Types of factory accident
From heavy machinery and tooling to forklifts and chemicals, factory workers face many hazards that most employees do not. Although the general state of health and safety in UK factories is high, factories remain high-risk environments and accidents still happen.
Common injuries suffered by factory workers include serious chopping, slicing and crush injuries, chemical burns and manual handling injuries. According to a recent EU Occupational Health survey, 85% of workplaces in the manufacturing sector reported injury risks associated with tools and heavy machinery.
Factory workers such as welders and foundry workers are also more likely to develop serious occupational diseases, after regular or accidental exposure to hazardous fumes, silica dust (RCS) and heavy metals.
What should I do if I have a factory accident?
Make a doctor’s appointment
There are several reasons to see your GP, even after a relatively minor work injury. Your doctor will:
- Recommend treatment
- Advise on the likely recovery time
- Make a detailed record of the type and seriousness of your injuries
Your GP will also advise on whether your factory accident could make an existing health condition worse.
Some of your injuries may have healed by the time you consider making a compensation claim. Without doctor’s notes, this can make it more difficult to prove how serious the injuries originally were.
Having a detailed medical record of all your injuries can be very helpful evidence in the event you do decide to claim compensation for the factory accident.
Find out more: Key things you need to do when getting medical help for a work injury
To make a successful factory accident claim, your solicitor must show that your employer did something (or failed to do something) that led to your accident.
Your solicitor will need to prove that your employer was negligent in some way. You can help by writing a detailed account of everything you can remember. As soon as possible after the accident, write a detailed account of what happened, take photos of the scene and note down witness contact details.
Find out more: Gathering evidence after a work injury - checklist
Reporting the accident
Your employer should record the circumstances of your injury or illness in an accident book. The report will include details of what caused the incident, and of how you were injured. The report may also include witness statements.
The accident book report will be very useful evidence if you decide to claim compensation for your factory accident in the future. Ask for and retain a copy.
Do I have a claim?
As a basic rule, If you were injured in the last 3 years and your employer was negligent, you may be able to claim financial compensation for your injuries.
For example, if you were injured as the result of a die cutter with a faulty safety guard, your employer would likely be negligent for not keeping the equipment in good working order.
Other examples of factory accidents that could enable you to make a claim include:
- Burns, slips and trips caused by chemical spills
- Injuries caused by falling objects, like improperly-stored tools or goods
- Injuries where suitable PPE is not provided
Depending on your individual circumstances, there are a few other things that can affect your eligibility to claim.
Financial support after a factory accident
If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to claim financial support. Your options include:
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Work accident compensation
In some cases, you may also be entitled to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). ESA is available to workers who have made National Insurance contributions in the last two years. ESA is also available if you are a self-employed contractor.
How will my employment status affect my right to claim?
If you are employed and have a valid claim, making a claim against your employer is relatively straightforward. If you are self-employed, working through an agency placement or on a zero-hours contract, a claim may still be possible but the process will be different.
Read more about claiming if you are:
How much can I claim for a factory accident?
The compensation you can claim following a factory accident will depend on the type and severity of your injury or illness.
Your final compensation amount will take into account:
- The impact the injury or illness has had on your life and ability to work
- Any financial losses or expenses that were caused by your injuries
The Work Accident Advice Centre online calculator sets out what you can claim for, and how much compensation you could claim.
No win, no fee
Legal aid is not available when claiming compensation from an employer. Instead, a factory accident compensation claim can be made through a solicitor under a No Win, No Fee agreement.
Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, you pay nothing upfront and nothing at all if you don't win your claim.
If you do win, your solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation after you receive it. Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, a solicitor will receive a success fee of up to 25% of a claimant's compensation.
Compensation awards are increased for No Win, No Fee claimants. This increase is intended to offset the impact of the success fee.
Our work injury advisors will:
- Offer free, impartial advice
- Explain how No Win, No Fee works
- Recommend the right solicitor