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Builders Beware!

If I were to carry out a survey to ask members of the public which professions they believed to be the deadliest then I should imagine that I would receive responses such as stunt men or members of the armed forces. It may therefore come as a surprise that in fact builders topped a recent list of the top five deadliest professions. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have produced provisional statistics for 2014/15, which indicate that there will be 142 fatal injuries at work. Over half of those are expected to be as a result of falls from height, contact with moving machinery and being struck by a vehicle.

In June this year, a builder, aged in his 60’s was left in a critical condition after his fall from a roof at a property in Eltham. This was followed by the tragic case just one week later of a builder, aged 44 who died after falling from the roof of the Olympic stadium whilst helping to convert it into the new West Ham stadium. The reports were quick to indicate that thorough investigations were to be carried out but is this a case of too little, too late?

Thankfully, not all injuries sustained on building sites are fatal, but they can be life changing and can range from the catastrophic to fairly minor injuries, but no matter what the injury, it can have a devastating effect on you and your family.

Bringing a claim against your employer can be a daunting and stressful experience. I deal with these types of cases on a day to day basis and so I understand the fears of my clients and can provide practical advice in dealing with the pressures of making a claim.

Interestingly, the number of claims being brought against employers has reduced in recent years even though the number of accidents happening in the workplace has increased. This should not dissuade you from making a claim though. Your Employer has a duty to ensure your safety at work and so if you have been involved in an accident through no fault of your own then you could be entitled to compensation.

It is important that you seek specialist legal advice to discuss any potential claim. You should be aware that since October 2013, employers can no longer be found strictly liable for an accident at work. In other words, you now have to prove that your injuries were caused by the negligence of your employer, and cannot rely on the fact that there has been a breach of health and safety regulations alone.

Has your job been adequately risk assessed? Are you provided with the correct equipment so that you can carry out your job in a safe and effective manner? Are you provided with adequate and regular training? If the answer to any of the above is ‘no’ and you have been involved in an accident at work then you should seek specialist legal advice today.