Fatigue Related Accidents

According to the HSE, fatigue is thought to cost the UK between £115,000,000 to £240,000,000 per year in terms of work accidents and on the roads it is thought to account for up to one quarter of fatal and serious accidents.

The UK's 3.5 million shift workers are more susceptible to the risks as are workers in industries that require a great deal of repetition, working alone and working a badly organised shift pattern and working with an excessive and poorly planned workload.

Victims can include workers returning home particularly after night shifts where they have been forced to work excessive hours.

There is growing evidence of workers being placed at risk through disruptive shift patterns and zero hour contracts and in many cases workers being pressured into working unpaid overtime as a way of enabling the employer to defeat the minimum wage requirements. 

The Working Time Regulations 1998 provide that a worker is entitled to an uninterrupted break of 20 minutes when a daily working time is more than six hours and to a daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours and at least one day off per week, which can be averaged over two weeks. 

For young or adolescent workers, the break entitlement is 30 minutes per 4½ hours at work and also daily entitlement to 12 uninterrupted hours and two days off per week that cannot be averaged over two weeks.

Employers have a duty of care and will be liable for accidents shown to have been caused or materially contributed to by failure to observe these minimum standards where a risk of injury has been foreseeably created.  

Even where the worker may be partly responsible, the injured party will usually be entitled to seek compensation for their injury and losses arising from employers failure to manage fatigue risks.

Making a Claim

We understand the difficulty faced by employees in the current jobs market.  Where injuries have been caused by an employers disregard for the risks posed by failure to observe the minimum legal standards, we are able to offer expert advice in relation to tiredness and fatigue claims and to represent clients in seeking compensation for the injuries and losses sustained.

For more information call free on 0800 587 0746 during or out of office hours to arrange a free consultation or to arrange a home visit (by prior arrangement). Alternatively you can email our team.