Duty-holders in the UK must adhere to the requirements of British health and safety law in order to prevent staff members from suffering fatal or personal injuries within the workplace.
Therefore, although soldiers in the military work in a high-risk occupation, their employers are still bound by British legislation, such as the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act), to make sure staff members are adequately protected from harm.
However, the act does not fully apply to the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), states that this legislation only covers bases, facilities, or any other military installations within Great Britain. It does not apply to the MOD's actions abroad or on foreign UK bases.
Moreover, this organisation is protected under Crown immunity, which means it is exempt from criminal prosecution. Instead of taking the MOD to court in the event of a serious health and safety breach, the HSE will normally issue a Crown Censure – which has been described as the "maximum enforcement action" it can take.
Despite the military being covered by Crown immunity, the Secretary of State for Defence has previously stated that the MOD will comply with the host nation's laws when operating on foreign soil and apply British standards where reasonably practicable.
If a member of the armed forces feels that not enough is being done to prevent accidents on bases, the HSE states that he or she should speak to their local safety adviser or superior officer in order to resolve the issue.
Alternatively, those adversely affected may wish to seek compensation through the services of an experienced army injury claims solicitor.
Making an army injury claim with Seth Lovis & Co
Although the armed forces can be a potentially dangerous occupation, those injured in workplace accidents may still be entitled to claim compensation. Whether harmed in a training exercise, accidents involving vehicles, or through a slip, trip, or fall, sufferers may be entitled to seek remuneration providing it was not their fault.
To find out if you are entitled to damages, please contact our legal team today on 0370 218 4025. Alternatively, please complete one of our online enquiry forms and we can respond at a time which is convenient for you. Either way, our team will be happy to discuss your circumstances in greater detail.