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Written by
on 06 July 2012


While a recent study by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that actually personal injury claims in the workplace have reduced in recent years, the amount of deaths have actually increased. A study published in HR Magazine back in March 2012 reported that around a quarter of UK workers would not make a negligence claim following an accident that was not their fault at work. So while the figures might seem to show a decrease in accidents, it could well be that people are less likely to report a claim than before.

Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims against an employer can be costly, not only for the amount of compensation that needs to be paid but also the legal fees and time taken out of the business. So how can you reduce accidents at work and reduce the risk of a personal injury claim being brought against you?

Every employer has a responsibility to ensure that their company complies with health and safety legislation in protecting their employees, suppliers, visitors and the general public. As part of this ‘duty of care’ they must complete a detailed risk assessment to identify and prevent any potential hazards. Even though this risk assessment must be up to date, many companies risk letting their health and safety processes fall by the wayside without formal procedures for maintaining it in place and this negligence not only can risk accidents, but law suits too.

Implementing an occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) can help your organisation to take your legal obligations a step further to better protect employees, customers and others from hazards within your business. While a risk assessment does identify areas that need improvement and requires maintaining, an OHSMS such as that outlined by OHSAS 18001 sets your business up to be continually evaluating and improving your processes. You can set company specific goals that must be met in order to ensure that your health and safety policies are being sustained and then monitor them as often as you need to.

By ensuring that your health and safety management system is robust and up to date, you are more likely to identify hazards before they turn into accidents and reduce the risk of personal injury claims being brought against you, not to mention lives being lost. Where you can prove that every measure was taken to avoid an accident occurring, even if the worst does occur you are less likely to have to go to court and end up paying compensation to an employee.

The prevention of accidents at work should central to any businesses. By ensuring that your health and safety processes are robust, we can all work to reduce the amount of accidents that occur every year.

About the author

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

  • Depending on your line of work implementing Health and Safety is usually pretty cheap. Of course; it’s pretty much always cheaper than implementing after an incident.

  • Workwear says:

    Managing workplace health and safety is an important way that all types of organizations minimize risk, including preventing medical and legal costs of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths. Safety programs don’t only focus on prevention; they also focus on educating employees how to live healthy lives. Many organizations specialize in workplace health and safety, but some organizations lead their industries in safety advocacy and education.