Accidents at work and workplace illnesses: The underlying repercussions
- AuthorKate Sweeney
In the UK, the rate of fatal injuries at work is on the rise and the most recent figures show 0.6 in 100,000 workers die in workplace accidents. This translates to 171 deaths in the year up to March 2011. 50 deaths occurred in the construction industry; in agriculture it was 34 and there were 9 in waste and recycling.
Thankfully not all accidents are fatal, but many can have lasting repercussions that need to be considered when making a claim for injury compensation.
Falls from height are one of the most common accidents in the construction industry and can result in injuries of varying severity. Head injuries can cause brain damage which goes without saying can have devastating and life changing effects. Spinal damage could lead to paralysis. Those who suffer broken bones will usually make a full recovery but sometimes there are long term repercussions such as mobility impairment, ongoing pain and stiffness or arthritis.
Common industrial accidents
Other common construction industry accidents involve amputations, usually with unguarded machinery the culprit. A severed finger could result in a loss of dexterity which could render the victim unable to perform their job, or their hobbies. The loss of a limb brings obvious problems which will be ongoing and will usually impact on several aspects of a person’s life.
Crush injuries are a regular occurrence in the agriculture sector, as are accidents involving machinery or vehicles. Injuries to the chest can have far reaching effects on the lungs and heart. A crushed pelvis can cause underlying problems such as organ damage and may call for the need for a hip replacement in the future.
And it’s not just physical injuries that are suffered when there is an accident at work. Sometimes the scars can be emotional or psychological, and the effects on an individual could prevent them from ever working again, or even partaking in social, family or leisure activities.
Workplace incidents can also cause illnesses which can be short or long term. A loss of hearing is one very common issue for those who have worked in the construction or manufacturing industry, but also in other sectors such as entertainment. Work related respiratory conditions, such as asthma, also occur regularly, as do asbestos diseases including mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Specialist legal advice
There are legal experts specialising in all types of work related injuries and illnesses; they have specific skills in very niche areas and will focus only on these disciplines. So if there is an accident at work resulting in a head injury, they will know the precise protocol needed to achieve the maximum possible compensation that accounts for every factor, including the long term prognosis, typical issues that may arise in the future, and the corresponding care and rehabilitation needs.
If you have suffered a workplace accident, you can talk to Stephensons in complete confidence. We have a large team of accident claims lawyers and solicitors specialising in all types of work related illnesses. Our experience extends into very specific niche areas and we have a proven history in recovering the highest levels of compensation for our clients, or their families. For sympathetic, professional advice you can rely on, call us on 01616 966 229.
By personal injury solicitor and Stephensons’ Partner, Kate Sweeney