Have you suffered an accident whilst working on a building site in Birmingham? Would you like to make a compensation claim for the injuries you have sustained?
To begin the your compensation claim, ring us immediately and our experienced team will provide you with all the answers you need.
Photo Credit: Robin Webster
The construction industry is an employer for many thousands of people in the UK, and no one doubts its importance to the wider economy. However the working environment of a construction site can present many issues in terms of employee safety. Due to the nature of the work involved in working on a construction site, employers are obliged to protect their employees from unnecessary harms.
The dangers and hazards present on a construction site are numerous: technical equipment can be difficult and hazardous to operate for those that are untrained in its use; heavy materials being carried from one point to another can result in damage being done to employees backs; and working with different kinds of substances with particular chemicals present can damage employees long term health.
What are employers required to do to keep their operatives safe?
Building site operators are required by law to comply with all of the relevant Health and Safety legislation, which can have an onerous impact on the day-to-day activities of workers – making their jobs more troublesome and less straightforward at times. However these rigid requirements are designed to protect workers from harm. Furthermore by virtue of their being employers, building site operators must take reasonable care of their employees in allowing them to carry out their duties.
In discharging their legal obligation towards their employees, building site operators are required to do the following:
1. Remove dangerous working practices from the environment
There is no denying the fact that building sites are dangerous environments. This is why it is so important for employers to comply with the rules. The requirements of the law are no more than would be expected in ordinary circumstances. Employers must ensure that their staff are provided with the necessary training to allow them to do their job efficiently, but following processes and procedures that are designed to keep them safe. This can include routine checks at the start and end of each day on a construction site; regular checks of equipment and electrical systems; and procedures for highlighting areas of the site that are dangerous or hazardous where work is ongoing.
2. Provide safety equipment
As mentioned above construction sites often make use of specialist equipment. As a result building site operators must ensure that their team are provided with the necessary equipment e.g. overalls, eye protection, hard hats etc. However the obligation of site operators does not end here. While it is true that employees must be provided with safety equipment, they must also be provided with training on how to use the equipment properly in carrying out their duties.
3. Remove equipment that is not fit for purpose
Equipment used on a building site will suffer from wear and tear as time goes on. As a result some equipment may perform less well than expected, and may become dangerous to operate if any malfunction is not addressed. If a site operator is made aware that some equipment e.g. drills or ladders are not working properly and an employee is injured as a result, they will be held responsible for the injury.
Building site operators, because of the nature of the work involved, are likely to work in close proximity to member of the public. Furthermore it is not unusual for sites to be visited by people other than employees – health and safety personnel, environmental advisors, sub-contractors and business executives amongst others. As a result, site operators must ensure that procedures are in place to monitor who is present on-site and to minimise the risk of injury to these different visitors to the site.
What are employees required to do?
Being an employee means working in partnership with an employer. This is no different when working on a building site. Brick layers, electricians, painters, scaffolders etc. will work in alongside the site operator to complete construction. Therefor they are required to observe any and all rules put in place to keep them safe while working on site. This is also true for visitors to the building site. Any failure to observe the safety procedures could have a negative impact on the merit of any Personal Injury claim.
What happens if something goes wrong?
If an employee suffers an accident while working on a building site there may be scope to pursue an accident claim against their employer/ building site operator. By law employers are required to have in place ‘Employers Liability Insurance’, which is specifically designed to provide compensation to employees that sustain an injury that was not their fault whilst at work.
Bringing a PI claim against a building site operator can be quite a complex task. Advice from a specialist personal injury solicitor that has experience in dealing with building site accidents will make the process much less troublesome. Individuals who believe that they have a potential claim should provide the following information to a solicitor:
• Details of the accident;
• Details of injuries sustained;
• Procedures in place or absent from the working environment that are relevant;
• Evidence of any medical care that was required; and
• Evidence of the physical environment where the accident took place.
Providing the information listed above will be very helpful in establishing that a building site operator/ employer had not acted reasonably in the circumstances in failing to protect their employees. Only with this information will a solicitor be able to assess the merit of any claim, and develop a strategy on how best to pursue the matter and achieve the maximum level of compensation in the circumstances.
If you have suffered an injury through an accident on a building site, call our network of no win no fee* solicitors today . We will provide you with a free consultation to ensure we get the best possible result for you.
* other costs could be payable