Waste collection and management in the UK involves a whole range of different businesses and workers. Without them, our homes and streets would be littered with rubbish.
Employees in the waste management industry are more prone to injury than in some other sectors. They are also subject to higher rates of stress and anxiety as well as having more tendency for certain health conditions such as musculoskeletal disorders and lung problems.
The Responsibility of Waste Management Businesses
Owners of waste management companies have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of their workforce, as with any sector or industry in the UK.
When you consider that an average of 6,000 workers facing work-related injury or illness every year in the industry, you can imagine what challenges business owners face.
Having said that, many of the injuries that are caused may well be put down to bad practices or not providing employees with the right equipment or training to do the job at hand.
Employers cannot completely cut out the risk when it comes to workplace accidents, illness or injury but they have a responsibility to make sure they have done all they can – that includes carrying out proper risk assessments, supporting employees with better training and making sure areas and equipment are safe to work with.
Common Waste Management Injuries
Many of the injuries that we see in waste management facilities result in time off work for employees and sometimes loss of earnings. More serious accidents and injuries can result in a permanent disability that is life-changing. The common accidents we see include:
- Injuries from slips and falls. This could happen because an area is not safe to work in, or floors are wet, or areas are not kept clean.
- Injuries from lifting: Manual handling is a key part of training in the sector but it’s still no surprise the number of musculoskeletal injuries that happen.
- Waste management facilities are often busy places with a lot going on. Falls from height are not uncommon as are accidents involving a collision with vehicles such as forklift trucks.
- Plants often have complex machinery for handling waste and getting injured by these, especially if you don’t have the right training or safety equipment can be a real issue.
If you have been the victim of an accident or injury and work in waste management, you may be able to claim compensation if your employer was negligent. An example of this would be if you were asked to do a job that you weren’t trained for or you weren’t given the right protective equipment.
If you feel that you have the basis for a claim, it’s critical to talk with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will generally offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
If there is a case to answer, you can also access what is called a no win no fee service. This means the solicitor will take on your case with no upfront costs. They charge their fees if the claim is successful, and you are awarded compensation (often a percentage of the award).
Compensation can be used to access private treatment, make up for any lost earnings and, with severe injuries that lead to disability, allow you to make changes to your daily living so you can cope better.
If you have had an accident while working for a waste management business and think you have a reason to claim, contact our team of personal injury lawyers today.