If a health and safety breach injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Injuries resulting from health and safety breaches represent a failure in an employer's duty of care.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a work injury resulting from a health & safety breach, we can help you claim compensation. Claims can address the consequences of your accident, from immediate injury to conditions that might develop over time, ensuring your care and financial needs are met.
You can make a work accident compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
According to the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures, 561,000 people sustained an injury at work in 2022/23, and 1. 8 million people were suffering from a work-related illness.
A high percentage of these injuries resulted from a workplace health and safety breach.
Who is most at risk?
Manual occupations have the highest injury rates, with sewerage and waste supply, agriculture, construction and transport being the industries most at risk.
According to a recent report by the HSE, the most frequent workplace injuries resulted from manual handling, slips, trips and falls from height.
Prolonged exposure to health and safety breaches can lead to employees developing occupational illnesses, such as RSI and upper limb disorders. Examples include where employers fail to:
- Provide the correct PPE and ergonomic support.
- Mandate and monitor regular breaks.
- Rotate job tasks to ensure exposure does not exceed required limits.
How are different industries affected?
For each condition, there are higher reported cases amongst specific industries or work environments.
For example, work-related musculoskeletal disorders are common in construction and healthcare, while respiratory diseases are more likely amongst those who work with certain fumes, gases and dust.
Skin diseases are more common with florists, hairdressers and chefs. Cancers are more common in construction, shift work or exposure to mineral oils, solar radiation or silica.
Safety breaches could be relatively minor, such as not regularly mopping wet floors or providing the correct type of gloves. They can also be more serious, for example, failing to erect scaffolding correctly or to carry-out proper training for a large piece of machinery with dangerous moving parts.
Although specific health and safety rules vary, if your employer breaches their duty, and you are harmed as a result, you may be able to claim whatever industry you work (or worked) in.
If you decide to make a health and safety breach injury claim, your work accident solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Am I eligible for health and safety breach injury compensation?
You should be entitled to health and safety breach injury compensation if your injury resulted from the negligence or actions of another person or organisation, or from an accident that was not your fault.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.
Is a claim still possible if I was partly responsible for my injury?
Understanding who is legally at fault for an accident often requires navigating through a maze of legal complexities.
Each year, Quittance carries out a survey of potential claimants. In our 2023 Work Injury Claimant Survey, 26.02% of injured workers felt they might be at least partly to blame for their injuries.
Your claim could still be possible if your actions contributed to your injury or illness. If you were injured on the job by a co-worker's actions, you can still claim compensation from your employer, based on the principle of vicarious liability.
How long do I have to claim health and safety breach injury compensation?
In most cases, you have up to 3 years from the date of your accident or injury to start a claim.
If you were not immediately aware that you were harmed by someone else's negligence, the 3-year time limit runs from the date you were diagnosed and became aware of what caused your injury or illness.
How long do I have to start a claim?
You have three years from the date of your slip, trip or fall to start your compensation claim.
However, most solicitors will not accept a claim if the three-year deadline is close (within a few months). Slip and trip claims can take some time to gather evidence, carry out a medical assessment and negotiate a compensation settlement with the defendant. If the defendant doesn’t accept responsibility for your accident, your claim can take even longer.
If you are thinking about starting a No Win, No Fee claim, you should speak to a solicitor as soon as you can. You can discuss your options with a claims specialist with no obligation to proceed if you are not ready.
Can I claim for a condition that emerged many years later?
Yes. The HSE has identified "high latency" (meaning "delayed") conditions which can be caused by previous work activity and often appear years after exposure. These conditions are:
- Asbestos-related disease
- Work-related hearing loss
- Cancers Vibration-related disease
- Other respiratory disease
How much compensation can I claim for a health and safety breach injury?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the severity 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 injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
Health and safety breach injury
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Updated December 2023
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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 is compensation awarded to cover any financial losses and expenses you incur as a result of your injury or negligent medical treatment. These damages aim to put you back in the financial position you would have been in, had your injury not occurred.
Special damages will also cover your medical treatment expenses, that might include diagnostic imaging tests, surgical intervention and physiotherapy.
Psychological trauma following work accidents
Are you concerned about the mental and emotional impact of your injury? You are not alone.
Our 2023 Work Injury Claimant Survey shows how prevalent psychological injuries are in the workplace. 25.03% of claimants report suffering a psychological injury, 62.38% of which were related to a physical injury.
Experiencing an injury due to a health and safety breach can lead to distrust in workplace safety measures, causing anxiety and stress.
You should not feel pressured to return to work before you are fully healed, including less obvious psychological injuries. A premature return could worsen your mental health, prolonging a full recovery.
Considering the potential for psychological harm following a traumatic incident at work is critical. Diagnosable psychiatric conditions, including PTSD, are recognised in the official guidelines for compensation awards, and it is appropriate to include the cost of mental health treatment and support when calculating your compensation.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
Your employer's 'duty of care'
All employers owe a 'duty of care' to their employees, contractors and anyone visiting their premises. In most cases, your employer will be liable (responsible) if you are injured during the course of your work.
The HSE defines an employer's responsibility as:
"making sure that workers and others are protected from anything that may cause harm, effectively controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace."
What other legal obligations does my employer have?
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, your employer has a duty to:
- Carry out full and ongoing risk assessments of work roles and the work environment
- Implement adequate preventative measures and controls to avoid or minimise risk - including providing suitable personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Appoint competent persons to help with implementation and ongoing inspections
- Provide clear and regular instruction and training to employees on the risks and control measures
- Set up emergency and accident reporting procedures
- Work together with other employers sharing the same workplace
In addition to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, there is a wide range of specific legislation setting out employers' legal duties to protect workers from harm.
What other work safety legislation exists?
Other more specific legislation aimed at ensuring health and safety at work include:
- Noise at Work Regulations 1989
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999 (COSHH)
- The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994
- The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998
- The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
With the legal framework and practical information now available to employers, breaches of health and safety should be minimised.
Changes to the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 6 April 2022.
This legislation means that employers now 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 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.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to 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.
How did your injury happen?
Claiming compensation depends on the cause of your health and safety breach injury. Click the icons below for read more:
How we can help you with your work accident claim
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.
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if you can claim
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If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee work accident claim, we are open:
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Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
Handled with the utmost professionalism... extremely kind, courteous and empathetic.
Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.