Over a quarter of serious injuries that take place in the UK occur in the office.
This research was conducted by Fletcher Serious Injury, a law firm specialising in serious life-changing injury cases who found that 28 per cent of those who have suffered a serious injury, such as spinal injuries, burns, slips, trips and falls in the past five years took place in the office.
Under a fifth (19 per cent) who do suffer from an injury are not willing to pursue a claim to receive compensation or support they need to recover from the incident. With 12 per cent saying this was due to them being worried that such a claim would hinder any future prospects within the company or they could see a backlash from their employer.
Nearly half (41 per cent) stated they do not know how to pursue legal action once a serious injury takes place. This reflects badly on employers, as it shows they have not made their staff aware of their legal rights or ensured their workers have detailed employee handbooks as well as health and safety manuals.
Men are more at risk than women, as 33 per cent of men compared to 18 per cent of women have received an injury whilst at work. Over half (59 per cent) of men aged 35 and under have experienced a serious injury at work.
Adrian Denson, chief legal officer at Fletchers Serious Injury, said:
When a person suffers a serious injury at work, coping with the direct physical and psychological consequences is extremely difficult indeed. And as they focus on each small step along the long road to recovery, it can be easy for the person to put their legal rights to one side. The very thought of bringing a legal claim can be daunting with many people not really knowing where they would start.
Even more concerning is the substantial number of people that may be suffering in silence out of fear that seeking the help they need will affect their career further down the line, as well as their employer’s bottom line. This is a false, and damaging misconception – particularly when a serious injury can lead to a person being unable to return to work for a long time and often, when they do return, can still limit their ability to carry out their work without pain or worry.
Virtually all employers are required to carry liability insurance, meaning that any legal action would be against the insurer rather than the employer directly. And there are important legal rights that protect a person who does pursue their right to claim for an injury at work, meaning that any decent employer should be very unlikely to hold it against their employee.
Fletcher Serious Injury spoke to 1,000 UK adults to obtain these results.