More accidents happen at work than anywhere else. In fact almost half of all accidents occur in the workplace. However it can be difficult for employees to bring a claim for compensation if injuries have been suffered. Many are scared of being victimised if they take the firm they are working for to court. However due to the fact that accidents at work are common place it is highly likely your employer has insurance to cover a claim should an accident happen. It’s important to remember that your employer has a duty of care to ensure you can do your job safely and is not legally allowed to dismiss you for making an injury claim.
Your accident should be noted in the firm’s accident record book (required by law if the firm has more than 10 employees). If there is no record book, or no-one has made a note of the incident then you should advise your employer in writing of the full circumstances of the accident and the injuries you have suffered. Perhaps the first practical thing to do if you are injured in an accident at work and are going to be off for a period of time, is to make sure you get your statutory sick pay. This is payable for up to 28 weeks. If you are still off work after 6 months you can make a claim for long-term invalidity or disablement benefit. Also check any additional contractual payments which may be payable.
There are many workplace regulations to protect you from injury but accidents at work still happen and we are here to help. Our specialist personal injury solicitors can advise you in relation to your claim for compensation following an accident at work.
Workplace Rules and Regulations
There is extensive European Union legislation, which covers areas as diverse as unguarded or dangerous machinery, personal protective equipment, and also back injuries caused by unsafe lifting. Employers are under numerous duties including providing a safe and secure workplace, provide competent co-workers, provide adequate materials and equipment, a safe system of work and proper training and supervision.
Your employer needs to ensure that the place, or places, where you work and their premises in general are safe for their staff. For example your employer would be negligent if work floors were left wet or cluttered with files or cables, on which employees slipped or tripped up. It is the employer’s duty to ensure that floors, surfaces, working areas and corridors are safe, the work area needs to be structurally sound and suitable for the work they intend to be carried out in it. Your health & safety at work should be your employers No.1 priority. Electrical equipment must be tested by a qualified electrician to ensure that it is safe to operate, any dangerous chemicals should be stored away and clearly labelled with their contents.
If your accident at work happened because you weren’t given adequate training or proper safety equipment then your employer might be to blame. Whatever caused your accident we will be able to advise you, for example slipping on a spillage or injuring yourself on dangerous premises in a state of disrepair.
Your employer must ensure, to the best of his ability, that the people that he employs around you are competent in their jobs, and do not put others at risk by their actions. So if an employee injures another through a failure to use equipment properly, or a drink or drugs problem, or simply when messing a round, then the employer is potentially liable for those actions.
Your employer is responsible for providing you with safe and suitable equipment with which to do your job, training you in how to use it, inspecting and maintaining it, and ensuring that it is used correctly through training and supervision. This covers all the equipment that you may use from your chair or computer to a pneumatic drill or the dustbin man’s dustcart. Whatever the equipment your employer has responsibility for it and the way you use it.
Your employer must try to ensure that you carry out your work in the safest way possible bearing in mind the type of job that you do, the materials and equipment that you work with and the tasks involved. Whether or not he has done this is quite often just down to the facts of the case, but standards within the industry can often be used as form of benchmark against which to judge whether the employer has done enough to protect his employee.
If there are inherent or known dangers then the employee needs to be advised of these and properly trained in the tasks he is required to do in order to avoid them. If for example your job involved a lot of lifting then employees should be advised on the best way to lift the items in order to prevent injury, and regular checks should be made to ensure that these methods are being adopted.