Claims for Work Injuries and Diseases fall by 60% in 10 Years
A study that was carried out by the Trade Union Congress has found that the number of people receiving awards for workplace injuries or disease has fallen by 60% over the past decade.
The report further stated that the likelihood of successful receiving compensation for most occupational cancers is below one in fifty, and although more than 4,000 workers die of work-related chronic bronchitis and emphysema every year, compensation has been awarded to just 59 claimants in the past 12 months. Families of those dying from occupational diseases have little chance of securing a payout either.
I have read many articles recently where it is claimed that there is an increasing compensation culture. This report clearly proves this is simply not the case.
Prime Minister David Cameron is one of many in government who has spoken scathingly of Britain’s compensation culture “spiraling out of control”. David Cameron said last year:
“It is simply much too easy for no-win-no-fee lawyers to encourage trivial claims against businesses, which end up settling out of court because it’s too expensive to fight the case.”. He went onto say “It’s a huge part of our compensation culture and it must change.” In the same article, he added: “We’ll change the health and safety law so that businesses are no longer automatically at fault if something goes wrong.”
These changes to the health and safety laws are being implemented in October under the Enterprise Act. There is concern and worry that the changes being implemented by Enterprise Act will take us back to a time when health and safety at work was low down on the list of priorities for employers, potentially resulting in more injuries and deaths occurring.
The Trade Union Congress General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “The true government motive here is to weaken health and safety laws and make it harder to for victims to pursue claims. Unfortunately the end result is likely to be a much higher rate of workplace accidents.”