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Working at Height: The Risks and Challenges

Working at Height The Risks and Challenges

Working at Height The Risks and Challenges

Working at height is defined as working in a place where a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. A fall from a height can result in serious and life-changing injuries, anything from broken bones and mental trauma to irreversible damage to your internal organs.

 

Tragically, statistics from the Health and Safety Executive show that falls from a height accounted for the largest number of fatal accidents in the workplace in 2019/20.

 

Whilst these accidents are most commonly seen in the construction industry and cleaning industry, in any job where you are required to work from a height, however high or low that may be, you need to know the risks you face and the steps you can take to avoid them. We will examine these steps in this blog, and we’ve also included a handy guide to some of our key Do’s and Don’ts of working at height.

 

The Dangers of Working at Height, and How to Avoid Them:

  • Roofs

There are three types of roofs that present a particular risk when working at height; fragile roofs which aren’t structurally sound enough to support you or your equipment, sloping roofs which can present a serious challenge with maintaining stability, and flat roofs which present a risk due to their unsecured edges. To overcome the challenges of these roofs, we recommend using the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and utilising both roof ladders and crawling boards where necessary.

  • Unsecured Edges

When working at height, unsecured edges present a significant danger not only to you, but to the people below who could be injured from the risk of falling objects. Ensure that before any work commences that walkways, access platforms and scaffolding all have the appropriate measures in place. Guard rails are often the most common choice to prevent this type of risk.

  • Weather Conditions

Bad weather can pose a serious danger to those working at height, especially strong winds which can make access more dangerous and could cause any unfastened materials, as well as your equipment, to come loose. Heavy rain or icy weather greatly increases the chance of you slipping as it impacts your stability. Although shelters can be formed and PPE can protect you from the elements to an extent, in poor weather we would always recommend postponing any work at height.

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Working at Height:

  • Do check that everyone you are working with is fully trained and competent for working at height.
  • Do consider emergency situations and make sure access is safe to the workplace at height.
  • Do ensure that equipment is stable and strong enough for the job. Be sure to check this regularly.
  • Do take extra precautions when working on or near fragile services.
  • Do provide protection from falling objects.
  • Don’t overload ladders.
  • Don’t overreach on ladders or stepladders.
  • Don’t rest a ladder against weak upper surfaces.
  • Don’t use ladders for heavy tasks, only use them for light work and for a short period of time, usually for no longer than 30 minutes.
  • Don’t let anyone untrained or inexperienced carry out any work at height.

 

The Work at Height Regulations (2005) was introduced to help prevent injury or death caused by falls from a height. These regulations aim to minimise the potential risk to workers, and they place a duty of care on employers to ensure that they do everything possible to prevent employees from falling whilst a work, or carrying out risk assessments, and ensuring their workers are supplied with the appropriate equipment and training.

 

If your employer fails to take any of these precautions and you suffer an injury as a result, you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation.

 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

 

Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian Safety

 

Pedestrians are amongst the most vulnerable people on UK roads. Whilst there are many different methods of transportation that we can take advantage of, at one point or another, everyone is a pedestrian. Unfortunately, without the protection of a vehicle, or any safety equipment, pedestrians are vulnerable to serious injury. This can range from minor cuts and bruises to broken bones, to serious life-changing injuries.

 

Tragically, in 2019, pedestrians accounted for 27% of all road traffic accident fatalities in the UK, which was the highest proportion of any group besides car occupants.

 

Behind the statistics, are real people who are struggling with the consequences of being in a pedestrian accident.

Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we understand that if you or a loved one has been involved in an accident as a pedestrian, you may be facing distressing and uncertain times and might be unsure of what to do next. This blog will guide you through your next steps, as well as our top tips for staying safe as a pedestrian.

 

What to Do If You’re in a Pedestrian Accident?

  • Seek Medical Attention

Of course, the priority is to ensure that you’re out of harm’s way and that the emergency services have been called. Even in the case of minor injuries, it’s important to see your GP after in case your condition worsens.

  • Report the Accident

All road traffic accidents involving injury must be reported to the police and you should obtain a police report/incident number.

  • Take Photographs

If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident, the surrounding area, and your injuries.

  • Collect Information

Make sure to exchange details with the driver/s involved in the accident, as well as anyone who might have witnessed it.

 

Our Top Tips for Pedestrian Safety

  • Stop, look, listen.
  • Stay alert, don’t be distracted by electronic devices such as your phone that can take your attention off the road.
  • Choose a safe place to cross the road, such as at a pedestrian crossing or traffic lights.
  • Even at a pedestrian crossing, always pause before you step onto the road and check both directions to ensure there is no oncoming traffic.
  • Don’t assume a driver has seen you. Always try where possible to make eye contact before you cross.
  • If there is a footpath, use it. If not, stick to the right-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic, and keep as close as possible to the side of the road.

 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

Think Bike: Safety on the Road

Think Bike: Safety on the Road

Think Bike Safety on the Road

Think Bike Safety on the Road

 

The number of people choosing to cycle, whether it be for the health benefits or as a way to get to work, has significantly increased in recent years within the UK – with an astonishing 3.2 billion miles cycled on our roads every year.

Unfortunately, cyclists are also amongst the most vulnerable road users within the UK and there is a serious risk from not only poor road conditions or faulty equipment, but also inattentive drivers.

In fact, when the UK began its first lockdown in 2020, the month of March saw cyclist fatalities double the average for that time of year, with 14 cyclists in Great Britain and one in Northern Ireland victims in road traffic incidents.

While this wasn’t a long-term trend and there are fewer cars on the road, we don’t want the risks of cycling to outweigh its clear benefits which are it is economical, environmentally friendly, and a fun way to get around. So, how can we make sure that cyclists and drivers are looking out for each other and keeping one another safe on the road?

 

Safety Tips for Cyclists

  • Ride decisively and make sure to keep clear of the kerb
  • Wear a correctly fitted cycle helmet
  • Always wear high visibility and reflective clothing, especially after dark
  • Make sure to always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor
  • Avoid riding up the inside of vehicles as you may not be seen
  • Use appropriate hand gestures to signal left/right turn taking
  • Take extra care at junctions and roundabouts, and make sure to give clear timely signals

 

Safety Tips for Drivers

  • Always keep an eye out for cyclists
  • Check for cyclists before pulling out at a junction, when doing a manoeuvre or when changing lanes
  • Take an extra look in your mirrors and blind spots
  • Leave plenty of space when overtaking a cyclist
  • Be aware of Advanced Stop Lines. These allow increased visibility for vulnerable road users such as cyclists. You must stop at the first white line if the traffic light is amber or red and when the green light shows, allow the road user time and space to set off
  • The lower your speed, the less risk you are to a cyclist, so take extra care to drive a little slower in residential areas and areas without cycle lanes

 

If you do find yourself injured due to a cycling accident, you may be due compensation if the accident was caused by the actions of another road user, if the road or cycle lane was in poor condition, or if your injury was due to an equipment failure.

 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our no win no fee solicitors.

Can I Claim If I’ve Been Hit By A Drunk Driver?

Can I Claim If I’ve Been Hit By A Drunk Driver – Drunk driving accident claim

Despite stringent laws and social pressure, drunk driving is still a serious problem within the UK. On average, around 3,351 people are injured and 666 deaths are recorded due to drunk driving incidents every year. Most would never consider anything so dangerous and disrespectful of human life as drunk driving, but we may not be able to control whether or not we might encounter a drunk driver on the road: so what steps can we take to stay safe?  

 

  1. Be safe. 

    Always encourage people around you who have been drinking either to stay home, get a taxi or use public transport – the national drink-drive limit in Scotland is just 22mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath or 50mg of alcohol for 100ml of blood. This means that just one drink is too much to drive safely. However, these can change depending on where you are in the country, so be sure to check the drink driving limits where you are to avoid any penalties. 

 

  1. Stay alert

     If you see someone driving on the road and you suspect they may be driving under the influence of alcohol, keep your distance, and have a passenger in the car phone 999 to report the location of the vehicle and the license plate number. 

 

  1. Be vigilant during peak times.

     There is more drink driving arrests over the weekend on Friday and Saturday nights. BE sure to be especially vigilant at these times late at night when pubs, clubs and other establishments are likely to close. 

 

Can I claim if I’ve been hit by a drunk driver? 

Yes – if you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you could be due compensation either for your injury or even for mental trauma.  

Firstly, if you suspect the driver of the other car has been drinking, call the police to issue a breathalyser test. 

Secondly, following the incident, be sure to gather as much evidence at the scene as you can. This could be by taking photos with your phone, possibly asking for witness statements from people who may have seen the accident and taking down the drivers details.  

Finally, if for whatever reason you are unable to gather evidence at the scene, possibly due to the nature of your injuries, make sure to get a police report following the accident. 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our no win no fee solicitorsroad traffic accident claim.

Driving: Staying Safe During Winter

Driving Staying Safe During Winter

Each year, as the weather turns colder and harsher, we see increasing numbers of road accidents and resulting injuries which vary in severity with anything from a bump or bruise, to whiplash and irreparable damage or in some cases, even death. 

And although this year there are less people on the road, with COVID-19 restrictions encouraging people to stay home where possible, its more important than ever to make sure you take all the necessary measures to ensure road safety this winter. 

 

What Can I Do?  

 

  1. Tyres. 

    Ensure that you have the right tyres that are appropriate for the weather conditions in your area. For some, you may be able to keep your normal tires, such as in cities, but if you live further afield where the weather may be colder, consider swapping our ‘for winter’ tyres which have a thicker tread. 

 

1- Make allowances. 

If you’re driving in icy conditions, remember that you need to allow for much more time to get where you are going and space between you and other vehicles when breaking.  

 

2- Leave extra time.

 Many people get into accidents purely because they are rushed. Ensure you have at least an extra ten minute cushion so you have time to properly clear all windows of ice and/or snow, and effectively de-fog your windows. 

 

3- Plan ahead.

 Make sure you know your route before you set off to avoid getting stuck somewhere. We also recommend using major roads where possible as these are more likely to be salted and be monitored by road accident companies or city council traffic services. 

 

4- Stay seen.

 Make sure all your lights are working properly to ensure visibility. If you need to use your fog light, remember to turn them off once you get into clear air so as not to hurt the eyes or impair other drivers. 

 

Safety is always first, so remember to check all these things to ensure you and your family are safe on the roads this winter. 

 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our Serious injuries claim, no win no fee solicitors