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The Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 is the primary piece of legislation covering health and safety in Northern Ireland. The Order sets out specific responsibilities as an employer to provide a safe workplace for employees. Due to the nature of the work involved within the manufacturing sector, health and safety is a major concern to the industry as a whole.
Under the Order, employers are legally obligated to maintain health and safety standards. These standards should help minimise the risk of workplace accidents.
Despite having such strict laws in place, injuries at work can be almost impossible to avoid. Statistics from the Health & Safety Executive NI indicate that between 2021 and 2022 almost 1,800 employees experienced a nonfatal injury at work. This was an increase of 272 (18%) when compared to the previous year. This increase could potentially be attributed to the recommencement of work activities in a number of sectors following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Accidents at work can happen in various different ways and when you least expect it. Early preventive training and induction procedures are important to help minimise accidents at work resulting in personal injury and financial loss to your business.
There are a number of steps manufacturing businesses can take to minimise personal injury claims:
Subject of course to compliance with UK GDPR, it is in every manufacturing company’s best interest to monitor and document what occurs within the workplace, specifically when it comes to accidents. If possible, keep security cameras turned on at all times and ensure they cover the largest possible amount of space.
The unfortunate truth is that no matter how much a business prepares and regardless of what safety measures are in place, accidents can and will still happen. Human error can never be totally eliminated, however, knowing how to respond to an accident occurring on your premises can have a positive effect on the outcome of a potential claim. If an accident occurs, employers should take the following steps:
Should your business find itself in a position of defending a personal injury claim by an employee or third party injured on your premises, please do not hesitate to contact our specialist lawyers within our Dispute Resolution team. Our aim is to ensure claims are handled as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.
This article has been produced for general information purposes, and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor.
This article was co-authored by Trainee Solicitor, Ashleigh Wilson.