If you are injured by faulty or dangerous industrial machinery at work, you could suffer very serious injuries. In some cases, heavy workplace machinery accidents can lead to life-changing or even fatal injuries. Importantly an industrial machinery accident claim may be possible if you’ve been injured because your employer has provided faulty machinery or if they failed to train you on how to use such machinery safely.
During the course of this guide, we’ll look at how much compensation could be awarded for a machinery accident and how the claims process works.
Our team is available if you’ve any questions about your right to claim. As part of a free consultation, you’ll receive advice about your chances of receiving compensation and we’ll answer any questions you think of. If we believe your employer should compensate you, we’ll connect you with one of our personal injury solicitors. They’ll manage everything on your behalf if the claim proceeds and you’ll benefit from their No Win No Fee service.
For more information about industrial machinery accident claims, please read on. Alternatively, you can call us on 0800 6524 881 at any point if you’d like to discuss your options.
Table of contents
- Employer Duty Of Care Regarding Industrial Machinery
- Am I Eligible To Make An Industrial Machinery Accident Claim?
- Common Causes Of Machinery Accident Claims
- Industrial Illnesses Caused By Workplace Machinery
- How Much Compensation For A Machinery Accident?
- Evidence To Support Industrial Machinery Accident Claims
- Time Limits For Claiming Industrial Machinery Accident Compensation
- Starting The Industrial Machinery Accident Claims Process
Several laws dictate that employers must try to keep staff as safe as they can by ensuring any machinery is fit for purpose, well maintained and safe to use. These laws include:
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).
- The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
- The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992.
- The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
These laws create a legal duty of care which means that to prevent accidents at work all employers must:
- Carry out machinery repairs swiftly and remove (or replace) anything that can’t be fixed.
- Conduct risk assessments regularly to identify risks to machinery users.
- Ensure all staff use industrial machinery properly and are trained on how to do so safely.
- Install safety guards on machinery where they’ll reduce the risk of injury and make sure emergency stop buttons are functional.
- Ensure machinery is fit for purpose and used for its intended purpose.
- Conduct regular maintenance of industrial machinery in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
If your employer failed to adhere to these health and safety requirements and you’ve been injured as a result, you may have grounds to claim for your suffering.
If you’ve been injured by industrial machinery at work, you may be eligible to claim compensation if:
- Your employer breached their duty of care i.e. they were negligent with regard to machinery safety; and
- You were involved in an accident at work as a result of that negligence; and
- You sustained injuries because of that machinery accident.
You should never worry about facing any repercussions for making a machinery accident claim. So long as your claim is honest, your employer is legally not allowed to discipline you, fire you, demote you or pick on you for making a personal injury claim following an accident at work. Therefore, if you’ve been involved in a machine-related accident at work, please get in touch if you believe your employer was to blame for your injuries.
Yes, you may be eligible to make a machinery accident claim even if you are self-employed. UK law recognises that self-employed individuals have the same rights to a safe working environment as employees. However, as a self-employed individual, the process of making a claim may differ slightly compared to an employee.
Please get in touch and an advisor will be happy to discuss this with you in more detail.
Some of the most common machine-related accidents in the workplace include:
- Entanglement. Workers’ clothing, hair, or limbs getting caught in moving parts like pulleys or conveyor belts can lead to minor injuries such as cuts and lacerations to serious injuries such as amputations.
- Crushing. Crush injuries can happen when workers get caught between two moving parts or between a moving part of the machinery and a stationary object, resulting in severe injuries and sometimes fatalities.
- Mechanical failures. Malfunctioning industrial machinery or equipment can cause unexpected movements, sudden stops, the release of stored energy, or debris flying from machinery leading to head or eye injuries at work to machine operators and potentially nearby workers.
- Electrical hazards. Faulty wiring, improper grounding, or exposure to live electrical components can result in electric shocks at work, burn injuries, or even electrocution.
- Slips and falls. Working on or around industrial machinery can involve slippery surfaces from water, oil, grease and other substances, increasing the risk of injuries from slips and falls at work.
- ‘Struck by’ accidents. These types of accidents can happen when objects or materials are not properly secured or when workers are positioned below workplace machinery or equipment, leading to head injuries, fractures, or other serious harm.
This is not a comprehensive list of injuries that could lead to an industrial machinery accident claim so please feel free to call if you’ve been injured in any other way.
As well as the risk of being injured by workplace machinery, there are some risks associated with the prolonged use of some industrial machinery. Some examples include:
- Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) or tinnitus after exposure to loud machinery noises.
- Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) after carrying out the same tasks (loading, unloading etc) for prolonged periods or in cramped conditions.
- Vibration-related injuries such as white finger (VWF) and Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).
Industrial machine-related injuries of this nature can be progressive and can take months or even years to be diagnosed. Therefore, you might need to claim against an employer you no longer work for. This is something our solicitors could help with and your work history might be discussed during your free consultation.
To ascertain the severity of your injury/injuries, you will need to have a medical assessment during the machinery accident claims process. This will be conducted by a third-party medical specialist who’ll determine your prognosis by examination of your injuries and discussion about their impact.
Once your solicitor has received the report that follows the medical, they’ll work out how much compensation for an industrial machinery accident you might be entitled to. Until then, you can use our compensation calculator (for general damages) to get some idea of compensation amounts for machinery accident claims.
Further compensation that you might be entitled to include damages to cover:
- Mental suffering linked to depression, stress and anxiety.
- Loss of earnings.
- Care costs (for a professional carer or family member who supports you).
- Travel expenses.
- Loss of amenity i.e. how your workplace machinery injuries have reduced your ability to enjoy your normal activities.
- Medical expenses.
- Replacement property costs for personal items damaged in the accident.
- Any future earnings reductions.
- The cost of installing lifts, hoists, ramps or stair lifts at home if you’ve been left disabled by the accident.
Your solicitor will try to ensure you are compensated fully for your suffering by reviewing your case in detail with you before it’s filed with your employer.
When you begin a machinery-based accident claim against your employer, it will in fact be handled by their insurance provider. Anybody with knowledge of dealing with an insurer will know that they usually only pay out when it is absolutely clear that they must do so. Therefore, your solicitor will use as much evidence as possible to try and prove your case. For machinery accident claims, this can include:
- Accident reports. Copies of accident report forms and reports from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) can help to confirm that a) the machinery accident took place and b) its cause.
- Medical records. Any injuries should always be checked and treated by medical professionals to improve the chances of proper healing. Medical records will be obtained during your claim to help confirm your diagnosis.
- Photographs. Taking pictures of the machine that injured you is always a good idea. Ideally, it should include any defect that caused the accident before repairs are carried out.
- Witness statements. If there is doubt over the cause of the accident, it can be a good idea for your solicitor to ask your colleagues at work or others to report on what they saw.
- CCTV footage. If your workplace has security cameras covering the accident scene, you could ask for a copy of any relevant data (if you act swiftly before it is deleted).
If you need to claim back any costs related to your injuries from the machinery accident, you could also use receipts and bank statements as evidence to support your claim. If there is any evidence you’re unable to secure, your solicitor will help you if your claim is taken on.
If you’re involved in a machinery accident at work, you’ll have 3 years to begin the claims process. For injuries that are immediately obvious, this limitation period will begin from the date of the accident. For RSI or other industrial injuries where symptoms take longer to present, you’ll usually have 3 years from the date your condition was diagnosed.
So that there’s enough time to collect medical information and evidence to support your claim, we suggest that you get in touch to begin your claim sooner rather than later. The sooner you begin the machinery injury claims process, the sooner you will receive your compensation payout if it is successful.
If you or a loved one has been affected by a machinery accident at work, call us on 0800 6524 881 today to see if you could be entitled to a compensation payout. There’s no risk when calling as you’ll receive free expert advice no matter what you decide to do.
If your claim is viable and accepted by a personal injury solicitor from our team, they’ll support you on a No Win No Fee basis. That will reduce your financial risks and stress levels as you’ll know that you’ll only pay legal costs if the case is won.
Our live chat team are on hand if you would like to know anything further about industrial machinery accident claims so please feel free to reach out to them.