As the saying goes, accidents happen. But the workplace can be an especially hazardous place: in 2015/16 a staggering 621,000 workplace accidents were reported. Every employer, big or small, has a certain set of responsibilities to keep their employees safe and healthy at work - in fact, they are required to do so by law. That’s why, if you are injured at work as a result of your employer’s negligence, you are entitled to make a claim.
What are my employer’s responsibilities?
Your employer has a duty to protect your health, safety and welfare by complying with the relevant Health and Safety regulations. This means that they must minimise any risk to workers’ health or safety that comes with the job by carrying out whatever measures are ‘reasonably practicable’. The specific responsibilities that your employer has will vary depending on your workplace but typical employers’ duties include:
- Ensuring the environment is a safe place to work in
- Carrying out risk assessments
- Assigning trained first aiders
- Providing adequate safety training to employees
- Providing appropriate safety equipment
All businesses, except for very small ones, must have an accident book, and if you have an accident it must be recorded in as much detail as possible in case you make a claim. It is also the responsibility of your employer to report serious work-related incidents to the Health and Safety department of your local authority, under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (known as RIDDOR).
If your employer is found to have not taken the ‘reasonably practicable’ steps to ensure your safety, they can be accused of negligence and could be required to pay you compensation for your injuries.
What are workplace injuries?
If you have had an injury as a result of the work you are required to do, you may be able to make a claim. This also includes health issues that arise as a result of your job, or even psychological suffering brought on by issues such as stress or bullying.
The range of accidents that happen at work is vast, but generally, those who have active jobs and carry out physical labour are most at risk. Here are some typical causes for injuries occurring in the workplace:
- Slips, trips and falls – the most common claim associated with workplace accidents
- Using dangerous machinery
- Dangerous practices in the workplace
- Insufficient training
- Falling objects
- Defective or poorly maintained equipment
- Inhaling toxic fumes
- Assault at work
If you have been injured as a result of the above reasons, or any other reason that you suspect may be the result of your employer’s negligence, you could be entitled to make a claim.
What to do if you have been in an accident at work
Firstly, you should seek medical attention. Even if your injury seems to be minor at first, it’s better to be safe than sorry. In order to make any personal injury claim, you will be required to provide evidence in the form of medical records so be sure to see a professional as soon as possible.
For personal injury claims of this nature, it is vital that you instruct an experienced solicitor. Claims against your employer can be complicated; especially if your employer denies that they were negligent. A qualified solicitor will be able to guide you through the process and help you assemble the evidence to present your case.
Over the past 30 years, Devonalds Solicitors’ highly experienced Personal Injury Solicitors have helped thousands of clients obtain the treatment they need and the compensation they deserve. To find out more or if you think you might have a claim, get in touch with our friendly experts today or send us an enquiry via our website.