World Day for Safety and Health at Work

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Charlotte Rankin

Senior Associate Solicitor, Serious Injury Claims

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On 28 April 2023 the International Labour Organisation (ILO) celebrated a decision made in June 2022 to include “a safe and healthy working environment” within their own framework of fundamental principles and rights at work. This is now known and referred to as World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

Here at Simpson Millar, we are experts in dealing with cases concerning accidents at work and what you can do if your employer has failed in their duty of care to you. As an employee you have a right to be safe and healthy at work. For a free confidential discussion and case assessment, you can get in touch with our expert lawyers who specialise in health and safety in the workplace if you have suffered a work related injury or illness that could’ve been prevented. After obtaining the relevant details about this from you, we can make an assessment on your prospects of success and we could help you make a personal injury claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Given our speciality in this area, we at Simpson Millar welcome the decision by the International Labour Organisation and the celebration of World Day for Safety and Health at Work to raise awareness of how workplaces can be made healthy and safe in addition to promoting the prevention of occupational accidents, illnesses and deaths globally.

As part of the celebration of World Day for Safety and Health at Work, the International Labour Organisation welcomed experts and constituents from around the world to discuss the implications their decision has had on the world of work. Additionally, they explored how to practically implement this in the correct way in the world of work. After all, it’s all well and good saying you champion health and safety at work but there isn’t much point if there’s no way to practically implement the changes you are advocating for in the real world of work.

 Unfortunately many workplaces still overlook the key issue of health and safety in the workplace, either through a lack of knowledge and understanding of the requirements or to save time to keep up with an ever growing and demanding industry. This can, in turn, lead to employees suffering from injuries or illnesses. Sadly, our expert lawyers know all too well the long term damaging effects and impact that occupational injuries and illnesses have on the lives of people across the UK.

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What Are Our Rights at Work as Employees?

In the UK, our health and safety at work is protected by legislations such as the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations. If your employer is found to be in breach of the law and was negligent in their duty of care to you, they can be held legally responsible for your injury or illness.

Put simply, everyone should be able to go to work every day knowing that their environment is safe, and that they’ve  been given the correct protection and training. This means that everyone is able to go  home at the end of every working day and live their lives completely unaffected by work – both physically and mentally. We should be healthy enough to continue to do our job and live the best quality of life we can outside of work, without having medical complications and injuries that could’ve been prevented by our employers interfere with our lives.

Our expert lawyers are able to help many people who are still suffering with chronic long-term conditions arising from accidents at work, even if their physical injuries have healed. This includes the mental health repercussions of tragic accidents at work, which can leave workers with debilitating disorders such as anxiety, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, more commonly known and referred to as PTSD, to name just a few.

We regularly see people with catastrophic injuries who are told by doctors that they can no longer go back to their previous career, exercise or take part in hobbies the way they used to – all because their employer failed to take care of their health and safety at work. An accident can happen in the blink of an eye and affect you for the rest of your life. Unfortunately this can be even more devastating if you know that your employer could have taken one simple action to prevent the accident from occurring and to stop the impact that your injuries are having on your life – whether this be for the rest of your life or for an undoubtedly difficult part of your life, at least.

This is just one of the reasons why it’s so important to report any injury that happens to you in the workplace and to ensure this is recorded accurately by your employer. You shouldn’t have to suffer from any injury because of your workplace, major or minor, but you certainly shouldn’t have to live your whole life affected by something that could have been prevented.

What Should Your Employer Do To Keep You Safe and Healthy at Work?

Employers are responsible for protecting you from:

  • Immediate or obvious hazards, which can result in accidents at work - for example, falling from height or working with dangerous machinery
  • Harmful chemicals and other substances which can cause illnesses or allergies that develop over time, including but not limited to conditions such as work related cancer and occupational asthma
  • Tripping and slipping hazards which can result in an accident
  • Defective work equipment and other equipment or items which are hazardous by their very nature, including but not limited to risks such as flammable or explosive hazards, electrical equipment, excessive noise and radiation

Both injuries and illnesses sustained through accidents at work and industrial diseases have huge long term impacts for workers and their families in the UK. When considering industrial diseases, the life expectancies of those affected can be impacted by work related cancer and asbestos exposure at work, even if they were exposed to dangerous substances at work many years ago.

Our team speak to hundreds of people who are affected by industrial diseases every day directly because of the harmful tools, chemicals and substances they were exposed to at work. Our expert team even regularly speak to families who have lost loved ones prematurely because of occupational diseases that could have been and ought to have been prevented.

Health and safety laws govern all workplaces, regardless of their nature or size, to ensure that each and every workplace abides by the relevant health and safety regulations. To protect you from developing illnesses or to protect you from suffering injuries in the workplace in practice, all employers should:

  • Prepare a health and safety policy
  • Share the health and safety policy with employees
  • Have a competent safety officer in place
  • Conduct adequate health and safety training
  • Provide employees with instructions for working with potentially dangerous machinery in addition to undertaking tasks such as working at height and manual handling tasks
  • Provide the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (also referred to as PPE to protect you from potential hazards., Examples of this would include gloves and masks for working with chemicals and steel cap shoes to protect your feet from falling objects
  • Prevent employees from unsafe exposure to noise and vibration which can cause conditions such as, but not limited to, tinnitus and Vibration White Finger
  • Identify and signpost hazards. Examples of this could include. slippery floors or uneven floor surfaces, to name just a couple
  • Conduct risk assessments covering all potential dangers and hazards in the workplace in addition to identifying ways in which the risks have been reduced or could be reduced in the future
  • Monitor equipment to identify anything that is faulty or defective in addition to taking steps to either fix or replace this to make sure that the equipment is safe for employees to use again

How We Can Help If You’ve Suffered From an Accident at Work or a Work-Related Illness

We hope that awareness campaigns such as the World Day for Safety and Health at Work and the various different legislations covering this issue mean that more practical measures are being and will continue to be taken here in the UK and across the world. This is the only way that will help to  stop people from sustaining injuries and becoming seriously ill because of an accident at work.

If you’ve suffered a serious injury from an accident at work, or if you’ve developed a work-related illness that your employer could’ve taken steps to prevent, our lawyers are here to help you claim compensation.

By making a claim with us, you’ll be assigned a specialist lawyer who can help to prove that your employer failed in their duty of care to you.

We specialise in helping people make claims for:

Get in touch with our expert lawyers for a Free Case Assessment on 0808 239 3227 so we can talk you through making a claim. Alternatively, you can click here to request a call back.

Related Articles


    (n.d.). Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Retrieved from (Accessed: 02/12/2023).

    (n.d.). Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH). Retrieved from (Accessed: 02/12/2023).

    International Labour Organization. (2023). World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2023. Retrieved from (Accessed: 02/12/2023).

    NI Direct. (n.d.). Employers' health and safety responsibilities. Retrieved from (Accessed: 02/12/2023).

    Charlotte Rankin

    Senior Associate Solicitor, Serious Injury Claims

    Areas of Expertise:
    Personal Injury

    Charlotte handles a caseload of Personal Injury cases dealing with Serious Injury, and has particular interest in Upper and Lower Limb disorders including Amputation of toes and fingers.

    Charlotte also has management experience alongside her extensive legal knowledge, and regularly participates in Simpson Millar’s internal mentoring scheme.

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