If you find yourself the victim of an accident in your workplace, be it a major or minor event, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. 

In Ireland in 2022, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) reported that a total of 26 people lost their lives in work-related accidents.

Though workplace fatalities are uncommon, some jobs are more hazardous than others and the risk of an industrial accident is higher.

If you suffer an accident at work that is not your fault, you may want to consider contacting an industrial accident solicitor for advice on how to move forward. 

At Hughes & Associates, our team can offer expert advice and experience around cases of industrial negligence and all cases of personal injury.

Contact us today for friendly and knowledgeable guidance.

Contact Hughes & Associates for help with your Industrial Accident Claim

What is an Industrial Injury Claim?

If you are the victim of a workplace accident that was not your fault, and you suffer an injury as a direct consequence of that accident, you can file an industrial injury claim in order to pursue compensation.

This is done to make up for any expenses you incur as a result of your injury, as well as the toll of both mental and psychological injuries.

Citizens Information offer a detailed breakdown on the law surrounding accidents in the workplace in Ireland. 

Accidents at work are legally bound by the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, which legislates on health and safety at work and the responsibilities of an employer in that regard. 

An industrial injury claim is a type of personal injury claim, meaning your case for compensation will be brought before the Personal Injury Assessment Board (PIAB). 

The PIAB will require you to prove two things before they decide on an appropriate fee for compensation:

  • Your employer owed you a duty of care.
  • That duty was breached, directly resulting in an industrial accident.

If it is shown that your employer’s negligence contributed to your accident, but so too did your own actions, you may be able to pursue a contributory negligence claim. 

This is likely to produce a reduced fee for compensation, but could still prove successful.

Where are Industrial Accident Claims Likely to Occur?

Some workplaces pose much more of a threat than others, although an industrial accident can occur in many different settings. 

In Ireland, we often see:

Farming Industrial Accident Claims

The Health and Safety Authority report that, in 2023, farming poses the most dangerous environment for Irish workers, producing the highest number of workplace fatalities. 

Farm workers are often tasked with operating heavy machinery and common accidents on farms can involve being crushed or pinned beneath a vehicle or being struck by a machine object.

Construction Industrial Accident Claims

Construction workers are vulnerable to their environment and the machinery that dictates their labour. 

There are strict health and safety guidelines on construction sites because of the threat they pose. 

Construction industrial accident claims can revolve around cases of falling objects, unfit machinery or slips, trips and falls.

Fishing Sector Industrial Accident Claims

There are 5,000 workers in the Irish Sea fishing sector, and the HSA reports that they are susceptible to a disproportionately high number of workplace accidents and fatalities. 

With the operation of heavy machinery, the volatile nature of the workplace environment and the potential for vessels being lost at sea, fishing is considered to be a dangerous occupation.

Forestry Industrial Accident Claim

Forestry is another sector that involves the use of heavy machinery and equipment which can be a catalyst for workplace accidents. 

Motor-manual forest harvesting can require workers to use chainsaws, skidders and processors, among other tools that need to be handled with caution.

Contact Hughes & Associates for help with your Industrial Accident Claim

Common Industrial Accident Claims

All kinds of accidents can occur in work environments, and they are usually dependent on an individual’s line of work and the potentially hazardous conditions of their labour. 

In these instances, industrial accident compensation claims can be made on the grounds of employer negligence.

Some of the more common industrial accident claims are:

Falling Objects Industrial Accident Claims

Falling objects can cause major injuries and are particularly dangerous in sectors like construction, where worksites can be large and heavily operational. 

Measures need to be put in place to ensure that anyone operating machinery at a height is trained and experienced in handling their situation. 

Brain injuries can arise from accidents involving falling objects, and their impact on an individual’s everyday life can be hugely significant.

Slips, Trips and Falls Industrial Accident Claims

Slips, trips and falls can occur in any workplace that fails to provide proper signage for wet or slippery surfaces. 

They are very common workplace accidents, and they can be the result of poor lighting, uneven floors or aging infrastructure in need of maintenance.

Ladder Falls and Ladder Accident Claims

Ladders are a common root for workplace accidents, and they can cause neck injuries, spine injuries, back injuries and brain injuries. 

If you are operating a ladder at work, you need to ensure the ladder is fit for purpose, you are wearing appropriate work footwear and you have undergone training for the act. 

Ladder falls can happen when an individual overreaches or if the ladder is not stable and secure on the ground.

Dangerous Equipment or Heavy Industrial Machinery Claims

Factories and industrial workplaces often require staff to operate heavy machinery that, if not handled properly, can cause significant injuries. 

Industrial machinery can cause crushing injuries, breaks, fractures, cuts and lacerations. 

They can be caused by an employee not receiving proper training, not having the appropriate protective gear or dealing with faulty or outdated machinery.

Road Traffic Collision Claims

A significant number of jobs require employees to operate a mode of transport, be it as a long haul delivery driver, a taxi driver or an emergency responder. 

If you are involved in a vehicle crash or collision because of your job, you may have grounds for an industrial accident claim.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Industrial Accident Claim

PPE can constitute gloves, helmets, boots, overalls, eye protection and more. 

For a wide range of jobs, PPE is a required health and safety measure that aims to protect employees in the event of an accident.

If you do not have access to the correct PPE, or your PPE is not fit for purpose, you may suffer an accident and have grounds for a claim. 

Workers must also be correctly trained in how to use their protective equipment properly.

Crushing Accident Claim

Crushing accidents often involve heavy machinery, and can cause very serious injuries depending on how severe the incident is. 

A worker can also be crushed in cases of overcrowding or by trapping their finger or arm in a closing doorway.

Contact Hughes & Associates for help with your Industrial Accident Claim

Who is at Fault for an Industrial Accident Claim?

Attaching blame in an industrial accident means providing conclusive proof that the negligence of your employer, or another person, was a catalyst for your injury. 

It is an employer’s responsibility to provide their employees with a safe workplace to the best of their ability.

This means offering appropriate training and equipment, and deciding on guidelines that prioritise health and safety.

Can I Lose My Job for Making a Claim Against My Employer?

Under Irish law, it is illegal to fire an employee for making a reasonable claim against their employer.

Any attempt to remove you from your role off the back of your industrial accident claim would be considered an unfair dismissal.  

Employers usually have insurance for this kind of situation and they would not want to risk further legal action, and reputational damage, by considering your dismissal.

How are Industrial Accidents Caused?

Industrial accidents can happen for many different reasons, but there are factors that can be considered common causes for accidents in the workplace, including:

A Lack of Appropriate Training for Employees

Employees must receive proper training for their work duties and, if an accident occurs because they were not correctly instructed on how to perform in their role, it may be considered employer negligence.

Unsafe or Hazardous Working Conditions

Some of the most common hazards in work environments are slippery or wet surfaces and falling objects. 

If your employer fails to make your workplace safe, their behaviour can be labelled as negligent.

Poor Maintenance of Equipment

If machinery and equipment become outdated or unfit for purpose, they must be upgraded or replaced so as to avoid an accident. 

Defective machinery is a very common cause of industrial accidents and their impact can be particularly severe, including crushing accidents and cuts and lacerations.

How Much Compensation Will I Receive for My Industrial Accident Claim?

If you are awarded compensation for your industrial accident, the amount of compensation you receive will depend on the severity of your injury and the financial burden of the event.

There are two types of damages awarded for industrial accident claims.

General Damages

This covers the non-financial cost of your injury, such as the pain and suffering, both physical and mental, associated with the industrial accident.

Special Damages

Special damages are more traceable – they cover the expenses you incurred as a result of your workplace accident. 

This can include medical bills and a loss of earnings from any time you were forced to spend off work on account of your injury.

How to Make an Industrial Accident Claim

In Ireland, you are free to file your own industrial accident claim through the PIAB, but you may want to seek the help of a personal injury solicitor if you are not familiar with the process.

For the best chance of being awarded compensation for your injury, we recommend the following steps:

Your solicitor will benefit from as much evidence and documentation of your accident as you can build. 

Document the date and time of the event, file a workplace accident report, hold onto your medical records and obtain any video evidence of the event that exists.

If there are witnesses to the accident, take their contact details.

Your solicitor will then be able to build your case further by obtaining a third-party medical report. 

This will add credence to your injury and strengthen your compensation claim.

A good solicitor will know what constitutes a strong application for the Personal Injuries Board, and they will build your case to meet their criteria. 

This is where the experience and expertise of an industrial accident solicitor is perhaps most useful.

The PIAB generally take about seven months to reach a verdict on personal injury compensation claims. 

If you are not happy with their decision and the compensation you are afforded, your solicitor can pursue further legal action.

Make an Industrial Accident Claim Today

At Hughes and Associates, our team have huge experience in dealing with compensation claims around workplace accidents.

Contact us today for an assessment of your case and advice on how to move forward.

Contact the Hughes & Associates Team