the worker needs to show that they have suffered injury as a result of their employer s failure to meet the standards of a reasonable employer in that industry. However over the years many specific legal responsibilities were placed upon the employer in the Factories Acts and other similar legislation. Most of this UK legislation has now been replaced by Regulations based upon EU Directives which are, for the most part, the same across the EU. Many of the Regulations have detailed Codes of Practice published by the HSE the most common of which are known collectively as the Six Pack.

3 The Construction Regulations These apply to construction sites only and include many requirements similar to the Workplace Regulations. In addition there must be a safe workplace and safe access to it. Structures and excavations must be safe from collapse and demolition must be carried out in a safe manner. There are Regulations similar to those in the Workplace Regulations relating to traffic routes, doors and gates etc. There are also specific Regulations relating to the movement of vehicles on site and others relating to emergency exits, fire precautions, lighting etc.

4 The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations These apply to all work equipment provided for use in a worker s job. What constitutes work equipment can be complicated where the worker is off the employer s premises or using equipment owned by a third party of which the employer may have no knowledge. Equipment has to be suitable for its purpose and maintained in good working order. The Courts have held that the employer is liable even if they could not possibly have known that a piece of equipment was about to break or fail. There has to be training and adequate information as to how to use the equipment. Access to any dangerous part of machinery must be prevented and dangerous parts must stop moving before a person enters a danger zone. Guards have to be suitable and properly maintained and constructed and are not to be easily bypassed or disabled. There are other Regulations relating to the temperature of equipment, emergency stop controls etc.

5 The Manual Handling Operations Regulations These aren t restricted just to back injuries or lifting injuries and set no weight limits. Manual handling includes pushing and pulling a load rather than just lifting it. The employer should try to avoid the need for manual handling altogether by providing hoists, lifting equipment etc. If manually handling the load can t be avoided a risk assessment has to be carried out and appropriate steps taken to reduce the risk. The risk assessment should cover both the size and weight of the load and the individual capability of the workers handling it. What might be considered reasonable for a male construction worker might not be for a female office worker. Training in manual handling should be given. There is also a duty to provide information on the weight and balance of the load to the worker.

6 Other Regulations There are other Regulations which might apply to other work situations which need to be checked in every case. In particular there are a number of sets of Regulations which apply to offshore work. It is therefore important to seek specialist legal advice if you are involved in workplace incident.

7 Can my employer make things difficult for me at work or even sack me if I make a claim? Your employer should not treat you differently in any way if you submit a claim in respect of an accident at work. Once a claim is submitted, it is passed to and dealt with by the company s insurers rather than the company itself. If you are treated less favourably after submitting a claim, or if your employer tries to take measures to discipline or punish you for doing so, you should contact your solicitor immediately as you may have a remedy under Employment Law. What can I claim for? If liability for the accident is admitted by your employer you can seek compensation both for the injuries you suffered (known as General Damages) and also any losses and expenses you have incurred as a direct consequence of the accident and the injuries you sustained (known as Special Damages). Therefore, you should keep a record of any expenses you incur as a result of your injuries and keep any receipts, as this will assist us in seeking reimbursement of those sums to you at the conclusion of the claim. How much is my claim likely to be worth? The value of your personal injury claim (General Damages) will depend upon the medical opinion of an expert, who we will instruct to examine you, review your relevant medical records and then provide an opinion and prognosis setting out the nature and extent of your injuries. This will help us to place a value on the claim, which we will do by looking at the medical opinion in conjunction with the Judicial College Guidelines, which set out the appropriate range of damages that should be awarded for all types of injuries. Will I have to go through and fill in loads of paperwork? There will be some paperwork to complete at the start of the claim, including questionnaires regarding the accident and any losses and expenses you may have incurred, and authorities allowing access to your various records. However, this is only to assist us in bringing the matter to a conclusion as quickly as possible for you, and once these documents have been completed at the outset of the claim we should then be able to deal with and take care of everything on your behalf.

8 It s your right! Access to the considerable amount of experience at EAD Solicitors is easy. Useful Contact Information Please contact So if you are injured in an accident, speak to one of our solicitors today. It s your right to seek compensation.

9 If you have any questions about anything in this leaflet please call us on Alternatively please EAD Solicitors LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England (registered number OC334289) and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (487037). A list of members of the LLP is available for inspection at our registered office Prospect House, Columbus Quay, Liverpool, L3 4DB, together with a list of those non-members who are designated as partners. Any reference to a partner in relation to the LLP means a member or employee of, or consultant to, the LLP.

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