Many of these costs are difficult to evaluate, especially from an economic perspective 5. However, usually the work accidents are analysed focusing on root cause analysis without giving particular importance to the economic perspective. In this regard, the literature shows technical lack of data and organisational low political power of health and safety department and of knowledge on the topic barriers that hinder accurate and effective accident costs analyses 6. The literature also underlines that the aim of the accident costs analysis is to educate companies, using an economic language, in the importance of investing in proactive activities to increase the effectiveness of occupational health and safety management 7 , 8.
The paper contributes to the literature by presenting a cost analysis tool that could potentially be used by other companies and by discussing the opportunities and difficulties that a company has to face in its implementation.
The paper is structured as follow. Section 2 presents the research method, section 3 the various phases of field study and the conclusions and avenues for future research are provided in the final section. Case Study - Unprepared to Talk About Dying Pat is having a difficult time giving consent for the "Do Not Resuscitate" order for her year-old father, because they never had a discussion about dying.
This case raises questions about obstacles to open communication about death and goals of care. Paramedics bring the man to the hospital. His past medical history is established to include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD , chronic foot infections, alcoholism, and tobacco use. Physicians recommend a biopsy. Fiona took custody of her two grandchildren and worked as a housekeeper in a private home while the children were in school. Fiona had no health insurance.
The author then sent the relevant portions of standard medical textbooks to the doctor, who was furious. Next, he confided in the author that he felt a sense of pressure from the state government not to diagnose silicosis, and that he feared losing his job if he did so. When advised to respect ethics rather than succumb to pressure, he refused.
Occupational health professionals face strong external pressures from the powerful industrial and political lobbies, which would rather avoid paying compensation to workers. These pressures affect their professional independence and impartiality. Only institutionalisation of ethics in occupational health can help mitigate such pressures.
Case 6 The author visited a chromium factory when an NIOH team arrived from Ahmedabad to carry out investigations and collect samples, following numerous news reports about workers with nasal septum perforations and dermatitis. The team agreed, and collected samples of blood, urine and semen.
For the collection of the semen samples, the male workers were asked to masturbate in a corner, with no regard for privacy. Since there was no word from the team even months later, the author made enquiries with the NIOH.
He was informed that the report was being prepared. After heated discussions, it agreed to share not the final report but individual test reports if each worker submitted an application in a self-addressed envelope. Only a few received their reports. This case highlights the scant respect for ethically required practices such as ensuring privacy and providing information to the participants.
These infringements violate not only the right to information on risks, but also the right to dignity. In a similar case, upon learning of the high incidence of silicosis among former workers in quartz crushing factories, the author visited some of their villages.
A representation was made before the SHC, who agreed to investigate the matter. He asked the NIOH to carry out a study in coordination with the author and his colleagues. Accordingly, over 30 workers were examined at a camp. The workers waited for the results so that they could file compensation claims. However, the NIOH would not share the reports. It was only after petitioning the SHC that they were shared. These cases provide just a glimpse of the vulnerability of workers while interacting with occupational health professionals and the system.
A multipronged approach is necessary to address this problem. First, ethical guidelines should be adopted to facilitate the enforcement of legislations. The international codes and guidelines on ethics in occupational health and safety can be used as a template to develop India-specific guidelines. Institutionalisation of the guidelines by law is likely to promote ethical practice. It is only then that issues related to violations and malpractice can be raised, remedied and addressed.
There is a need to revisit them and other policies to identify the gaps, understand the challenges in their implementation, plug the loopholes and bring them up to date with recent developments. It is equally important to allocate more resources, appoint staff where required and review the quality of the services provided to the workers.
Third, to understand the occupational health burden in India, there must be transparency in data collection and the outcomes of studies conducted by agencies such as the NIOH should be shared. This will also help in planning and formulating strategies to address occupational health issues.
Millions of workers, both in the organised and unorganised sectors, would form the backbone of this campaign. However, their health, safety and well-being are not accounted for in policy or practice. This paper focuses mainly on the fraction of organised workers who have managed to access the limited channels of occupational health services. The health needs of unorganised workers, who form the bulk of the labour force in the mining, manufacturing and construction sectors, have not been covered.
These workers remain outside the purview of any law for the protection of their health and safety at work. There is an urgent need to address these issues through deliberations with the stakeholders, modification of the existing laws and allocation of the required resources. Unless the relevant provisions are legally enforced, the barriers to OHS cannot be tackled. The laws should be framed on the basis of ethics.
OHS laws can be enforced as part of the fundamental right to health and well-being only if they are underpinned by strong ethical codes and practical guidelines. It must be ensured that the laws are successful in identifying and addressing the challenges and gaps. There is a plastic curtain directly inside the large freezer once the door is slid open. The curtain had been damaged at the top, allowing ice to gather there and then fall to the floor.
As soon as our client entered the freezer, her foot slipped on the ice, and she fell straight on her back. Her left arm hit a small metal barrier on the floor just outside the freezer, and she also hit her head on the floor. After she managed to get to her feet, she noticed the ball of ice that had caused her fall.
The consequences Our client went to fill out an accident report while she was suffering a lot of pain in her head, left arm, and hip. She then returned home, took some pain relief medication, and went to bed. But when she awoke, the pain had become worse. She visited her GP the next day for an examination. Her GP provided her with a sick line and pain relief medication for a muscular injury.
The doctor there confirmed she had not punctured her lung, which had been previously feared by her GP, but that she had pulled a muscle. The pain eventually subsided, but during the recovery period, our client had difficulty doing household work, such as hoovering and preparing meals, and could not enjoy gardening one of her main hobbies.
Overall, the customer assistant was absent from her work for two weeks, but she didn't incur any loss of earnings during this time.
The settlement Slip accidents at work are extremely common , and Thompsons' work accident solicitors have a lot of experience with handling these types of cases and were confident of our client's chances of success. This was because numerous complaints had been previously made about the ice by our client's colleagues, but wasn't until after our client's accident that the curtain was fixed.
By not fixing he curtain sooner, the employer hadn't provided their employees with a safe workplace, and this gave us strong grounds for making a successful claim. Thompsons intimated a claim to our client's employees, and the insurance company acting on their behalf admitted liability. To help us value the claim so we could receive a fair settlement for our client, we had them examined by a consultant orthopaedic surgeon. The report confirmed she sustained a closed minor head injury and soft tissue bruising to her chest and right buttock.
The report allowed for an eight-week period of recovery. We discussed this with our client, who, agreeing it was too low, rejected it. School worker's injury while supervising bus — August On 27 November, our client, Mrs Maureen Phinn was involved in a workplace accident, which led her to seek compensation for her injuries. At the time of the incident, Mrs Phinn was working for the Glasgow City Council as a pupil support assistant and bus escort within New Hills Secondary School, a school for children with special needs and learning difficulties.
The incident happened when she was carrying out her bus escort duties. This role required her to supervise the pupils on the bus as they were taken to and from the school.
Since the beginning of the new school term, a new pupil had been allocated to the bus that our client supervises. This pupil had documented behavioural issues that posed a risk to staff, but this was not made known to Mrs Phinn at the time. The new pupil had already been picked up and was sat on the bus when another pupil, who was clearly very upset and agitated, entered the bus and started banging on the windows.
This behaviour agitated the new pupil, who started banging his head on the window. Noticing blood on his forehead, Mrs Phinn asked the bus driver to pull over so she could intervene.
Worried that he was going to seriously harm himself, Mrs Phinn approached the pupil to try to calm him down. However, when she did so, the pupil attempted to bite our client, causing her to jump abruptly away. The pupil then proceeded to stand and swing his rucksack around, striking our client on the neck and shoulder.
The Consequences Our client went to see her GP the day following the incident, and she was given painkillers for the injury to her neck and shoulder. Our client was off work for one week but didn't sustain any loss of earnings during this time. When she returned to work, however, she still felt pain in her neck and shoulder.
She visited the People Asset Management group, who recommended she undertake physiotherapy. In addition to her physical injuries, the incident also caused her a great deal of anxiety and stress. She also required help with the housework and shopping. There was no excuse for Mrs Phinn's employer not to have been fully aware that the pupil's behaviour was problematic, as there was a long documented history of similar behaviour on buses.
What's more, Mrs Phinn was not provided with key information that could have prevented her injury. Usually, when a new pupil is transferred onto another bus, the bus escort should be provided with documentation informing them of any potential risks the pupil's behaviour could pose. No such documentation was given to Mrs Phinn prior to the incident, even though it did exist.
Only after the incident did our client find out that there was a risk assessment warning of the pupil's reactions to loud noises and his tendency to strike his head. The same risk assessment also stated that staff should have been provided with bite sleeves and that they shouldn't try to stop him hitting his head because of the risk of being bitten.
Obviously, had Mrs Phinn been provided with this information, she would have handled the situation differently and lessened the risk of being bitten. By not providing Mrs Phinn with the appropriate risk assessment known, her employer was in violation of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations In the early hours of 30 March , a man, who had been admitted to the hostel since 22 March , entered the premises. As it was late at night, the building was locked up and the vehicular gate at the front was closed, but the man proceeded to climb over the gate and started knocking on the front door, asking to be let in.
Despite telling him to that they could not let him in because of how late it was which, as he'd already spent some time at the hospital, he should've known , he continued to try to get in, becoming more aggressive. Eventually, after several attempts at trying to get in the building and being repeatedly informed he had to come back later, he managed to break a window and make his way into the staff corridor, heading for the reception area.
It was now that our client and her colleague became aware that the man intended to attack them, and so they called the police. The attacker got hold of a fire extinguisher and smashed through the reception office window. Both our client and her colleague had to climb out the window to get outside and then climb over the vehicular gate it would have taken too long to wait for it to open and then close again. At this point they could hear the attacker now trying to break through the internal security door.
Our client hurt her back while climbing out the window. It's worth noting that the attacker should not have been able to break through the glass as easily as he did, because the window was meant to be made of safety glass. However, as glass had been changed which our client was unaware of , the attacker could break through it easily.
They called the police a second time, who arrived and, after some time spent searching, found the attacker in another occupant's room — a girl whom he assaulted. The Consequences Because of the attack, our client sustained an injury to her back and suffered a generalised anxiety disorder as a result.
Her anxiety disorder has led her to suffer from severe insomnia and panic attacks. The impact the incident made on her mental state meant that her GP referred her to a psychiatrist. The incident and its effect on her caused her to take voluntary redundancy, which meant she sustained a loss of pension and loss of earnings. We intimated a claim to the council. The employer did not fulfil their obligations to their staff by not taking the necessary steps to keep them safe.
At the time of the incident, the most recent risk assessment on the occupant didn't include anything about his violent nature. However, a later risk assessment in noted a history of violence specifically towards women , which, had this been known, the man would never have been admitted to the hostel. He had also been previously excluded from the hostel in and was banned from all hostels in the jurisdiction of Perth and Kinross Council in Her employer had not included the information of the risk assessment in the earlier assessment even though they would have been aware of the man's history of violence at that time.
By not including this important information and providing our client with the relevant risk assessment, they were putting all their staff in danger. Unable to reach a settlement with the defender pre-litigation, we were required to litigate the case. Because our client didn't inform us of the impact on her earnings until very shortly before the proof hearing, we had to make a late minute of amendment to adjust the case. Unfortunately, this amendment was not accepted by the court.
However, this sum did not compensate for future loss of earnings or for future pension loss. Our client's colleague who was involved in the attack also made a claim with Thompsons see below. In the early hours of 30 March , a man who had been staying at the hostel tried to gain access. At this time, however, the hostel had been locked up for the night, and the staff were not permitted to let him in.
The resident should have known this, but he continued to make attempts to get inside the building. When our client and her colleague informed the man that they could not let him in the hostel, he became aggressive towards them. Knowing that the resident had a history of violence, the two hostel employees continued to ignore him, but he then proceeded to break a window and enter the building.
At this point her colleague called the police. When he then began trying to break the reception office window with a fire extinguisher, our client and her colleague were forced to escape through another window and then climbed over the vehicular gate. In doing so, our client injured her shoulder. It was later found that the man was on parole at the time and, given that he'd been previously banned from the hostel after an incident in , should not have been allowed to stay at the hostel in the first place.
However, the employer informed our client that a change in legislation meant he had to be permitted because of his homelessness. The Consequences As well as the injury to her left shoulder, our client also suffered severe psychiatric injury as a result of the attempted assault.
She still gets traumatic flashbacks of the attacker approaching her, and she has had to seek help from a psychiatrist to help with her post-traumatic stress disorder.
Our client had the very real fear that she was going to be badly hurt or possibly even killed if the attacker managed to get to her. As the attacker was holding a pair of scissors while breaking into the building, our client and her colleague had every reason to believe he intended to attack them. What's more, she also suffers from fibromyalgia, which became worse in the aftermath of the incident.
We intimated a claim to Perth and Kinross Council. They initially denied liability. Her employer tried to place liability on our client by claiming she breached protocol by not calling the police as soon as the man climbed the gate.
But our client felt that if staff called the police for every small breach of security, it would lead to them raising too many false alarms with the police.
It was reasonable for our client and her colleague to call the police only once the threat to their safety became severe. They were therefore breaching our client's right to be safe at work.
We also had CCTV footage of the incident, which helped our case. This sum included compensation for pension loss and loss of earnings. Hospital porter claims compensation for knee injury — August When our client, Mr John McGrouther, was involved in a workplace accident on 18 August , he decided to make a claim with the help of Thompsons Solicitors.
As part of his job, he needed to transport trolleys full of breakfasts from the hospital's kitchen to the wards. The meals are separated on trays inside the trolley, but the milk cartons are placed at the bottom without a tray. As our client was walking down the ramp that connects the main kitchen to the main corridor, milk started dripping out the trolley and ran down the ramp. Mr McGrouther was pulling the trolley, walking in front of it, and did not see the milk. He slipped on the spillage, falling on to his left knee.
The Consequences Although he did not seek medical treatment for his knee injury right away, Mr McGrouther soon became aware that he had badly damaged his knee as he had difficulty resuming his duties the following day. He therefore decided to visit the minor injuries unit at the hospital he worked at, where the staff believed he'd sprained his ankle. However, when he visited his GP a few days later, they thought he had damaged his knee cartilage and needed to see a physiotherapist.
It was later confirmed that Mr McGrouther had suffered a small meniscal tear to his knee, which he needed surgery to correct. The injury meant our client was unable to walk properly, which had a substantial impact on his life during the recovery period, and he required his wife to help him out around the house.
Because Mr McGrouther was doing a lot of overtime at the time of the accident, he suffered a significant loss of earnings. The leaking milk posed a clear workplace hazard, and our client is aware that other people have been injured in a similar way, so his employer should have taken the necessary steps to help eliminate the risks.
So we intimated the workplace slipping case to his employer with reference to the Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations Unsatisfied with the defender's first offer, we were able to settle the case after putting forward a counter offer.
Incident leading to Co-Operative employee's head injury — August Our client, who suffered a head and neck injury as the result of a disorderly customer on 20 August , was working as a customer team member at a Co-Operative Food.
Her role generally required her to be situated at the shop's kiosk, where she has to serve customers when they are purchasing lottery tickets, cigarettes, general groceries, and alcohol.
When she was nearing the end of her Saturday-afternoon shift, a male customer, who was noticeably intoxicated, entered the shop. The customer made his way to the alcohol section and took a pack of beer cans and two wine bottles from the shelves. When he arrived at the kiosk, our client explained to him that she couldn't serve him because he was already in a drunken state, and to do so would be against the law.
She proceeded to take the bottles of wine from him and bent to her left-hand side to place them out of the way. However, as she was bent over, the customer, who was unhappy that he'd been refused service, hit her over the head with the four-pack of beer and then walked away. It should be noted that at this stage of the afternoon, our client's managers had already left, leaving her on the shop floor alone. The Consequences Left in shock from this sudden attack, our client started calling for help.
Two colleagues, who had been in the back of the store, came to her assistance. Her colleagues called the police to the scene, and our client gave a statement. Extremely upset because of the incident, our client refused the police's offer to take her to the hospital and instead texted her sister to come and take her home. But when she awoke the next morning with a painful headache, she decided to go to the hospital. The staff there examined her and confirmed she had bruising and a bump but no lacerations or a concussion.
They prescribed her with painkillers. She also saw her GP, who provided her with a sick line note. In total, the incident caused our client to miss four weeks of work. She was paid most of her wages for the days missed but, rather unfairly, wasn't paid for the Sunday immediately following the day of her injury our client thinks this may be because she didn't take her sick line note into work until the following Monday.
Her injury meant she couldn't attend her weekly Zumba class for five weeks. The Settlement The head injury compensation claim was made with the help of our client's union, Usdaw, through whom our client was able to instruct our work accident solicitors. The claim was intimated to her employer on the basis that they could have helped prevent such an incident from happening by employing a security guard. A security guard would have prevented the drunken customer from entering the shop in the first place, but because her employers considered the shop to be low-risk, they hadn't done this.
Her employer also failed to carry out a risk assessment in relation to this type of incident in the workplace. Her colleagues should also not have left her alone on the shop floor — it ought to have been reasonably foreseeable that leaving her on her own would be putting her at risk. We discussed this sum with our client, and on 18 August she confirmed she wanted to accept it. Employee's cut to index finger — August On 16 August , our client, who works as a team leader for the Co-op group, was injured while at work.
As the team leader, our client must complete various duties, including filling shelves, maintaining waste, and overseeing other staff. On this particular occasion, our client was cutting meat in the deli using the slicing machine. The machine's blade came into contact with her finger and caused a laceration injury. A flap of skin was hanging off at the tip of her finger. Immediately following the accident, she went to receive first aid and was advised to go to the hospital. The Consequences At the hospital, our client was given stitches and a tetanus injection.
She then returned two days later to have the wound redressed. The laceration eventually healed but left our client with lasting effects. Because she is right-handed, our client struggled a great deal with opening cans. Her finger also became very sore in cold weather. She also required help with tasks such as washing her hair, and household tasks took longer to complete.
As part of the claims process, a medical expert examined our client's injury to determine the exact extent of the damage. He confirmed that she'd sustained a flap wound to her right index finger that took two to three weeks to heal.
She was still able to work, but required her manager to drive her to and from work. The accident happened very quickly, and our client didn't have time to move out of the way. Eventually, after several attempts at trying to get in the building and being repeatedly informed he had to come back later, he managed to break a window and make his way into the staff corridor, heading for the reception area.
If the showers were used, the water would have to be mopped to go down the drain. We intimated a claim to the Council, and they admitted liability.
Her colleagues should also not have left her alone on the shop floor — it ought to have been reasonably foreseeable that leaving her on her own would be putting her at risk. We intimated a claim to the Council, and they admitted liability. Her employers admitted liability after we intimated the slip injury claim to them. The assistant team leader took a photograph of the ice and then had our client looked over by a first aider. Usually, when a new pupil is transferred onto another bus, the bus escort should be provided with documentation informing them of any potential risks the pupil's behaviour could pose. The pain eventually subsided, but during the recovery period, our client had difficulty doing household work, such as hoovering and preparing meals, and could not enjoy gardening one of her main hobbies.
For instance, her head kept bleeding during the recovery period, and she struggled with washing and brushing her hair. Wanglie from the respirator were unsuccessful; she was conscious, aware of her surroundings, and could recognize her family. The management often arranges for private treatment for workers injured in workplace accidents at a clinic or hospital. According to one of her colleagues who had accompanied her to Skye House, the inadequate lighting had been complained about before lighting was finally installed in the area during our client's absence. After heated discussions, it agreed to share not the final report but individual test reports if each worker submitted an application in a self-addressed envelope. Thompsons intimated a claim to our client's employees, and the insurance company acting on their behalf admitted liability.
The Consequences Left in shock from this sudden attack, our client started calling for help.
This pain meant she could not get comfortable and caused her to stay up all night. After further discussions, our client again rejected their offer. We then proceeded to intimate a claim to her employer, beginning the compensation claim process. Butcher's leg injury because of broken pallet — August When he was involved in a workplace accident on 1 June , our client was working as a supervisor and butcher for Scotbeef.
When the ESI authorities were approached, they said reports are confidential and cannot be given to the workers. This case highlights the need for occupational health workers to not only maintain and provide written records, but more importantly, uphold their integrity. It was from them that she was able to gather what had caused her to fall: fruit juice had been spilled on the floor and not cleaned up. With the increasing number of factories and workers, it is essential to increase the number of factory inspectors to ensure compliance with the norms and reporting of accidents. These pallets can store 30 trays.
Her left arm hit a small metal barrier on the floor just outside the freezer, and she also hit her head on the floor. We discussed this with our client, and it was rejected. As he tried applying more force, his foot slipped forward on the icy floor, causing him to fall backwards. Geneva: ILO;
At the time of the accident Mr Perrie worked in the fresh department, where it was his job to bring in deliveries, stack shelves, and serve customers.
She also required help with the housework and shopping. Her ankle was very swollen at first and remained painful for the following weeks. It took approximately ten minutes for her to be able to reach her phone and call her husband. Her colleagues should also not have left her alone on the shop floor — it ought to have been reasonably foreseeable that leaving her on her own would be putting her at risk. In addition to this, the accident and its aftermath were very stressful for our client as it came at a time when he was undergoing counselling.
This would be true of the rest of India as well. We discussed this sum with our client, and on 18 August she confirmed she wanted to accept it. Case 5 The author followed up the cases of some workers who were suspected to have silicosis and had been admitted in a general hospital. This report was sent to the defender the insurance company acting on behalf of the council along with a valuation.
The percentage increases to 8. Management and Labour Studies.