No matter if you work in an office, a warehouse, construction site or on retail premises, accidents can happen at any place of work. Though your employer has a duty to protect you from potential injury as much as possible, accidents at work are one of the most common reasons for claiming compensation.
If you do suffer a personal injury at work due to an accident that wasn’t your fault, there are a number of things your employer is legally obligated to do, and a few steps that are worth taking yourself. These steps are not only for your benefit, but also to prevent repetitions of the same incident from occurring in your workplace.
Report Your Accident at Work
Your employer is required to have an ‘accident book’, in which every injury that occurs in the workplace, no matter how minor, is recorded. This is especially useful for employees when requesting time off for recovery and for evidence when claiming compensation for the injury. However, the accident book also helps employers identify hazards in the workplace, take the required action and prevent similar accidents from happening again.
If the accident is serious, by law it must be reported by your employer to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). They must report accidents resulting in:
- Severe injuries such as broken limbs
- Severe incidents such as falling debris
- Disease, such as asbestosis
- Injuries that prevent an employee from working for over three days.
If you are the injured party, it isn’t your job to report the accident to the HSE, but it’s a good idea to make sure your employer has.
For a workplace to function with a minimal number of preventable accidents, it’s important that both the employer and the employee know their responsibilities. Here are the most important:
- Look after your health and safety as well as others as much as possible.
- Co-operate with your employer and comply with health and safety training and protocol.
- Report any injury or illness suffered as a result of performing your job.
- Tell your employer if you’re taking medication with a side-effect of drowsiness, particularly if you drive or operate machinery in your role.
- If PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is necessary for your role, it must be used correctly. However, you may refuse to wear it if it risks your safety, for example if it doesn’t fit.
- If/when operating machinery, make sure long hair or headscarf is tucked out of the way.
- If/when operating machinery, avoid wearing baggy clothing or jewellery.
- Ensure the workplace is safe.
- Prevent health risks.
- Establish safe working practices and make sure they are followed.
- Provide first aid facilities.
- Provide training for safe use, handling and storage of materials.
- Take precautions against fire and electrical hazards.
- Maintain machinery and equipment to ensure it’s safe to use
- Inform employees of any potential hazards and provide necessary training.
- If PPE is necessary, employers must provide this free of charge.
- Provide warning signs if necessary.
Remember, this isn’t a full list of the responsibilities required from both parties. Ultimately though, your employer’s responsibility is to make sure your work environment is as safe as possible to work in. If you’ve been injured at work in an accident that wasn’t your fault and your employer failed to protect you, you may have grounds to claim compensation. You’ll need to prove that you were an employee at the time, that your employer breached their duty of care, and that this negligence caused your injury.
See Your Doctor
After reporting the accident to your employer, the next stage is to seek treatment and guidance from your GP or a medical professional. This is for a few reasons. Firstly, if you’ve suffered an injury, the sooner you’ve received a diagnosis of the extent of the injury and treatment has been administered, the sooner you can look forward to recovery.
Secondly, workplace injuries can be painful, result in time off work, and in the most severe instances can be life changing. A medical professional can prescribe you a course of treatment that will help alleviate symptoms. Not only that, but the injury you suffer and the treatment that’s prescribed will be recorded in your medical records. This provides a concrete piece of evidence on the severity of the injury, making it easier to prove responsibility.
When you contact InjuryLawyers4U to open an accident at work compensation claim, we can put you in touch with an independent medical expert who can provide us with a medical report that covers your injuries, your care requirements, recommended treatments, and evidence of how the injury has impacted your life, including your ability to work. Whatever your injury, we’ll contact the appropriate specialist on your behalf to conduct a medical examination, providing a key piece of evidence for your claim.
What Can You Claim for Accidents at Work?
When instigating a claim for an accident at work, there are several things you can claim for that will be factored into the amount of compensation you’ll be rewarded if your case is successful. This includes:
- Loss of earnings during your recovery (your basic pay)
- Cost of any medication or ongoing treatment
- Any potential overtime missed
- Holiday days if any are used during recovery period
- Sick days
- Lost bonuses or commissions if applicable
In order to make a successful personal injury claim for an accident at work, there must be evidence that you were an employee of the company at the time, that your employer’s negligence or dereliction of duty caused an accident, and that your injury was a direct result. If that’s the case, InjuryLawyers4U can help. Our experienced legal professionals will give you the advice you’re looking for, while our expert solicitors will fight to secure compensation to help you recover and return to your routine.
Don’t wait – There’s a Time Limit to Make Your Claim
Your health and recovery should always be the priority, so it’s important that you seek treatment for any injury or illness incurred at work before filing a personal injury claim. However, it’s worth knowing that there is usually a time limit of three years to pursue a personal injury claim on the basis of negligence. That means if the case is to go to court, proceedings must be issued no later than three years after the date of the accident. So, it’s worth getting in touch with a solicitor as soon as possible.
A successful claim will provide you with financial assistance for your rehabilitation and long-term care. It allows you to focus on your recovery and not worry about finances while you look after your health. If you’ve suffered an injury at work as a result of an accident, contact InjuryLawyers4U. Our solicitors have years of experience in the field and have assisted in many successful accidents at work claims. Our no win no fee agreement means you’ll only pay a percentage of your compensation in legal fees in the event your claim is successful. Call our team at Injury Lawyers 4U on 0800 221 8888 or fill in our contact form today. We’re ready to help.