A not-for-profit organisation
committed to injured people
A not-for-profit organisation
committed to injured people

Workplace injuries are 'bad for workers and bad for businesses'

24 Jun 2024
APIL news

The crucial difference between unavoidable workplace accidents and staff being seriously injured due to negligence is being highlighted, 50 years on since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Not-for-profit group APIL, which campaigns on behalf of people injured due to negligence by others, is hosting Injury Awareness Week (24-28 June) which aims to increase awareness of the impact of needless injury on workers’ lives.

“An accident at work is simply an incident which no-one could have reasonably foreseen and for which no-one should be held responsible. But then there are cases which should never happen where workers are needlessly injured due to someone else’s negligence,” said APIL chief executive Mike Benner.

“The Act says your employer must identify anything which might cause you harm, take action to stop it, listen to your concerns, and give you the proper training and equipment. In turn you must cooperate with your employer, follow the training, and take reasonable care.

“If employers and workers meet their responsibilities under health and safety law, they considerably reduce the risk of someone being harmed, and from firms being found negligent,” said Mike.

Workplace deaths have fallen by around 85 per cent in the 50 years since the Act was introduced. But 561,000 people still suffered injuries at work in the UK last year according to the Health and Safety Executive’s Labour Force Survey, he added.

“Some of these people will have been seriously injured at work due to negligence,” said Mike.

“There have been occasional attempts by governments over the years to weaken the responsibilities employers, and employees, have to each other, in an obsession with cutting so-called ‘red tape’. Buzz phrases like this are unhelpful as they feed myths and misleading perceptions. How can the protection of life and limb be dismissed as ‘red ‘tape’?” he went on.

“A society which values its workforce should have a solid system for reporting injuries and for holding wrongdoers to account, not least so further needless injuries are not repeated,” he said.



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