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Factories can be very dangerous places. Consequently, health and safety systems must be closely followed and adhered to by employers in order to minimise those dangers.
The variety of different machinery, the size and mass of the premises and the amount of people who often work in factories all increase the possibility of having a factory accident. Factory accidents can often result in life-changing injuries. If you have been involved in a factory accident that was not your fault, you could have a valid workplace compensation claim.
Factory Accident Claims Types
There are certain types of factory accidents that occur more regularly than others, including:
- Manual handling accidents can happen if your employer has not provided manual handling training. In some cases, it may also be necessary to supply specialised lifting equipment in order to help you do your job efficiently and safely
- Machinery accidents can occur if regularly used machinery is broken or hasn’t been maintained properly. All machinery, and especially moving machinery, should be guarded so that it is not possible for someone to fall into it and sustain an injury
- Slipping and falling accidents can happen in any environment including in factories. Because a variety of different chemicals and liquids are often used in factories, there can be the risk of these spilling on the floor. There should be a cleaning system in place which should be followed and inspected at regular intervals
- Forklift truck accidents are also common. If you are operating a forklift truck (FLT) you will need to have an FLT licence organised your employer. If you have not been provided with a licence and have been involved in a forklift truck accident, you might be able to make a personal injury claim. The area where the FLT is being used should also be clearly marked out so that it is apparent where the vehicle is permitted on the premises
- Falling objects can also cause of accidents in factories. Often, stock is kept on high shelves. If objects have not been stacked correctly, they could fall down on top of someone and cause a very serious injury.
As well as injuries caused by accidents, occupational diseases can be acquired in a factory. The type of occupational illness you may contract will depend on the type of chemicals or materials you are working with. Different chemicals and textiles can cause respiratory and skin conditions. For instance, if you are involved in repetitive work, you may suffer from Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). There are also many kinds of asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis, which can occur following exposure to asbestos, The onset of these conditions can often be 30 or 40 years following original exposure.
Factory Accident Injuries
Some very serious injuries can be sustained as a result of a factory accident. There are too many possible factory injuries to list in detail, however below are some of the more common kinds of injuries:
- Amputations can be caused if you have become entangled or trapped in moving machinery within a factory
- Spinal injuries can happen if you have suffered a fall from height or a slip
- Burns and lacerations can also happen if you come into contact with harmful chemicals and substances
- Back injuries can be sustained in accidents caused by lifting objects
- Industrial deafness can happen if you have been exposed to loud noises in a factory for a long period of time and have not been given the correct ear protection
- Electric shock injuries happen if there has been an electronic item which has not been maintained correctly and has become faulty
Your Employer’s Responsibility To Prevent Factory Accidents
As mentioned earlier, there are many different ways in which your employer help prevent accidents in the factory workplace. Below are some of those responsibilities:
- Employers must supply Personal Protective clothing and equipment (PPE) if a worker is required to work with or alongside potentially dangerous chemicals/substances or materials
- If there are known hazards anywhere in the workplace, your employer should put up signs to warn of these and reduce the likelihood of accidents
- Risk assessments must be performed so that all dangers are considered. New equipment should also undergo risk assessments before being used
- Training – emergency drills and a range of other courses should be undertaken before an employee starts work. The nature of the training will depend on the nature of the job role. Some of this training will need refreshing at different intervals
- Machinery maintenance is an important part of factory safety. Any wear and tear on equipment needs to be inspected – equipment should be repaired or replaced if necessary.
I’ve Had A Factory Accident – What Should I Do Next?
First of all, it is advisable to speak to your GP. Tell them how your accident happened and about the work you do e.g. if it involves working with dangerous substances or if there are repetitive tasks that you perform.
Claiming Compensation For A Factory Accident
You may have reservations about making a personal injury claim against your employer, particularly if you have worked there for a long time and formed good relations. Remember that your employer will have insurance that covers accidents at work and, if you are successful in your case, their insurance policy will fund your settlement.
How Will Jefferies Help Me With My Factory Accident Claim?
Jefferies Solicitors has extensive experience working with many different types of workplace personal injury claims, including factory accident claims.
Time limits do apply for personal injury cases, although there can be exceptions to these rules. In most cases, you will need to begin your claim within three years of the date you had knowledge of your injury or health condition.
If you would like to know more about how to begin a factory accident compensation claim, please get in touch with the no win, no fee solicitors at Jefferies. Call us on 0800 342 3206 or complete an online claim form.