Tiredness injury compensation claims
This article sets out everything you must know about making a successful tiredness-related work injury compensation claim.
Tiredness, or fatigue, is estimated to cost the UK £115-£240 million per year for work accidents alone.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) data suggests tiredness is a factor in 20% of accidents on major roads, with many such accidents involving work-related travel.
If you have been injured in the last three years and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.
Some industries are more susceptible to tiredness and fatigue. These include the emergency services, healthcare, transport, manufacturing (including oil, gas and chemical industries), the utilities, entertainment and retail.
Often work-related tiredness is related to poorly designed shift-working arrangements and long working hours, with a significant lack of breaks. Individuals whose jobs are machine-paced, complex or monotonous, and/or involve a heavy work load, are notably affected.
Night shift-related tiredness
According to the HSE, 3.5 million people are employed as shift workers in the UK. Amongst these, incidents of accident and injury related to tiredness are higher on night shifts and after a succession of shifts.
ROSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) also identify shift workers, as well as truck drivers and company drivers, as most likely to be involved in a road traffic accident. Most accidents occur on motorways, at night and on journeys home after long shifts.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
Tiredness can not only lead to reduced productivity, but also to errors, accidents, injury and ill-health. Physically and mentally, tiredness and fatigue affects the body in a number of ways. This includes inducing:
- Slower reaction times
- Reduced ability to process information
- Memory lapses
- Lack of attention
- Decreased awareness
- Underestimation of risk
- Reduced co-ordination
In the workplace, the consequences of this can be extremely dangerous, particularly in certain environments, such as factories with hazardous machinery, hospitals and offshore chemical plants. The HSE has reported tiredness as a root cause of major accidents, including the Chernobyl disaster, the Clapham Junction train crash and the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Injuries arising from tiredness
For the individuals involved in accidents induced by tiredness, the injuries can be significant. These can include anything from cuts and lacerations and burns and scalds, to serious head and back injuries. In addition, fatigue can lead to depression and long term sleep problems.
Seeking compensation can be an important step in recovery, and the financial assistance can help with a range of medical, social, psychological and financial losses.
Tiredness, like any other hazard, needs to be managed. It must be identified as a potential risk by an employer and controls implemented to ensure it does not become a danger. This legal responsibility falls under a range for UK legislation but primarily The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
All employers, but especially those involved in high-risk industries, should continually consider the implications of existing working practices on tiredness. For example, they should look at working hours, work load and the nature of the work.
If shift work is involved, they should consider all aspects which contribute to the risks, including the shift timing, breaks and the duration of each shift. If there are problems with overtime and shift-swapping they should look to improve allocation and staffing levels.
Employees must also ensure throughout their planning that they adhere to the provisions of the Working Time Regulations 1998 - irrespective of an employee's desire to work long hours. These stipulate that:
- Employees should not work more than 48 hours a week (with opt out)
- Employees cannot work for more than 6 hours without a break (of 15, 30 or 45 minutes depending on hours)
- An adult employee is entitled to 11 hours rest between working periods
- An adult worker is entitled to no less 1 day off in 7
- Night workers should not work for more than 8 hours in 24
The rules are slightly different for drivers. They have a 9 hour daily driving limit and can work a maximum of 56 hours a week. They require a 45 minute break after 4.5 hours driving (which can be split into two periods).
An individual may have grounds to claim for tiredness-related injury if they believe an employer has failed to adequately manage the risks associated with it, or has breached the legal working hours. In order for an employer to be found liable, negligence must be proven and substantiated with evidence.
Your solicitor can advise on what evidence will be required to give your claim the best chance of success.
A no win no fee agreement (technically called a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement) is entered into between a claimant and a suitably qualified solicitor.
The no win no fee agreement is in essence the conditions under which the solicitor represents the client.
The agreement lays out what the solicitors will do and how he or she will be remunerated if the claim is successful.
If you choose a Quittance solicitor for your tiredness compensation claim there are absolutely no sneaky hidden fees , no up-front fees and the comfort that you will never be out of pocket.
The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.
Road traffic accident claims
Every year almost 200,000* people are injured on Britain's roads. If you have been injured in a road accident that was not your fault, you can claim compensation.
Find out more about claiming compensation for a road accident: Read more about road accident claims
*Source: Official Department of Transport statistics (gov.uk)
Accidents at work - Claims against your employer
Every year, 600,000* employees are injured in accidents at work. If you have suffered an injury or illness at work, you may able to claim compensation.
Find out if you can claim tiredness-related injury compensation from your employer: Read more about work accident claims
*Source: 2016/17 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report
Meet the QLS team
The national panel of Quittance solicitors carry out the legal work for all types of compensation claim, from more minor injury cases to long-term injuries. Chosen for their track record in winning cases, our lawyers have years of dedicated experience handling claims on behalf of injured claimants.
About the author
With over 20 years' experience in the law, Jenny has spent the last decade specialising in personal injury, with a particular focus on industrial disease cases.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert