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Britain has some of the strictest health and safety regulations in the world. However, the number of workplace accidents has failed to decrease over the past decade.
Construction workers are at particular risk of serious injury. If you have a work accident on a construction site due to the negligence of your employer, the owner of the site or someone else with responsibility for your health and safety, it may be possible for you to claim work accident compensation.
Construction workers at higher risk of accidents at work
Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal the construction sector sadly has the highest rate of fatal accidents at work and the second-highest rate of non-fatal workplace injuries.
Construction workers make up around 6% of the UK’s workforce and include builders, plumbers, electricians, joiners, plasterers and roofers, as well as civil engineers and road or railway workers.
The most common types of workplace accidents in construction include:
- Falls from height off ladders and scaffolding – consists of around 50% of fatal work injuries
- Being struck by moving or falling objects, such as dropped tools, machinery, and other equipment
- Being hit by a works vehicle, such as a dumper truck or forklift – 10% of fatal work accidents are caused by workers being hit by a vehicle
- Becoming trapped by the collapse of buildings or excavation sites
- Electrocution – Construction work often takes place near power lines and power sources. When machinery and equipment hits power lines, electrocution is a real danger.
Construction accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, including head and brain injuries, spinal injuries, limb loss and amputation, bone fractures, nerve damage and in the worst cases, fatal injuries.
Why should I make a construction accident claim?
Accidents at work can be devastating, causing life-changing injuries which may prevent you from working. After a serious construction accident, you may need specialist rehabilitation and care and support to get your life back on track.
If you are involved in a workplace accident that happened because of your employer’s negligence or, the site owner’s failure to comply with health and safety rules, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.
In addition, you may be able to claim for any accident-related losses you have incurred including travel expenses to and from hospital appointments, prescription charges, and other financial losses you may have suffered such as any loss of earnings, or any equipment you have paid for such as mobility aids, and any home or vehicle adaptations.
What are my rights if I am involved in a construction accident?
If you experience an accident or injury at work that was not your fault, you might worry about your employer being unsupportive or reacting badly. You might even worry about being sacked or dismissed.
However, as part of the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 employers are legally required to have insurance that covers accidents in their workplace. This means your employer’s insurance policy will cover the costs and damages payable to you if you make a personal injury claim against them.
It is also important to be aware of your rights under employment law. These exist to protect you if you are treated unfairly or inappropriately by your employer, including after a work accident.
How much compensation after a construction accident?
The amount of compensation you receive after a construction accident depends on the circumstances in which the accident happened, how severely you or your loved one has been hurt and the long-term consequences of your injuries.
Your specialist workplace accident solicitor will work with you to build a case for compensation that considers:
- The extent of your injuries and the pain and suffering your accident has caused for you or your loved ones.
- Any loss of earnings; whether you are unable to work temporarily or permanently because of the accident or if you are no longer able to work in the same capacity as you could before the accident.
- The cost of any medication, treatment, or rehabilitation, including travel costs for appointments.
- The cost of care and adaptations you need because of your injuries.
At Novum Law we understand how stressful dealing with the aftermath of a serious workplace accident can be for you and your loved ones.
We will support you throughout the process, and we provide ‘No Win, No Fee’ so that there is no financial risk to you or hidden costs. Most of our claims are also settled before having to go to court.
Can I make an accident at work compensation claim if I am on a zero-hours contract?
You do not have to be a full-time, permanent employee to make a claim after an accident at work. Zero-hours employees, self-employed contractors and former employees of a company that is no longer in business are all covered by health and safety legislation.
Is there a time limit for work accident compensation claims?
If you have been seriously injured in an accident at work, you usually have 3 years to start a claim from the date your accident happened. This is called ‘limitation’. However, there are some exceptions to this. These include:
- If you were under 18 when the accident happened (for example, if you were injured in a construction accident as an apprentice). In this case, you can start a claim any time before your 18th The 3-year limitation period will only start once you turn 18, meaning that if you experience a construction accident as a teenager, you have until your 21st birthday to begin the claims process.
- If you do not have the mental capacity to make your own decisions. In this case, there is no time limit for you or your loved ones to make a claim.
Limitation rules can be complicated. If you are getting close to the 3-year legal time limit, it is very important that you get in touch with a specialist personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can discuss your potential claim and let you know if you have grounds for a workplace accident claim.
How Novum Law can help following a work accident
Zoe Morgan is a specialist personal injury solicitor from our Swindon team. She has over a decade’s experience dealing with serious work accidents and has helped many workers injured on construction sites. She says:
“It’s shocking that construction workers are three times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than those employed in other sectors. Everyone deserves the right to a safe working environment, free from avoidable accidents that can cause severe injuries or even death.
“At Novum Law, we often help workers who have been failed by their employers due to avoidable lapses in health and safety rules compliance. When this happens, compensation can be a lifeline for workers who’ve suffered the physical, emotional, and financial impact of being severely injured at work.”