What do you think of when someone says “accident at work”? Do you first think that most accidents at work mean minor injuries? Or that they only happen in a factory in a Dickens novel? Or accidents mean compensation claims?
I now think of all the people I have met who have suffered serious injuries as a result of accidents at work, their stories and the far-reaching impact on their families. Before I met these people, I didn’t appreciate that accidents meant more than simply sustaining an injury and recovering with time.
I also now think about how big the problem of accidents at work is, even though generally the UK has a very good record for health and safety at work which we should be proud of. The Health and Safety Executive figures show 144 workers were killed at work in 2015/2016. That’s almost 3 people killed every working week. The Labour Force Survey figures show 611,000 injuries occurred at work in 2014/15.
From my perspective as a personal injury solicitor there are practical, legal and emotional effects of accidents at work for the injured person and their family. The injuries can be very serious and life-long. Most of my clients can’t go back to work because of physical problems, meaning they struggle to pay the mortgage, support their family and pay for private rehabilitation treatment. For families who have lost a loved one who died as a result of an accident at work, the impact goes even further.
The emotional impact of an accident at work is incomprehensible until you hear from the people who have been there. I have sat with clients and their families who are in tears and struggling to cope. An accident at work can change someone’s life overnight. Emotions can include grief for their old life, loss of identity as the ‘breadwinner’ for their family, worries about treading water financially and desperation to recover.
Knowing more about the impact of accidents at work makes the scale of the problem even more concerning. Knowing that often the accident could have been avoided is tragic.
Personal injury solicitor, Anthony Collins Solicitors
Posted: 12/19/2016 2:53:42 PM