A LAW FIRM secured more than £100,000 in successful personal injury claims for clients last year.
Edward Hughes Solicitors, based in Rhyl and Colwyn Bay, said incidents in the workplace continue to dominate caseloads.
Latest statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Labour Force Survey revealed in the last year more than 581,000 people sustained a non-fatal injury at work.
Around 1.4million people suffered from a work-related illness, 147 staff were killed in the workplace and 4.7million working days were lost.
The estimated cost of injuries and ill-health from working conditions was £15billion.
Despite these escalating numbers, many people are afraid to report an incident to their employers for fear of repercussions, including dismissal.
David Jones, a partner and Employment Law solicitor at Edward Hughes, said it is important accidents are recorded and dealt with, and that the injured party takes legal advice.
These are unprecedented times, and many people are working from home and self-isolating, but the rules will still apply when shops, stores, offices and sites reopen.
“The first and most important thing to do is record the incident,” said Mr Jones.
“We regularly hear about people who have suffered an injury who chose not to pursue it because they were concerned it would lose them their job, or cause friction with colleagues.
“These are serious issues and we are seeing more and more of them, so it’s up to employers to ensure correct procedures are in place and ensure their staff feel comfortable in claiming compensation they are owed.”
He added: “The majority of employers have all of the risk assessments in place, as well as staff representatives, health and safety policies, posters and literature and regular consultations.
“And by law any worker who has been with a company for two years – or 103 weeks – cannot be sacked or forced out of their job. Those with less than two years’ service are still protected and should take legal advice if they have concerns.”
A spokesperson for the HSE reinforced those points and said employers are legally obliged to report certain injuries that occur in the workplace, including those where the injury keeps an employee from working for seven days or more.
They added: “All accidents or near misses should be recorded under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), but of the 581,000 non-fatal injuries last year, only 69,208 such reports were submitted.
“This means that potentially around 50% of significant injuries that were sustained at work may have gone unreported by the employers responsible for safeguarding their workforce and ensuring that the company’s health and safety processes are compliant with the latest regulations.”