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Today is World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2021, an annual event organised by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Every year on 28 April, World Day for Safety and Health at Work raises awareness on the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. It also aims to create a safety and health culture to help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries.

This year’s event is even more poignant as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted nearly every aspect of our daily working lives.

Employers’ responsibilities

Employers have a general duty to ensure the safety, health and welfare of their employees. In these uncertain times, where many people are still working from home, this duty continues to apply.

Under the law, employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to make sure that employees’ health, safety and welfare (including mental wellbeing) are looked after, and this also includes other people who might be affected by the business.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) this means:

  • Making sure workers and others are protected from anything that may cause harm, effectively controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace.
  • Assessing risks in the workplace. Risk assessments should be carried out that address all risks that might cause harm in the workplace.
  • Giving employees information about risks in the workplace and how staff are protected.
  • Instructing and training employees on how to deal with any risks.

Work health and safety in figures

Unfortunately, health and safety at work is an ongoing issue. The latest HSE figures for Great Britain (2019/20) report that:

  • 6 million working people are suffering from a work-related illness
  • There were 2,446 mesothelioma deaths due to past exposure to asbestos at work
  • 111 workers were killed at work
  • 693,000 workers were injured at work
  • 8 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and injury
  • £16.2 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from working conditions

Preventing work accidents and illnesses

Many work accidents and illnesses are entirely preventable. The law, quite rightly, takes a tough stance on any employers who do not comply with health and safety regulations.

If your employer does not comply with a regulation relevant to your work, they’ll normally be committing a criminal offence and could:

  1. Be given verbal or written advice by the Health and Safety Executive
  2. Get an improvement or prohibition notice or
  3. Be prosecuted which could lead to a significant fine or even imprisonment

Making a work accident or illness claim

If you have an accident at work or become ill due to working practices, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

At Novum Law, we believe no one should find themselves injured at work or ill due to the conditions they are forced to work in or because of unlawful working practices.

If you have had a serious injury at work, or have become ill due to your work, we can help you get compensation to assist with any loss of income, medical treatment and costs, care expenses and for any pain, suffering and emotional distress.

For free, confidential advice about how we can help on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, please contact us on 0800 884 0777, email: info@novumlaw.com or complete our online enquiry form.