Many accidents and personal injuries occur in the workplace but most people would not know what to do if something happened to them at work and what they have a right to, from their employer, in order to make sure their workplace is safe.
Employers have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees which includes a responsibility for providing suitable first aid facilities and equipment, providing protective clothing as and when it is deemed necessary and conducting risk assessments on equipment in the workplace such as computers, chairs and desks. Employees should be aware that there is also a duty on them to take some responsibility for their own health and safety and that of others as well as working with their employer to ensure a safe workplace.
As well as the physical damage associated with suffering from a workplace injury, the other main consequences are financial. If your injury causes you to need time off from work, then in the short term you may need to claim Statutory Sick Pay. For those with more serious illness or injury, you may be able to claim other benefits if you need to be off work in the long-term, or if you have to stop working altogether. Claims for compensation against employers can be complex and should only be pursued by a specialist solicitor who will be able to advise you on how to make a Work Accident Compensation Claim. You may also be able to seek advice in the first instance from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or a trade union. Any award of compensation can be reduced if the court finds that as an employee, you somehow contributed towards your own injury.
If you are ever involved in a workplace accident or suffer from a work related illness or injury, it is vital that the details are reported to your employer as soon as possible. The details should be recorded in the company accident book or you can submit to your employer a detailed report of the incident and any injuries suffered. You must ensure that you see a doctor, as your records will be required in the event of a compensation claim or if you need to claim benefits. The Department for Work and Pensions should also be notified that you have suffered an industrial injury as this could help with any claim for state benefits.
If you are thinking about bringing a claim for compensation against your employer, you need to make sure you have a record of everything leading up to the claim, including what actually happened, as well as medical records and records of any state benefits which you may have claimed. There is no substitute for legal advice so it is vital to consult a solicitor with experience of compensation claims against employers for work-related illness and injury.
Vickie Day writes regularly on law for a range of legal websites and blogs. She is particularly keen on advising people on how to make a work accident compensation claim along with other personal injuries.