Workers increasingly suffer from work-related ill health
According to reports from the Health and Safety Executive, published 2 November 2006, two million workers in the UK suffered from work-related ill in the previous year, with over half a million developing the problem during that time period.
Under-reporting of major personal injuries is increasing dramatically. Around 30 per cent of major injuries and over 40 per cent of other personal injuries requiring injury compensation are still going unreported.
Employees are afraid to report accidents at work
A London Metropolitan University survey of migrant workers in England and Wales, published in October 2006, found that one in four people had either experienced a work accident requiring injury compensation or had witnessed accidents involving migrant co-workers.
The majority of migrant interviewees also said that they would not report work accidents, as they were concerned that employers might view them as a risk and fire them. In the case of those working without documents, fears of deportation were also given as a reason for not reporting accidents.
The findings prompted an HSE promise to step up inspections and enforcement in sectors "where vulnerable workers are most likely to work".
A number of factors have contributed to recent changes in working conditions in the UK. In 1986, there were 5.2 million people working in factories, but deindustrialisation saw this drop to 3.3 million. The shift ushered in a new breed of insecure worker who is less likely to have employment security, say unions.
A report published in September 2006 estimated that there are around 5.3 million workers in the UK who are vulnerable to exploitation. A European Agency study in January 2006 showed that insecure work was on the increase and was one of the factors leading to new types of work-related occupational health problems.
Health groups across the country continue to argue, however, that some work is better than no work at all or worse still - poverty - and that ill-health should not prohibit people from trying to get some form of work.
Accident at work personal injury compensation
Despite the fact that health and safety legislation works to constantly improve work safety situations, accidents at work requiring personal injury compensation continue to happen at an alarming rate.
UK workers still work some of the longest hours in Europe, amplified by the government's refusal to opt out of the EU-wide 48-hour working week. The 48-hour working week was introduced because of the well-established medical link between long working hours and increased accident and ill-health risks, including heart disease.
Nonetheless, people continue to work at a furious rate, and work accidents continue to happen, often because people are not given clear instructions about how to carry out jobs accurately.
If you have been involved in a work accident requiring personal injury compensation, we can give you free legal advice from our team of highly trained and sympathetic first-rate advisors, who will deal clearly with your queries in plain English without bombarding you with legal jargon.
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