It’s easy to think of accidents at work just happening in factories or other industrial settings. Perhaps this is because health and safety regulations weren’t always what they should have been concerning ‘heavy industry’ in previous years.

For instance, new asbestos disease claims are started every day because of asbestos exposure from many years ago when employers blatantly disregarded the safety of those working with asbestos. Thankfully, huge improvements have been made over the past 30 or more years.

However, accidents still happen in almost any workplace setting. Therefore, any list of types of workplace accidents will never be complete. Here are some of the more common types of accident at work claims:

  1. Building/construction site accident claims
  2. Factory accident claims
  3. Forklift Truck accident claims
  4. Office accident claims
  5. Warehouse accident claims
  6. Farming accident claims
  7. Defective work equipment claims
  8. Work accident at sea claims
  9. Oil rig accident claims
  10. Electric shock and electrocution claims
  11. Chemical accident claims
  12. Scaffolding accident claims
  13. Transport accident claims
  14. Machinery injury compensation

There are many ways that accidents happen in the workplace. Some types of accidents cross over into several different workplace sectors, such as:

a)    Slip, trip and fall accidents

These are the most common types of workplace accidents. They involve slipping on wet floors, tripping over cables left strewn across the floor, falling over uneven floors, etc.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, which publishes annual reports on accidents at work in the previous year, slips, trips and fall accidents account for almost a third of all non-fatal workplace accidents.

Slips, trips and falls can happen in any sector of industry or profession.

b)   Manual Handling 

Manual handling injury claims is another common type of accident at work claim. At Mooneerams Solicitors, we get asked to pursue accidents of this type on behalf of workers who have suffered back injuries and muscle sprain injuries because they’ve been asked to push, lift or pull heavy items.

A lack of adequate employee training is a significant factor in causing manual handling accidents.

If workers get asked to lift weights that are too heavy to manage, they can suffer back injuries. Manual handling accidents are an occupational hazard for hospital staff when asked to lift patients into and out of beds.

c)    Hit by a moving object

In large workplaces such as factories and warehouses, it is typical for work-related vehicles, such as forklift trucks, to drive around the aisles and walkways. A worker may get hit by one of these vehicles if all necessary precautions are not in place (and adhered to).

The HSE accident statistic report for 2022 revealed that 11% of all non-fatal injury accidents at work (reported by employers) resulted from being struck by a moving object. A fifth of all fatal accidents during the same period were caused by being hit by a moving vehicle.

d)   Hit by a falling object

Falling object accidents can happen in a variety of circumstances.

  • Heavy box files falling from shelves in an office onto an unsuspecting worker could cause a nasty head, neck or shoulder injury.
  • Brick or masonry falling from scaffolding will almost certainly cause severe injury or death if it lands on someone on the ground below.
  • Many falling objects from height accidents occur on construction sites, e.g., tools, hard hats, walkie-talkie radios, and pieces of building masonry.
  • Warehouses are another workplace where the potential of severe injuries from falling boxes of stock of badly stacked racking is high.

e)   Repetitive strain injuries

Repetitive strain injuries occur from the repeated overuse of a particular body part. Common causes of RSI are:

  • Badly designed work chairs
  • A workstation that is not set up correctly for the person using it
  • Any job that involves repetitive movements

Symptoms of RSI include:

  • Aching or burning muscles; tendon and joint pain
  • Stiffness
  • A throbbing sensation in the affected part of the body
  • Tingling and numbness
  • A weakness of the hands or arms
  • Fatigue
  • Cramps

f)     Falls from height

Any fall from height at work is a serious matter.

For example, falls from height in the food and drinks industry alone are one of the highest causes of fatal workplace accidents, and that is just in one sector alone.

Examples of falls from height involve falling from:

  • Ladders
  • Roofs
  • Warehouse racking units
  • Scaffolding
  • Stairs
  • Machinery
  • Raised platforms
  • Motor vehicles

g)    Assaulted at work

Assaults by members of the public on workers who are simply doing their jobs have now become a sad fact of life. Nearly 2,000 people were prosecuted for assaults on emergency workers during the first six months of the COVID-19 lockdown.

It isn’t just emergency workers assaulted at work – it can be a work colleague assaulting a fellow work colleague, a care home resident who attacks their carer, or a pupil at school who attacks their teacher.

You could consider making a criminal injury claim if you are assaulted at work. There is also the possibility of claiming for an accident at work against your employer if you are assaulted in the workplace.

An assault at work claim would carry reasonable prospects of success if there was a failure on the part of your employer that puts him in breach of his duty of care to you. The possibility of assaults at work has become more predictable in several occupations, as we have mentioned above.

To make a successful accident at work claim after an assault at work, you must demonstrate that your employer ought to have known that an assault at work was predictable. Perhaps there have been similar attacks at your workplace on people doing the same type of job as you.

If so, has your employer heeded the lessons of previous attacks by providing extra training and security or increased staffing levels to mitigate against the possibility of further attacks? If the employer has done nothing new to protect staff from being assaulted at work, you would have reasonable prospects of succeeding in an assault at work claim.