Labour Research February 2011

Health & Safety Matters

Personal injury claims

Around a quarter of workers would not make a personal injury claim against their employer, even if injured at their workplace while using damaged or unsuitable equipment.

The finding is based on a survey of 1,150 UK adults by the not-for-profit campaigning organisation, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).The survey further undermines the claim by the Tory peer Lord Young in his 2010 review of health and safety, Common sense, common safety, that Britain is in the grip of a “damaging compensation culture”.

Muiris Lyons, president of APIL, identified a range of possible reasons for the apparent reluctance to bring claims, including an unwillingness to undermine the employment relationship and fear of being branded a troublemaker.

“There seems to be a perception that those making personal injury negligence claims are taking advantage of an unfortunate situation,” Lyons said. “And yet the reality is that the negative stigma attached to individuals making a claim if they’re injured in the workplace is an unfair one”.