Employers in the UK have a legal obligation to ensure a safe working environment for their employees. 

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, UK employers must take various steps to protect the health and safety of their staff by preventing workplace accidents and illnesses. 

Health and safety legislation in the country is based on the principle that those who create the risks are best placed to control them.  

This means that employers are responsible for determining precisely which health and safety measures they should introduce, which can depend on various factors, including the industry sector, the nature of the business, and the perceived level of risk. 

However, as a minimum, UK employers should: 

  • Provide a safe system of work. 
  • Provide a safe place of work. 
  • Provide safe equipment, plant, and machinery to perform the work. 
  • Ensure work colleagues are competent in their roles. 

Failure to adhere to the relevant health and safety requirements can have severe consequences. Workplace accidents can result in injuries to workers, lost productivity for a company, and lead to legal and financial repercussions for its owners. 

In Britain, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the independent regulator that is responsible for promoting, regulating, and enforcing workplace health, safety, and welfare.  

In this blog, our Personal Injury solicitors consider some of the key steps all UK employers should take to prevent accidents at work and maintain a safe and healthy working environment. 

  1. Undertake a risk assessment. 

The first step for employers to create and implement an effective health and safety policy is to conduct a risk assessment to determine the level of risk and identify and address potential hazards. 

Regular risk assessments should be undertaken to ensure that policies are kept up to date and reflect a company’s current business practices. 

A risk assessment comprises the following aspects: 

  • Identify hazards. 
  • Assess the risks. 
  • Control the risks. 
  • Record your findings. 
  • Review the controls. 

Different industries require different health and safety risk assessments

  1. Have the proper workplace facilities. 

According to the HSE, employers must provide facilities and an environment that is healthy and safe for everyone in the workplace, including those with disabilities. 

Employers must supply, for example: 

  • The right number of toilets and washbasins. 
  • Drinking water. 
  • Somewhere employees can rest and eat meals. 
  • A clean workplace with a reasonable working temperature, good ventilation, suitable lighting and the right amount of space and seating. 
  • Well-maintained equipment, with no obstructions in floors and traffic routes, and windows that can be easily opened and cleaned. 

Employers must also provide a first aid kit and appoint someone to take charge in the event of a medical emergency. 

Accidents can happen at work for various reasons and through no fault of your own.  

According to the HSE, an accident at work is ‘an event that results in injury or ill health’. The most common ways in which employees are injured include: 

  • Slips, trips, and falls. 
  • Falls from height. 
  • Manual handling injuries. 
  • Machinery/equipment injuries. 

If you have been the victim of a workplace accident and believe that it was caused, at least in part, by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to make a compensation claim. 

At Langley Wellington, our experienced Personal Injury solicitors handle a wide range of compensation claims for accidents at work and can advise on the best way to proceed. 

For a free consultation about a compensation claim for a workplace accident from our specialist personal injury lawyers, call us on 01452 521286, email lawyers@langleywellington.co.uk or make an online enquiry

  1. Provide information and training. 

An employer is legally responsible for ensuring employees can do their jobs properly and safely. 

Employers must give workers clear instructions and information and provide adequate training and supervision. 

Staff members must complete their required tasks correctly to ensure they are not cutting corners that may be dangerous and result in injury. 

  1. Prepare a health and safety policy. 

Companies should have an up-to-date, comprehensive health and safety policy that sets out their approach to health and safety, how it is managed, and documents who is responsible for what, when and how.  

Employers should update their health and safety policy regularly to reflect any changes in business practices and ensure it continues to be proportionate to the risk. 

  1. Report accidents and illnesses. 

Employers are required to maintain a company accident book that includes information about: 

  • Work-related deaths. 
  • Certain serious injuries. 
  • Diagnosed cases of certain industrial diseases. 
  • Certain near-miss incidents. 

This can be used to help employers stay on top of the risks and adapt any company practices accordingly. 

More information about how an employer should ensure their staff’s safety at work is available on the HSE website

Personal Injury Lawyers Gloucestershire 

Personal injury can be a complex area of law and we understand that making a claim against your employer is often a daunting prospect.  

Our workplace accident lawyers have many decades of experience between them and are recognised in their field for their expertise in employer’s liability.  

We can help on a wide range of workplace accident matters, including in the following types of claims: 

  • Construction site accidents. 
  • Falls from height. 
  • Factory and warehouse accidents. 
  • Incorrect work practices. 
  • Lack of appropriate PPE. 
  • Inadequate supervision. 
  • Inadequate training. 
  • Lack of risk assessment. 
  • Defective equipment. 
  • Health and safety violations. 

We realise you may be reluctant to seek compensation against your employer, worried that they will suffer a financial loss due to the claim or are fearful of being treated unfairly by them afterwards. 

However, compensation awarded in most accident at work claims is paid out by the employer’s liability insurance provider and not the employer. 

Furthermore, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate or treat an employee differently because the employee is making a work accident claim. 

To speak to us today, please call 01452 521286, email lawyers@langleywellington.co.uk or fill in this contact form

This blog is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please get in touch with our team of solicitors.