More than half a million people suffered avoidable injuries in a year when the country was largely closed due to the Covid pandemic, campaigners are highlighting this Injury Prevention Week.
“Even though we couldn’t go out or do very much, cars were left sat on driveways, and huge numbers of people worked from home, there were still 564,359 personal injuries registered with the Government’s Compensation Recovery Unit*,” said Mike Benner, chief executive of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
“Let me be clear: these claims are the result of negligence, not unforeseeable mishaps or accidents. They are injuries which should not happen in the first place and which can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, as well as a serious impact on businesses, and on the NHS,” he said.
“Avoiding these injuries is down to taking proper care and thinking about the impact of the actions we take on the safety of others. It’s largely a question of common sense. We all have a part to play in preventing unnecessary harm.
“We host Injury Prevention Week every summer because our vision is of a society without needless injury. Behind the big statistics are hundreds of thousands of people with lives and families. Our members see the suffering on an individual level and help to pick up the pieces,” Mr Benner went on.
“We hear of many cases where a driver has strayed onto the wrong side of the road, or work equipment is left unchecked and unsafe, or hazards are just left, and lives are shattered as a result. It’s a serious problem which needs to be addressed,” he said.
“Negligence is a stand-out issue which needs proper attention from the top. APIL wants to see the appointment of an injury prevention commissioner to co-ordinate different sectors and ensure Government action.
“But first, we can all look closer to home, use our common sense, and look out for one another,” he said.