Legal Guide

The intention behind the personal injury laws imposed on the public and private sectors

Duties are what keep the public in order. Imagine traffic without any rules, lights, limits and regulations. Drivers would act selfishly and without valuing others. Let’s be honest. The fear of being fined is a method that stops many from behaving negligently. Then, imagine the same situation in the workplace. Probably, the community wouldn’t handle the conditions at work as a disorderly workplace can be quite fatal and hazardous. In addition to these, awareness of facing an extraordinary amount of risk while at work can harm your mental health.

Personal injury laws and the duty of care system were put in force to protect workers from working at unacceptable standards

Workers and their mental and physical health should be protected and valued. If not, accidents can arise and as we all know, these accidents are not like simple matters. From the barista working for a famous coffee chain to a worker operating heavy machinery, all workers should be kept away from hazards. Depending on the working conditions and the surroundings, the scale of the accident can reach extraordinary and crucial levels. Impairment, loss of vision, loss of senses in organs, major psychological injuries and major lung injuries are among the many known results of workplace accidents.

What makes these accidents even worse is the fact that these are mostly due to foreseeable and preventable reasons. As seen in the many examples, workplace equipment can naturally fail if not maintained regularly. Back in the mid-2010s, in Turkey, an elevator in a construction yard failed and led to the death of 10. After a long and in-depth investigation, it has come to the conclusion that the accident could be prevented if the elevator was taken care of.

History shows many disasters which we should take lessons from

When it comes to work accidents, the common idea is that these accidents end up disastrously. Comparing the most known workplace accidents with the current technology, it is fair to say that we made progress. There are many incidents where more than ten thousand workers passed away. Today, with the increasing technology and the awareness of the conclusions, we are able to minimise the impact of workplace accidents.

In Bangladesh 2013, a multi-story building collapsed and killed over a thousand. It was a structure built for commercial purposes. Taking this fact into account, the building should be capable to carry more than a thousand people. After the investigation process, it came to light that the building was built on a building plot where the soil was unstable and soft in nature. Additionally, the foundation was a lot higher than acceptable standards. Considering these, a wise and responsible person wouldn’t build anything there.

While discussing workplace accidents and potential solutions, the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh can be taken as a reference. This is many similar buildings collapsed during the construction and countless workers passed away. Which is an obvious breach of duty of care. However, throughout the world, employers keep doing these same mistakes repeatedly. While designing a workplace, a comprehensive risk assessment plan should be made. Both inner and outer risks should be evaluated. As seen in the previous example, even if the workers are equipped with industry-grade equipment, outer risks can be the cause of a disaster.

Work accidents in a nutshell

To reach a conclusion, it is fair to say that similar accidents both in public and in workplaces are preventable. Although the causalities are decreasing and the impacts are lowering, accidents still happen. These numbers should be pulled down to zero as every single worker life matters. Laws do not tolerate accidents that occur due to foreseeable reasons. Depending on the accident and what law the accident is in compliance with, the punishment can be heavy compensation, shut down of the business, cancellation of licenses and even imprisonment.

Under the personal injury laws, if you sustain mental or physical injuries due to negligence in the workplace or a public place, you can claim personal injury compensation.

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