'Compensation culture is a myth': Claims for work-related injuries and diseases fall 60 per cent in a decade

 

The “spiralling” compensation culture presented by the Government is a myth, according to a report which shows work injury claims are down 60 per cent in the last decade.

The number of people actually receiving awards for work-related injuries or diseases is down from 219,183 in 2000/01 to 87,655 in 2011/12.

The government figures, published in the health and safety journal Hazards, show that even the families of those dying from occupational diseases have little chance of securing a payout. For most occupational cancers, the odds of getting any compensation payout are less than one in 50.

Prime Minister David Cameron is one of many in government who has spoken scathingly of Britain’s compensation culture “spiralling out of control”.

“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 wrote last year. “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.”

Hazards editor Rory O’Neill, professor of occupational health at Stirling University and author of the report, said: “The Government’s cynical promotion of a compensation culture myth means many workers who are dying in pain are also dying in poverty.

“The Government is putting the health of the insurance industry and the safety of the most dangerous rogues in the business community over the health, safety and survival of people at work.”

More than 4,000 people a year die of work-related chronic bronchitis and emphysema, though just 59 received compensation last year. And of the 221,000 cases of work-related stress, anxiety and depression last year, just 293 resulted in a payout.

The TUC 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.”

Since coming to power the Coalition has cut the coverage and budget of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, and outlawed strict liability claims where there has been a criminal breach of safety law by the employer but negligence hasn’t been proven.

Jim Sheridan MP, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Health and Safety, said: “This government... is simply undermining the important issue of health and safety at work. The government’s approach to health and safety encourages bad employers.”

A Government spokesperson said it was “ensuring workers get the protections they need by making sure health and safety rules are easier to understand, administer and enforce. The burden of health and safety red tape had become too great”.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

English Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: ENGLISH TEACHER REQUIREDWe are ...

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Science Teacher

£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: We are currently recr...

Supply teachers needed in Wigan!

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Due to the...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments