Tough working conditions are often associated with a time when little or few health and safety laws were in place or in working environments in less affluent countries than the UK.
However, despite the success of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (the first laws which provided safety protection for workers) there still remains serious hazards in the most common kinds of workplace areas. There have since been many different laws set down by the Health and Safety Executive, all of which are largely adhered to by most organisations. However, HSE laws can be breached and accidents do happen.
Below are job roles and sectors which are considered to be some of the most dangerous and risky in the UK.
Accidents on construction sites can include minor, serious and sometimes fatal injuries. According to numerous sources, the incidence of construction accidents is higher than most other types of industry. Considering the multitude of different equipment; weather conditions and the range of different tasks the building environment requires from its workers, it is perhaps not surprising to learn that construction workers are considered to have one of the most dangerous jobs in the UK. Amongst some of the most dangerous kinds of hazards present in a construction work environment are:
The agricultural industry is another sector that has a higher risk of accidents in the workplace. The nature of the work on farms means there is a whole host of different accidents, illnesses and injuries that can occur; some of the most common kinds of farming accidents include:
Accidents on farms are unfortunately often associated with serious and fatal injuries. The risks that are present in a farm setting mean there is much more danger of having an accident than many other workplaces.
The HSE recognises farming and the agricultural industry as one of the most dangerous places to work and has reported that in the last decade, there has been close to one person a week who has been killed as a result of a farming accident.
The HSE has cited ill-advised risk-taking as one of the major problems thwarting the sector in terms of accidents. It has also been identified that people who work alone on farms are at a greater risk of having an accident. Some of the most common kinds of farming accidents include:
Bad weather can also be a contributor to the risk levels in farming accidents and there can also be a higher risk of suffering from a noise or dust related accident or injury after working on a farm.
Children are also at risk of having an accident on a farm as often they can live on the premises. Repetitive work of some of the jobs on a farm can cause occupational conditions such as back pain and other health issues.
According to the HSE, there is around one in a hundred people who work on farms yet one out of five fatal injuries are attributed to farming accidents. The two most common ways of experiencing a fatal farming accident are being hit by a moving vehicle and falling from a height. Machinery accidents, as well as asphyxiation and drowning, are also considered to be common ways in which you could die on a farm while working.
Workplace injuries can also be caused by an animal or if you become trapped by a heavy object, e.g. machinery. Accidents caused by electricity are considered to be high-risk areas in an agricultural working environment too.
Not all farming injuries are fatal and those which are not can often be caused by slipping and falling; falling objects; falls from a height; machinery accidents and accidents caused by animals. There is also a chance that farm workers can be exposed to heat; cold and high humidity; machinery and equipment can also cause vibration-related conditions.
The incidence of musculoskeletal injuries caused by working on a farm is three times higher than the national average for all other industries; there are two times as many people who suffer from asthma than other sectors and there are approximately 20,000 people who have experienced some form of zoonoses (a disease which is passed from animal to human).
Although it is not considered to be one of the most hazardous jobs, working as a police officer does come with a certain amount of risk. Physical assaults are one such risk. Policemen and women often work in situations where there is a possibility of being physically assaulted because of the nature of the work they do.
Some believe that criminals are more inclined to use force than they have done in recent years and there have been some high profile incidents where police officers have been shot dead. Changes to licensing laws have also raised the question of risks to police officers in charge of policing town centres at weekends with reports of more alcohol-related incidents which have resulted in police officers becoming injured.
Refuse workers are also at risk every day. A large part of their job involves lifting heavy objects like bins which can put them at risk of a back injury. Road traffic accidents can also occur as workers in this field are required to operate and be passengers in lorries and trucks which collect refuse and waste. You may also be walking in pedestrian areas when you are struck by a vehicle and safety advice for refuse workers is to always wear hi-visibility clothing to minimise the incidence of road traffic accidents at work.
Slipping and falling accidents are also a risk for refuse workers; faults and defects on e.g. potholes can cause these kinds of accidents at work. Manual handling injuries are also an issue if you work as a refuse collector. Some bins can be very heavy and although most have wheels on, there are still injuries which can occur due to heavy lifting. Employers are required to provide up-to-date manual handling training and provide the correct Personal Protective Equipment.
Lacerations and cuts can also happen if you work as a refuse collector, e.g. if some of the refuse you are collecting contains sharp objects that you are unaware of.
According to a report published by the HSE, mining is considered to be one of the most dangerous jobs but it is a job that is overestimated for the dangers associated with it. Shopkeepers, teachers, mechanics and estate agents are other professions are also considered dangerous jobs according to a number of sources. Roofers, pilots and oil and gas worker jobs also come with a degree of risk.
Here at First Personal Injury, we deal with a wide range of accident at work claim types, some of which are listed below. If you have been injured in the workplace from some other type of occurrence, please do not hesitate to contact us anyway, as we may be able to help and advise regarding your claim for compensation.
If you or someone you know has been in an accident that wasn’t their fault they may be entitled to accident compensation. Our solicitors are here to help with your potential accident or injury compensation claims.
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