Agency Worker Injury Claim *
An agency worker is somebody who has an agreement with a certain agency to work for another person or company. Agency workers do not have all the same employment rights as a permanent worker but they are entitled to equal treatment in working and employment conditions. This is set out in the EU Directive on Temporary Agency Work. Agency workers should receive equal treatment when it comes to rest breaks, annual leave, pay and public holidays. If there are certain facilities which are made available to permanent employees then agency workers should also have access to these. As agency workers will be essentially doing the work of a particular company it is important that they receive the same treatment when it comes to making a claim for injuries sustained in the workplace *. If an accident is caused as a result of negligent behaviour on part of the company then they may be found liable for the accident and a claim can be made in the same way as a permanent employee.
Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at work act 2005 all employees have a duty of care to ensure that the health and safety of all employees is a priority. This includes agency workers and anybody who may be working on the site. If an employer breaches this duty of care and acts in a negligent manner then employers liability will come in as they failed to adhere to the regulations that were in place. This Act sets out certain duties of an employer so as to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries at work.
Employer Duties include:
- Managing activities in a way that prioritises the health and safety of employees
- Ensuring that the working environment is suitable for the work that is to be carried out
- Putting adequate safety measures in place to prevent accidents and injury
- Providing necessary training that is required to carry out the particular job in a safe manner
- Ensuring that all employees have the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Who is liable for injury to an agency worker?
In some cases, it can be difficult to determine who is responsible for injuries sustained by an agency worker as this will depend on the individual circumstances.
As agency workers will have an agreement with their agency to work for certain companies they will expect that the premises that they will be employed in will be safe and of a high standard. It is important that an agency carries out an assessment on the particular company’s buildings prior to agreeing to contract out an employee. If this is not done then they may be found liable for any injuries as they should have shown a reasonable duty of care to the workers.
As an agency worker will most likely be taking instructions from the company itself they may be found liable for the injury. An employer is expected to provide a safe working environment for all employees so a breach in this duty of care can result in an accident. If the employer or occupier of the premises in which the work is being carried out has not followed the duties set out in the above Act then they may be held liable.
- Cuts and lacerations
- Head and brain injuries
- Nerve damage
- Industrial deafness
- Back Injury
- Injuries to legs and feet
- Industrial Diseases
Lack of training
All employees should be provided with the necessary training which will help them to carry out their job in a safe manner. This training should also be made available to agency workers even if they may only be employed for a short period of time
Inadequate protective equipment
All employees should be made aware of the potential risks associated with the work that is to be carried out. They should be made aware of what protective equipment is required and this should be provided to them by their employers. This equipment includes footwear, gloves, clothing and facial protection. Please note that in situations whereby an agency worker does not use the protective equipment as it should be used or refuses to use the safety equipment and suffers an injury they may be held liable for the accident.
Poor manual handling training
Manual handling injuries * would be one of the most common types of claims made for accidents at work *. This is one of the most important training courses that should be attended by employees to ensure that no injuries are sustained when lifting or moving heavy items. Employees should always adhere to best lifting practices and use any equipment needed to move heavier items. In cases where an employee who has been given training ignores best practices or does not use moving equipment that an employer has provided them, they may be held liable for the accident.
Unsafe working environment
An unsafe working environment can lead to long-term injuries. There is a universal expectation that you will be provided with a safe and practical working environment. If this is not the case it is likely that accidents will occur and an employer may be held responsible for an accident if they have failed to provide an agency worker with a safe working environment.
Objects falling from a height
In places such as warehouse and factories, it is very common that items may fall from the shelves and storage above. This can lead to head and brain injuries for employees. There should be certain regulations in place to deal with this and items should be stored correctly and at a certain height to avoid the risk of an accident. Overreaching and trying to lift items that are at a height too high for a worker to reach may lead to an accident – in these cases an employer should provide the agency worker with the right equipment so they can safely reach and move such items.
Faulty equipment and machinery
If equipment and machinery are used on a regular basis it can deal with a lot of wear and tear over time resulting in it become broken and faulty. It is important that equipment is assessed regularly and anything that could be a potential danger or hazard should be replaced as soon as possible. In cases where an employer was made aware of a faulty piece of equipment and they failed to replace it, they may be held liable for any accident that occurs as a result.
Exposure to harmful chemicals and substances
Overexposure to harmful chemicals can lead to illness over time. Those who work with these harmful substances should be given the correct protective equipment and training. It is also important that adequate rest breaks are provided so as to avoid overexposure. They type of work that is to be carried out should also be varied so that one person is not spending too much time inhaling these materials.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE
If you have been injured at work as an agency worker and would like to find out more information on this topic feel free to contact our accident claims solicitors on 01 649 9900 or email email@example.com.
With over 30 years’ experience, Tracey Solicitors ensure not to overwhelm you with legal jargon and can provide you with legal advice and guidance with your best interest at heart, in a language that you can understand.