Accident compensation solicitors are likely to be the first people to point out that a majority of accident claims are not for the big and dramatic injuries, which are often highlighted in press headlines. For many men and women working in an ordinary company office, factory or public premises, such as a retail store, the type of accidents that commonly occur can be as mundane as they are equally as harmful to personal safety or health.
Every day, issues of ‘simple’ safety’ can pose a real risk to company employees in any occupation. Accidents can be waiting to happen from just using an office computer that is incorrectly set up (RSI, eye and back strain) to malfunctioning photocopiers, paper shredders or untidy, cluttered stationery or warehouse shelves.
Two of the most common types of everyday hazards, which invariably find their way onto personal injury claims forms are accidents caused by either falling objects or by incorrect handling.
According to the Health and Safety Authority, more than 5,000 people employed in the retail sector suffer injuries from falling objects. The reasons are all too familiar! There are many instances of incorrectly stacked or overloaded shelving to damaged, broken or inadequately repaired shelving. At the same time, lack of a ladder, platform or other means of safe access to reach the required height, thereby, having to over reach and lose secure footing, are also common.
In many instances, heavy items have been incorrectly stored above shoulder level which should be set on or nearer the floor.
Training in the correct method for manual handling of boxes, cartons and other bulky or heavy items may be seen as unnecessary by some firms, yet one third of all workplace accidents occur as a result of awkward lifting or moving items by hand. In many instances, the need to “quickly complete the job” and lack of a forklift, hydraulic ‘pumper’ or trolley could see an individual rushing to move too many heavy boxes at once by hand rather than split a consignment down or involve two or more ‘extra hands’ to assist.
Busy delivery schedules could also see the haphazard build up of boxes or trolley cages in loading bays, warehouse entrances and walkways, which can lead to reduced working areas and ‘traffic’ jams.
Even opening the doors to an overloaded and untidy office stationery cupboard can send items flying out, which could cause head, face or eye injuries. It’s not unknown for incorrectly stored copier paper to deliver nasty paper cuts!
Simple safety is an everyday issue!