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    Accidents with hazardous substances and chemicals

    Published on: 07/04/2014

    To paraphrase a popular safety slogan used in industry: ‘When you are working with hazardous substances – what you don’t know can really hurt you!’ and, as accident statistics periodically compiled by the Health & Safety Executive reveal they do really hurt a substantial number of people, be the substances pure chemical, chemical mixtures, poisons, flammables, corrosives or irritants. Hazardous substances or chemicals, within or outside the workplace, have the potential capability to be harmful to health if used incorrectly or if a person is exposed to them accidentally in an uncontrolled manner due to negligence or other factors.

    Statistically speaking the vast majority of hazardous substances and chemicals are encountered in the workplace and within the spectrum of working environments they are predominantly found at the industrial end, in manufacturing, transport and storage. The harmful effects of exposure to them might be short term, in the case of poisoning or long term as in the case of cancers and respiratory based industrial diseases such as asbestosis.

    An employer who makes use of hazardous substances and chemicals in undertaking their business has a duty of care in law to ensure that those of their employees who might come into contact with them in the course of their work are trained to use them, to move them and store them in a safe manner in accordance with the pertinent regulations, risk assessment generated guidance and best industry practice. The employer should also ensure that such workers are provided with personal protective equipment which is adequate to protect them from foreseeable risks associated with their employment and that the physical layout of the working environment does not, as far as is possible, adversely affect safety when it comes to using, moving and storing hazardous substances and chemicals.

    People who have accidents and suffer injury as a result of their employer failing in any aspect of their duty of care or legal obligations (most specifically under The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations) in regard to hazardous substances and chemicals might be able to bring a personal injury action against that employer. Our personal injury solicitors, expert and experienced in this field, are able to offer advice on the viability and value any such proposed claim for compensation.

    The value of such a claim will be based on the severity of the injury the claimant has suffered and its physical, psychological and financial impact on the claimant’s life. It could range from superficial epidermal or digestive tract damage which will heal quickly and completely to injuries caused by substances with a much higher potential lethality factor such as radioactive materials, gases, dusts and particulates that can have a severe long term effect on health or which might kill or critically injury outright.

    To support any possible claim for compensation, should a person experience an accident with hazardous substances and chemicals whilst at work, that person or a witness (if the person injured has been incapacitated) should immediately record the incident in the workplace accident book, inform the appropriate manager and immediately obtain medical help. At this stage it is beneficial to look into obtaining the services of an experienced legal professional. Our personal injury solicitors have the expertise to assess, prepare and present a claim at a time in the victim’s life when they might have to devote all their energies to just surviving or coping on a day to day basis with their injury and its’ after effects. On that basis the services of personal injury solicitor can be as essential to the accident victim as those of the medical professionals involved. Indeed a successfully pursued claim can underwrite the economic wellbeing of the accident victim and their family for the rest of their lives, enabling vital expenditure for maximising the quality of life for somebody who might have suffered a permanent disability due to the negligence of a third party.

    Thinking of a Work Accident Compensation Claim? Contact us today

    You could stand to win a substantial compensation claim payout following your workplace accident. However, it is crucial that you make your claim within three years of the accident. Our personal injury solicitors can give you expert advice on how to make a Compensation Claim, so:

    • Call 0800 1404544, or
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