A Guide To The Most Common Accidents At Work And How To Claim Compensation

In this guide, we answer the important question, ‘What are the most common accidents at work?’. We provide information about the legislation that is designed to protect your health and safety while at work. This is followed by a look at the top five most common causes of accidents at work (based on statistics).

Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), certain workplace incidents must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE publishes these statistics and those from the Labour Force Survey(LFS) on their website.

During 2022/23, 561,000 people self-reproted through the LFS that they suffered non fatal injuries at work. The HSE monitor workplace health and safety in Great Britain. The LFS is carried out by the Office for National Statistics to provide official measures of employment in the UK.

We then take you through what you can do if you have been injured in a workplace accident and how you can support a compensation claim. Finally we look at how to claim compensation with a specialist No Win No Fee solicitor.

If after reading our guide you want to find out more about making an accident at work claim, please get in contact with our team.

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In this guide we look at the most common accidents at work.

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What Are The Most Common Accidents At Work?

Before we look at the most common accidents at work we will briefly look at your employer’s duty of care to ensure your safety at work. Under The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 employers must take reasonable steps to provide employees with a safe working environment. If you were injured in an accident caused by your employer’s failure to meet their legal duty of care, you could make an accident at work claim.

To have a valid claim you need to show that:

  1. You were owed a duty of care by your employer.
  2. That your employer failed to meet this duty of care. For example, by failing to conduct a risk assessment that would have identified where steps could have been taken to reduce workplace risks.
  3. That you were injured as a result of this breach. For example, you sustained a head injury as a result of falling objects that wouldn’t have fallen had the risk been identified and appropriate steps taken to reduce or remove it.

What Are The Most Common Causes Of Accidents At Work?

According to RIDDOR statistics from the HSE, the most common non-fatal workplace accidents are illustrated in the graph below. These apply to the year 2022/23.

Workplace injury statistics from the Health and Safety Executive.

It is important to be aware that statistics derived from RIDDOR reporting may not give a true picture as to how many accidents at work really occur and what are the most common as only certain reportable incidents must be reported under this piece of legislation, and these incidents are usually serious ones. Next, we will briefly look at each of these types of workplace accidents.

Slips, Trips And Falls On The Same Level

Slips, trips and falls on the same level accounted for 32% (19,202 times) of non-fatal accidents in the workplace reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) for the year running from the 1st of April 2022 to the 31st of March 2023. This makes this kind of accident the most common for that year.

A slip and fall can happen in any workplace. They could be caused by;

  • Tripping on trailing wires in an office,
  • Slippery surfaces or spillages,
  • Tripping on objects left in a walkway,
  • Poor lighting,
  • Broken or damaged stairs

If you slipped at work and hurt your back or suffered other injuries, such as neck injuries, due to a breach in the duty of care your employer owes you, you could sue your employer for compensation. Contact a member of the advisory team on the details above for further information.

Handling, Lifting Or Carrying

According to these same statistics collected by the HSE, the second most common accidents at work involve handling, lifting or carrying, often known as manual handling accidents. These accounted for 10,230 workplace injuries in the year 2022/23. This number could be much higher as these are only the incidents reported via RIDDOR.

You could be injured carrying, lifting or moving items at work if you have not been given the correct manual handling training or lifting equipment to do so safely. For example, office workers may be asked to move heavy or bulky items. However, without training or equipment to move it, they could sustain common workplace injuries.

Common injuries due to poor manual handling could include:

Struck By A Moving Object

The third most common cause of non fatal workplace injuries reported under RIDDOR is being struck by a moving or falling object. This accounted for 6,428 workplace injuries in 2022/23.

Workplace accidents caused by falling or moving objects could include:

  • Objects falling from a height striking your head. Such as objects falling from shelving in a warehouse accident.
  • Being struck by a moving object, such as a trolley or roll cage.
  • A construction injury caused by tools or objects being dropped.
  • Poorly maintained lifting equipment or machinery (such as lift trucks) failing and dropping a load, which can cause a serious injury or multiple injuries.

Falls From A Height

In 2022-23, 5,118 people were non-fatally injured in workplace falls from a height, according to RIDDOR reporting.

Examples of when you could claim for a fall at work could include:

    • Falling from a broken ladder. For example, your employer was aware that a ladder at work needed repairing; however, they had failed to have this carried out. While at work you use the broken ladder as you are unaware of the defect. A rung breaks, and you fall from a height, which results in you suffering several broken bones.
    • Poorly constructed or faulty scaffolding. For example, you fall from the top level of a scaffolding because the safety bars are missing. You suffer a severe head injury due to the impact of hitting the ground.
    • Your employer does not provide you with a harness while you are replacing some roof tiles, nor is there any scaffolding erected for your safety. You slip on a broken tile and fall from the roof. You suffer a broken back which results in you being paralysed.

Direct any questions you have about compensation for a fall to an advisor.

Acts Of Violence

Acts of violence in the workplace resulted in 5,065 employees being injured, as reported under RIDDOR during 2022/23. In addition to carrying out risk assessments to prevent accidents, your employer also has a duty of care to protect you from violence in the workplace.

Examples of when an employer may be liable for injuries caused by workplace violence include:

    • Where a colleague assaulted you in the workplace after you had already raised safety concerns to your employer.
    • When you work with potentially violent people but are not trained in diffusing situations. Employees could include nightclub door staff, medical and care staff, and security staff.
    • If your job role involves dealing with potentially violent people and you are not provided with necessary Personal Protective Equipment.

You can learn more about what to do if you were assaulted at work in our dedicated guide. Additionally, if you’ve sustained injuries in one of the most common accidents at work and would like to claim, one of our advisors could help you get started today.

What Should You Do If You’ve Suffered An Accident At Work?

If you were injured in a workplace accident, the first step you should take is to get treatment. For example, a first aider at work may be the first place to turn for medical attention, or you may need to attend the hospital. You may also wish to seek medical attention so the injuries can be noted in your medical records (these can then be submitted to support your personal injury claim).

Once your injuries have been treated, there are steps you could take if you wish to make an accident at work compensation claim. An important step you can take is to gather evidence which shows what caused the accident and how you were injured. This can help to show if your employer is liable for your injuries.

Evidence which can help you to claim for workplace accidents could include:

  • Records from your workplace’s accident report book. The law requires any workplace with ten or more employees to have one.
  • Request copies of video footage from any workplace CCTV system. You can also take photos of the scene.
  • Request the contact details of anyone who witnessed the accident happening. This will allow them to be contacted for a witness statement later on in the claims process.

Our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors could help you gather supporting evidence and help you navigate the accident at work claims process. Call an advisor to discuss how one of the accident at work solicitors from our panel could help you.

Two men in high-visibility vests. One has a bandage wrapped around his knee.

Why Claim Accident At Work Compensation On A No Win No Fee Basis?

If you would like to claim for injuries sustained in an accident at work, you may wish to have legal representation to help you through the process. One of the personal injury solicitors from our panel could support your case.

Our panel of solicitors are experienced and have expertise in handling a variety of accident at work compensation claims. They tend to offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis under a Conditional Fee Agreement.

Claiming on a No Win No Fee basis means that you will not need to make any payments for your solicitor’s services, either at the start of or during your claim. If your claim is successful, a success fee will be deducted from your award. This is agreed as a percentage of your settlement and the maximum percentage which can be taken is set by the legislation above. If you are not successful, you will not need to pay for your solicitor’s services.

If you sustained injuries, whether in one of the most common accidents at work, or in another type of incident, a member of our advisory team could help. They can answer your questions about the accident at work claims process and value your case. Additionally, if it seems like you satisfy the eligibility requirements, they could connect you to one of the solicitors from our panel. To find out more about how we could help you:

  • Fill out our call back form to contact us,
  • Chat to an advisor using our pop-up,
  • You can call us today on 0800 408 7825

More Resources About Claiming For The Most Common Accidents At Work

Finally, we have included examples of further helpful resources from our site and external sources.

External resources

We hope our guide to the most common accidents at work has helped you. If you still have any questions, please contact an advisor today.