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According to figures from RIDDOR, two percent of all worker fatalities over the period from 2015/16 to 2019/20 were caused by asphyxiation or drowning. In 2020/21, four workers died as a result of drowning or asphyxiation.

Such incidents may involve workers who carry out tasks in confined spaces, such as water or sewage treatment tanks, into which liquids could flood in unexpectedly.

Industries where working in confined spaces is commonplace:

Where do drowning accidents at work occur?

It is not, however, only in these high-risk, confined occupational environments that liquids represent a hazard.

Industries in which workers are particularly at risk of drowning include:

  • Ports and docks
  • Fishing
  • Salmon farming
  • Offshore Maritime

However, there are other places where drowning is a real and present danger – from shipyards and leisure centres to schools and nurseries - so, there can be no room for complacency.

The HSE has documented cases of workers, including landscape engineers and construction workers, who have drowned in circumstances that might seem unlikely to some. However, contrary to common perception, it only takes a small amount of water, sometimes only a few inches deep, to create a drowning risk.

Hypothermia is another risk to consider, particularly in the fishing industry. In fact, wherever water or liquid is present, any incident which may cause a worker to lose consciousness and fall into the liquid has the potential to result in drowning.

How can Thompsons work accident solicitors can help

Thompsons is Scotland's leading personal injury firm. Although our solicitors cannot turn back the clock, we can help you find the best way forward, ensuring you have the funds and support you need at the time when you need them most.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed at work, contact Thompsons accident compensation lawyers on 0800 0891331 for information and advice about securing your full rights under the law.

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