Dangerous Machinery Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a dangerous machinery work accident, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a work accident compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses. By law, your employer will have insurance to cover the cost of injury claims, and your compensation will be paid out of this policy.
We can help you make a work accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
The Health and Safety Executive reported that 8% of fatal accidents and 4% of other injuries in 2019/20 involved contact with machinery.
Machinery at work is often inherently dangerous. Even equipment that is relatively safe to use can become dangerous if it is poorly maintained or mishandled. Regardless of the nature or state of the machinery used by staff, employers owe their workers a duty of care to maintain a safe work environment at all times.
Machine-related injuries are often severe and can have a significant impact on a person's life. These injuries can also permanently affect an individual's ability to work.
Your solicitor will work hard to recover the compensation you need after a work accident to fund essential treatment, living costs and future care and rehabilitation.
Typical dangerous machinery injuries
Missing or defective safety guards
Specific rules cover the safe guarding of dangerous machinery. Dangerous machinery will have been subjected to rigorous safety checks before it is considered safe for use.
Despite this, defective and unguarded machines cause accidents at work every day. In many cases, the accident is not caused by any defect in the machine itself but in the way it is maintained, used and guarded.
Where possible, employers must:
- provide fixed guards to dangerous components, e.g. rotating blades and sharp edges
- guard against the risk of injuries caused by debris thrown from the machinery
- ensure machinery is stopped before workers can access designated danger zones
- prioritise repairs, maintenance, risk assessment and training
Lathes are used in many workplaces and can be very dangerous if used by someone with inadequate training or not serviced frequently. The risk of accidents at work involving lathes is specifically recognised in legislation, lathes being a clear potential hazard to employees.
Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 confirms the following:
'(1) Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken in accordance with paragraph (2) which are effective-
(a) to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or
(b) to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone'.
This means that an employer has a duty of care to ensure that his employees are safe whilst using the machinery. An employer has a responsibility to maintain the lathe and take measures to avoid hazards, including:
- Providing information and training on how to safely operate the machinery
- Having clear and accessible stop controls
- Having suitable guards to enclose dangerous parts of machinery and stock-bars
- Enabling isolation from power source when exposure to dangerous parts is required e.g. maintenance work
Generally, the machine should be well maintained and in good working order. If these standards are not followed and an employee has an accident on the machine, such as getting their hand caught, then the employee may be entitled to make a personal injury claim.
Conveyor belt accidents
Employees who are using conveyor belts should be given training that facilitates their safe use. They should understand how to use the belt, and what to do if there is a malfunction.
Organisations that are responsible for staff using conveyor belts must:
- provide suitable training to operators
- ensure dangerous parts are not exposed, and protected by the use of guards or covers where needed
Whether you are an employee, customer, or site visitor, if you have been injured because of an accident involving a conveyor belt, you may be entitled to compensation.
Log splitter injuries
The HSE have investigated several incidences of people being injured by log splitters. According to the HSE, accidents involving log splitters or 'firewood processing machines' are often the result of a lack of training regarding their safe use, or inadequate protective equipment.
The Health and Safety Executive recently questioned the safety of firewood processing machines, and suggested that not all log splitters comply with the Machinery Directive (as implemented in the UK by the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008).
Employers must also ensure that staff using log splitters understand how to do so in a manner that does not endanger their own safety, or that of others in the vicinity. A work accident claim may be made if an employer has failed in this duty.
Is my employer liable?
Employers have a strict duty to provide suitable equipment for their employees.
It is an employer's responsibility to ensure that all work machinery is safe to use, well-maintained and that staff are trained in its use.
The Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 places a duty of care on employers to ensure that:
- Safety measures are in place and enforced
- Machines are safe and fit for purpose
- Machines are used safely and correctly
These duties include:
- Performing regular maintenance of machinery
- Prioritising completion of essential repairs
- Carrying out risk assessments to ensure machinery is operated safely during work processes
- Training all staff using the machinery how to operate it safely and correctly
- Providing suitable protective clothing, and ensuring this is always worn by staff when operating machinery
If an employer fails to implement these safety measures, they are in breach of their duty of care. They could be found to be negligent and liable to pay compensation for injuries caused.
Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 were introduced on 6 April 2022.
This legislation means that employers have an obligation to provide free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all workers, including workers who are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract.
Under the previous 1992 regulations, employers were only required to provide PPE to employees with a formal employment contract.
If you are injured by machinery at work and your employer failed to provide you with suitable PPE, you may be entitled to claim compensation - even if you are self employed.
How do I make a claim?
There are statutory time limitations for filing dangerous machinery claims. In the majority of cases, a claim must be started within three years of an accident.
If you are not sure whether you want to make a claim, a confidential consultation with a personal injury solicitor will give you valuable advice concerned medical treatment and the gathering of evidence.
Gathering evidence to support your claim
You can decide to proceed with your claim at a later date, if you wish, knowing that the evidence that will strengthen your claim is already collected.
One of the most important steps to take is to get a medical report. This will need to come from a qualified medical expert, but cannot be your GP. Your solicitor can advise further on this point.
The medical report will confirm the nature and extent of your injury, and will be one of the pieces of evidence needed to calculate your compensation.
Your solicitor will need to prove your injury was caused by the negligence of your employer. This may require specialist help, such as expert technicians to assess the safety of the machinery.
Do I have an injury claim?
It should be possible to make an injury claim if you were injured:
- in the last 3 years and;
- someone else was to blame.
Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.
To find out for sure, speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 376 1001.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
What if the other party denies liability?
If the defendant denies liability, your solicitor will build the strongest possible case in order to prove that the defendant is responsible for your dangerous machinery injury. Ultimately the solicitor will issue court proceedings on the defendant. Often this prompts an admission of liability before proceedings begin.
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?
If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.
The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.
General damages for a severe arm injury can be £75,000
For a less serious leg injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £7,500.
However, if you have a severe arm injury and a less serious leg injury, you would typically receive £75,000 + a reduced percentage of £7,500.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.
What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Will a work injury claim affect my benefits?
It may. The receipt of a compensation award could affect the calculation of any means-tested benefits. One approach to protecting your benefits, would be to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a dangerous machinery work injury claim take?
The length of time needed to win compensation for a dangerous machinery work accident can vary significantly.
For example, if your employer does not contest the claim, it could be settled in several weeks. If liability is denied, a compensation claim can take substantially longer. Normally a work accident claim will take 6 to 9 months. See: How long will my claim take?
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee
With a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay whatsoever if your claim is not successful.
No win, no fee - our guarantee
If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
How do personal injury solicitors get paid?
If your dangerous machinery injury claim is successful, the defendant, or their insurer, will pay the compensation and your solicitors fees.
How we can help you
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:
- 8am to 9pm weekdays
- 9am to 6pm on Saturday
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.