ACCIDENTS AT WORK
Health and Safety Law has developed to offer protection to people in their place of work.
What is a workplace?
Any place/area designated for people to work in which includes the means of getting to and from it.
Who is protected?
- temporary workers
- visitors to premises
- self employed
- people who could be affected by the work
What is protected?
Employers have a duty to provide:
- A safe place of work
- A safe system of work
- Safe work equipment
- Training and instruction
The basis of Scottish health and safety law is set out in the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The Act sets out the general duties which employers have towards employees and members of the public.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 outline what employers are required to do to manage health and safety under the Act. They apply to every work activity.
Employers must carry out risk assessments to identify and deal with hazards. This allows them to reduce the risk to employees of hazard. Employers with 5 or more employees are required to record the outcome of those assessments. You are entitled to see the risk assessments in your case.
There are a number of Regulations covering specific areas of work and if you have been injured at work your particular circumstances will be covered by at least one of the Regulations. The Regulations provide a statutory frame work and can strengthen your case providing strict liability in certain situations. It is important to choose a solicitor who knows their way around the law.
Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
These Regulations cover a wide range of basic health, safety and welfare issues and apply to most workplaces (except those involving construction work on construction sites, those in or on a ship or those below ground at a mine).
The Regulations cover the regulatory requirements on maintenance, ventilation, temperature, lighting, cleanliness, room dimensions and workstations and seating, floor conditions, falls or falling objects, transparent and translucent doors, gates and walls, windows, skylights and ventilators, traffic routes, escalators, sanitary conveniences and washing facilities.
When dealing with workplace accident claims the focus of investigation is on the Regulations rather than the common law principles of negligence. That is why it is important that your solicitor knows their way around the Regulations.
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