Injuries on building sites are more frequent than in any other industry and although the building industry only makes up 5% of the UK workforce, 31% of fatal work related injuries are in the building industry.
Thankfully due to stricter controls and Health & Safety measures these figures have significantly dropped over the last 40 years. Nevertheless in 2013/14 a total of 560,000 working days were lost due to injuries in the building industry.
The Health & Safety Executive reported that the cost to society is a staggering £1.1 billion per year from injuries and ill-health due to working conditions on building sites.
Obviously many injuries that occur in the construction industry are unexpected and are not preventable due to the nature of the industry but regrettably some are the direct result of the negligence of employers to ensure the safety of their employees.
If you have been injured in an accident at work which you believe was a result of someone else’s negligence then please contact us today and speak directly to one of our specialist solicitors who will be able to give you the advice you need if you are considering making a claim for compensation for your injuries.
Why are building sites more dangerous than other industries?
Sustaining an injury on a building site is far more likely than any other industry simply because the construction industry relies a great deal on tools which are, if not used with the highest of care can cause serious injury to the operator.
In addition to the use of tools building sites can often be dangerous places to work posing tripping hazards, falling objects, and the use of toxic chemicals.
The element and outcome of human error is often magnified when using large power tools and heavy machinery, even more so if inadequate or no training has been given to the worker.
Aware of the dangers the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) regularly assess and draft regulations for the correct conduct when working on and managing building sites. In particular:
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER)
- Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR)
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Common building site injuries
Falling from Height
Whilst over the last few decades injuries on building sites have dropped considerably, inevitably accidents do still happen. Falling from height is possibly the most common injury. Scaffolders and roofers are required to spend large amount of time working at height and must ensure that all safety precautions are in place.
Often in an attempt to bring a job in on budget, to save time or even a lack of care, scaffolding is erected incorrectly, ladders are used where scaffolding should be and safety harnesses are ill-fitting, or not even provided.
If workers are not properly trained, no safety equipment is provided or the equipment provided is inherently unsafe and an accident results causing injury to the employee, they may have a claim for compensation due to the negligence of their employer in falling to provide a safe working environment.
Tripping and slipping accidents
There is no denying that building sites are often messy places littered with tools, materials and slippery and uneven walkways.
It is no surprise that many people are injured on building sites by slipping and tripping. To some regard there may be no other or better way of working and to some extent it must be accepted that a building site will not be clear of obstacles and potential danger.
In the event of an accident injury the employer or site manager would be required to provide evidence that regular risk assessments had taken place and the site was managed as best it possibly could be, to prevent an accident taking place. Should your employer not be able to provide such evidence this may be indicate that you would be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries.
Lifting heavy objects
Falling from heights and slipping and tripping are not the only ways to sustain an injury on a building site.
Lifting heavy tools and objects without sufficient training on our to do so or being asked to lift objects that should not be done by one person often results in an injury to the back, neck or shoulders and in some instances may result in a crushing accident.
There are of course countless ways to become injured from electrocution, burns, stepping on sharp objects, getting caught in machinery, so any worker need to be vigilant to potential dangers and report any hazards immediately they become aware of them
Responsibility of employers
All employers regardless of what industry they are in have a duty of care to all employees, customers and anyone who is on their premises.
Regulations and strict measures should be maintained to ensure the safety of all personal on site. Together with the employer all personnel have a duty to uphold regulations set down by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
This means that the employer, manager or owner is responsible for the general tidiness and safety, and the servicing and upkeep of any machinery, tools and vehicles.
If the injury or injuries sustained from an accident are the result of a lack of care and negligence of the employer then a claim for compensation can be pursued.
If you have been injured on a building site through no fault of your own and feel your injury was caused as the result of someone elses negligence then please contact us today and speak directly to one of our personal injury solicitors who will be able to give you free advice.
If our solicitors feel that you are entitled to make a claim for compensation for you injury they will be able to handle your claim from start to finish without any cost to you as we deal with all injury claims on a ‘No win no fee’ basis.