Accidents due to Workplace Vehicles
The usage of vehicles is vital for many businesses. Whether that be collecting goods, delivering goods or transporting staff, vehicles are a necessary part of everyday working life. However, with this usage comes the risk of personal injury.
Every year, around 2000 people are seriously injured in accidents involving vehicles at or around the workplace.
Precautions and controls need to be put in place to ensure that the risk of personal injury is minimised.
Definition of Workplace Vehicles
Workplace vehicles can be defined as a vehicle or item of mobile equipment that is used in the working environment. This can include various vehicles. Some of the most common are:
- Plant Vehicles
Main Causes of Workplace Vehicle Accidents
The main causes of injury due to workplace vehicle accidents are:
- Being hit by a moving vehicle
- Falling from a vehicle
- Vehicles flipping over
When operating vehicles, or working with vehicles in the area, employees have a general responsibility to ensure that they take reasonable care of themselves. This includes being aware of risks around them and cooperating fully with any policies and procedures put in place by employers to protect safety.
Under the Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations, an employer has a legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace for staff to work in. Within this, it is stated that the workplace should be arranged so that pedestrians and vehicles can move about in a safe manner.
In order to ensure personal safety when working in or around vehicles, there are a number of precautions and best practices that employers should put in place. These can be grouped into four main categories
1. Safe Site
A key element within this is to have a workplace traffic route. A workplace traffic route is a route which directs where pedestrians can walk, vehicles can drive or both of these. These routes should:
- Be suitable for the type and volume of pedestrians or vehicles using them
- Ensure that pedestrians and vehicles are kept safely apart
- Provide safe crossing places where required
- Be fit for purpose- e.g. even, non-slip, firm
- Be free from any potential slip and trip hazards
- Have clear signposting or markings
- Be well maintained
Another part of having a safe site is to have procedures that cover the safe activity of operations such as loading, unloading, lifting, tipping and coupling. Measures here include parking areas, loading bays and dedicated coupling/uncoupling bays.
2. Safe Vehicles
Employers must make sure that any vehicles used for work purposes are fit for use and suitable for the purpose required. When purchasing vehicles, considerations must be made around what the vehicle will be used for, the environment in which it will be used and the individuals who will be using it.
Vehicles should be maintained in line with guidance.
3. Safe Driver
Anyone who is allowed to drive a vehicle should be qualified to do so and hold the necessary licences. Drivers of workplace vehicles will typically require a higher level of skill than that of normal everyday driving. This is due to the specialised nature of many of the vehicles that are used in a workplace. Only trained and authorised individuals should be allowed to drive and operate workplace vehicles.
Drivers should be:
- Able to operate vehicles and equipment safely
- Fully trained
- Reasonably physically and mentally fit
General Training and Risk Assessment
Workplace risk assessments should be carried out to identify risks and put controls in place where required.
Equally, all staff who come into contact with vehicles as part of their role should have basic training to ensure they know the risks that exist and the procedures that need to be followed to minimise/mitigate those risks.
Can I Make an Injury Claim?
If you have been injured as a result of a workplace vehicle accident through no fault of your own, you may be eligible to make a claim. Employers have a duty of care to protect employees and others from harm and if that has been breaches, they may be liable.
The best way to find out is to get in touch with us and speak to one of our advisers who can make an assessment of whether or not you are eligible
How Can Injury Lawyers UK Help You?
We understand that suffering injury can not only be physically impacting but also emotionally and financially also. That’s why we put you at the centre of any claim and we fight to secure compensation that not only takes into account the pain suffered but also any future impacts such as loss of earnings or rehabilitation that may be needed.
Here, at Injury Lawyers UK, we have a team of experienced, qualified injury lawyers ready and waiting to fight for you. We have a history of over 20 years of successfully securing compensation for workplace injuries.
We operate on a no win, no fee basis so there is absolutely no risk to you and you never have to worry about costs. We will always seek to maximise the compensation available to ensure that you get the award you deserve.
Throughout your case, we will make sure that you are kept fully up to date. Our lawyers always speak in plain English (no legal jargon here) and give you honest, straightforward advice so you will always understand exactly what’s going on.
TALK TO INJURY LAWYERS UK TODAY
If you want to know if you’re in a position to make a claim for an injury or health problems incurred at work, contact Injury Lawyers UK on 0800 285 1411 today or fill out an online enquiry form. We’ll be happy to provide you with the advice you need to pursue any action, and work with you to secure the compensation you deserve.