Health and safety is a vital part of our society. Without it, it can be argued that the number of individuals injured during non-fault incidents would greatly increase. Furthermore, if all businesses in the UK possessed adequate accident prevention systems, staff members could be happier, demonstrate improved productivity, and might be more motivated. Employers, meanwhile, could acquire a better reputation amongst clients as well as investors and might be less likely to experience legal action.
Clearly, health and safety carries a number of benefits, but there are a significant number of news stories in the media criticising these regulations. For example, it is not uncommon to read stories about “health and safety gone mad”, with these tales often describing overzealous decisions as being “ridiculous”, “a joke”, or “over the top”.
Although there are some individuals who incorrectly use health and safety legislation to prevent “essentially sensible” activities from taking place, these stories might have damaging effects. Potentially, by propagating the idea of “health and safety gone mad”, individuals could be less inclined to respect it.
The results of a survey, published in 2013, suggested that many workers were not taking accident prevention methods seriously. For example, after polling a number of employees, a law firm stated that 28% of its respondents would carry out their jobs in “dangerous conditions” for higher wages.
Of these employees, more than a third would be prepared to use hazardous chemicals, while 40% would work with “dangerous machinery” – the majority stated they would be willing to undertake their tasks in extreme weather conditions.
Furthermore, the researchers stated that more than a fifth of those polled believed they had worked for an employer who showed “a complete disregard for health and safety regulations”, while 27% of the respondents described their current occupations as being “unsafe”.
These findings suggest two conclusions. First, harsh economic conditions have had a profound effect on British workers – resulting in them putting money ahead of their own wellbeing. Second, health and safety is not being taken seriously by many employees, potentially leading to them carrying out dangerous tasks without thinking of the possible consequences.
Between 2011 and 2012, according to the Health and Safety Executive, approximately 591,000 employees suffered an accident at work – many requiring hospitalisation in order to recover. Tragically, during this period, 173 individuals were killed while carrying out their jobs.
Health and safety is an essential part of our society and should be given the respect it deserves. If you sustained personal injury because your employer failed to take these regulations seriously, you might be entitled to make an accident at work claim through George Ide LLP.
If you were adversely affected due to the negligence of your employer, you should seek legal advice from our experienced team of personal injury solicitors. Portsmouth, Chichester, the south of the UK, or nationally – we have helped individuals from all over the country claim compensation.
For more information, please contact our specialist department today.