Dangerous work request injury claims

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Jenny Jones

Panel Senior Litigator

A guide to making a No Win No Fee dangerous work request accident claim

According to the Health and Safety Executive, approximately 629,000 people sustained an injury at work in 2013/14. Around 148,000 were off work for more than seven days as
the result of their injuries.

The HSE suggests that not all injuries are reported. Unreported incidents may include those accidents that occur when an employee is asked to do something dangerous at work.

All employees have the right to work in an environment that protects their health and safety as much as possible. Even if staff are working within an area that does involve some risk of injury, proper precautions must be taken to minimise the chances of an accident occurring. Employers have a duty of care to protect their staff, and employees should not be asked to complete an activity that puts them at unreasonable risk of harm.

There are several pieces of legislation that are designed to protect workers from such accidents, including: The Work at Height Regulations 2005; The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992; and The Manual Handling Regulations 1992.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 state that working at a height should be avoided if practically feasible. If working at a height is deemed to be essential, employers have a duty to ensure that the risk of harm is minimised as much as possible. Suitable and safe equipment should be used for reaching the height, and that equipment should be inspected and maintained at regular intervals.

To prevent ladder accidents, appropriate training must be provided before a member of staff is required to use the equipment.

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

Inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) is a common factor in work accidents.

PPE is designed to safeguard the health of of employees, and prevent injuries from occurring. This includes items such as safety helmets, gloves, goggles, high visibility clothing, eye protection, safety shoes and safety harnesses. When an employer decides that you must complete an activity that may present a risk to your health, PPE must be provided in order to minimise that risk.

The Manual Handling Regulations 1992

The Manual Handling Regulations 1992 are intended to prevent and reduce manual handling-related injuries in the workplace.

'Manual handling' is defined as 'any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or bodily force'. Employers should not ask staff to do any manual handling if it can be avoided.

If this is not possible, there should be an assessment of the risks involved and every possible precaution should be taken.

Refusing Unsafe Work

If you are injured because you have been asked to do something dangerous at work, your employer may have failed to adhere to the Working at Height, PPE, or Manual Handling Regulations.

As well as abiding by these regulations, employers have a duty to ensure that you are suitably qualified, experienced and trained in how to work safely.

If your employer asks you to do something potentially dangerous and for which you have not been appropriately trained or been provided suitable PPE, you may be entitled to refuse to complete the task. If you have any doubts, it may be better to seek further advice, training or PPE before proceeding with a potentially dangerous task.

Next steps

If you have more questions or are not sure if you can make a claim, our solicitors offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss all of your option - call us on 0800 612 7456 or request a callback.

If you would like more information online before calling, our Help and Advice will answer specific questions in more detail.

If you are ready you can start your claim here or call us on 0800 612 7456.