Our Senior Director, Matthew Winder, has extensive experience gained over 20 years of pursuing straight forward and complex employer’s liability claims. The Government plans through the Enterprise Act in 2013 to remove the right to claim compensation for breach of Health and Safety Legislation. You can still claim but you need a specialist to assist you.
It is likely that you will have to prove that your employers were negligent to win a case. The duty of care in the law of negligence does provide you with the right to claim compensation. Specialist advice should be sought before you bring a claim through the Courts. All you need to do is let us know what happened and leave it to our Mr Winder to do the rest.
Employers owe a duty of care to their employees to provide a safe place of work, a safe system of work and safe fellow employees. There are specific statutory duties which include the following:
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulation 1992/1999 requires every employer and self employed person to undertake a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk to health and safety of employees and persons not in his employment.
- The Personal and Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 make provision for a duty on employers to provide their employees with personal and protective equipment including safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high visibility clothing, safety footwear, safety harness and masks. Provision of personal and protective equipment is a last resort where other solutions cannot avoid to reduce the risk of injuries adequately.
- The Workplace Health and Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992 place an absolute duty on employers to maintain workplace equipment, devices and systems which includes ventilation, temperature control and lighting. The Regulations deal with a range of topics including sufficiency of space to work, the suitability of work stations, seating, working outdoor in bad weather and slips and trips. The Regulations also impose an absolute duty for floor and traffic route surfaces to be suitable for the purpose it is to be used and that the traffic route surfaces should not be a risk to health and safety.
- The Working at Height Regulations impose upon employers and self employed persons to carry out a risk assessment that demonstrates that a job cannot be done without working at height. There is no height requirement as such. Many accidents happen through employees falling from ladders. For example any employee using a ladder should be able to maintain at all times on a ladder or step ladder three points of contact. The Health and Safety Executive issued guidance to employers on the safe use of ladders and step ladders.
- The Manual Handling Regulations The manual handling regulations are designed to protect employees from injuries as a result of manual handling operations in the workplace. Manual handling operations ranges from lifting materials, handling people, manoeuvring objects, reaching, repetitive movements, bending, working in constrained spaces, working on slippery or uneven surfaces. The Regulations impose a duty upon employers to train employees to prevent employees suffering injury as a result of manual handling in the work place.
- The Work Equipment Regulations The provision of Use and Work Equipment Regulations 1998 impose duties on employers to ensure that work equipment is so constructed or adapted to be suitable for the purpose for which it is to be used or provided. This includes an obligation to maintain work equipment and provide information and instructions to employees. Specifically there are obligations to take measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery.
I have summarised above the main Regulations that apply but specialist legal advice should be sought on your individual case before proceeding with a claim. The information provided above is purely for information purpose as opposed to specific legal advice. I offer a free interview either in the office or by telephone to discuss your case and give you an assessment on whether you will win the case or not. The information given above is to show you the common duties of care which apply in the work place but there are many other duties of care that employers have which apply in specific work place situations. I have not set out each and every duty of care that applies or set out individual requirements of the Regulations set out above. That is why individual advice needs to be taken on any case to assess the extent to which there has been a breach of statutory duty in that case.