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Workplace accidents are one of the most common personal injury cases made each year. Machinery accidents are quite common and can leave people with injuries leaving a person unable to work.Tell Us About Your Case
Most factories, warehouses and industrial environments would use dangerous machinery on a daily basis. While it is a responsibility of the employer to ensure a safe working environment, adequate training and appropriate safety gear for all staff working with dangerous machinery, responsibility also rests with the employee to ensure that they act in accordance to their safety training.
Manufacturers of these dangerous machines have a duty of care to their customers to ensure that they are providing working machinery which is not defective in any way. This is not always the case and sometimes it can be manufacturing defects which cause accidents at work.
There are a number of different ways in which these machine accidents can be prevented. This includes carrying out frequent risk assessments, providing correct training to all staff and providing the correct personal protective equipment (PPE). If an employer is found to be in breach of these actions the employer may be liable for the injury sustained.
Eye injuries can be caused by dislodged parts or items flying from the machinery. This can lead to long-term injuries which may result in vision impairment.
If you were to get clothing or a body part caught in machinery with moving parts, this can lead to crush injuries or in some cases degloving – this is where the skin becomes removed from the underlying tissue, in these cases blood supply may also be cut off in the injured area.
Cuts and lacerations can be caused by getting caught in machinery or coming in contact with any sharp edges which are not protected properly.
Nerve damage can be caused by becoming entangled in the machine and can be an effect of Degloving also.
Inhaling dangerous fumes from machinery used in the workplace can lead to lung disease. The fumes can come from any piece of machinery in the workplace and inhaling large amounts can cause damage to your system.
Other injuries caused by working with dangerous machinery include:
Machine-related injury can generally be categories into three groups:
In some instances, an employer may be worried about the production line and how fast its moving, rather than the risks involved in operating some types of machinery, this may lead to situations where an employer will have staff hit the ground running without adequate training. Staff find themselves using a machine incorrectly because they don’t know any different and this could lead to an injury. It may seem as though the employee is not following the safety regulations, but in actual fact, they simply weren’t shown how to use the machine properly, which led to their accident.
Each machine comes with its own potential risks and the injuries that can be sustained also vary from machine to machine, this is why the employer must provide staff with the correct and adequate PPE for the particular machine they are using. This could be either, safety goggles, fireproof clothing, hard hat / other protective headgear, heavy-duty boots and gloves (well-fitted gloves), for example. Using one of the above or combinations of both may be needed depending on the machine.
The machine may be faulty on arrival or become faulty over time. Poorly maintained machinery can be very dangerous also. Machinery that is not periodically checked, that is not rechecked after repairs, broken machinery and/or machinery with missing or defective parts, are all seen as faulty and may lead to an accident.
According to the HSA and in their most recent figures (2010 – 2019), in addition to injuries sustained by machinery, machine-related accidents have also been responsible for the following fatal accidents:
Prevention of risks that may lead to machine accidents, should be a number one concern for employers whose staff are working with dangerous machinery. Some of the things employers can do, as recommended by the HSA are:
A person has an expectation that the equipment in their workplace is safe to use and is in good working condition. However, at times accidents can be caused by defective working equipment, usually because of:
Lifting equipment is used to raise, lift and/or temporarily support equipment, usually during repairs or maintenance. When using lifting equipment, there are a number of elements that the operator needs to be aware of:
Power take-off (PTO) is a device that transfers mechanical power from an engine of a machine to another piece of equipment. These are commonly found on vehicles, such as tractors or vehicles of a similar nature, and rotate at a speed of nine times per second, sometimes slower than that. A PTO system may contain elements that are exposed, such as PTO shaft, and if not careful may lead to an accident. Most PTO accidents happen when loose clothing or limbs get entangled into the shaft.
Most PTO accidents occur for the following reasons:
According to the HSA, here are some general guideline that should be followed to prevent an accident:
Workshops, factories and other indoor facilities that house dangerous machinery must be kept to a certain standard to avoid accidents:
Following an accident at work, there are a number of steps you should follow:
Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after an accident at work, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries and seek the relevant medical attention. If you have sustained a serious injury ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.
For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to more serious injuries in the future. In this case it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.
It is critical to report the accident to your superior, i.e. a supervisor or manager on site. It doesn’t matter how small you think the accident may be. By law, accidents at work are required to be reported if the person is injured and can’t perform their daily work tasks for more than three days. Make sure to fill out an Accident Report Form. This can be used for reference in any medical examination and will also prevent any similar accidents from happening in the future.
If possible, try to collect the contact details of anybody that witnessed your accident. This may be of use if you do decide to pursue a workplace accident claim. It is also useful to find out if there is any CCTV in the area where your accident happened.
It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:
If you are considering moving forward with a workplace accident claim for any personal injuries sustained, it is advisable that you speak with a workplace accident claims solicitor as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) for assessment. A workplace accident solicitor can help you in preparing your application to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.
It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim.
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Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist workplace accident solicitor to help you with this.
When you decide you want to move forward with your workplace accident claim it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:
Solicitors are aware of the workplace accident claim process and can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this process yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.
One of the most important documents in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or hospital details so they can obtain a report on your injuries.
As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your workplace accident claim will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. Your solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move the next step.
At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:
a. If both you and your employer accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.
b. If either you or your employer reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.
Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.
Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus on your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.
At Tracey’s we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your workplace accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about your case.
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If you are to proceed with a workplace accident claim you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.
General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a workplace accident.
Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the workplace accident, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages.
The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.Learn more about Time Limits
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