Injuries at work are, unfortunately, fairly commonplace – they may range from something as small as a minor cut, through to severe burns and broken limbs. Employers have a duty to look after the welfare and safety of their staff, as well as any visitors to their premises. This means that if you have suffered an injury at work your employer could be responsible.
What is an Accident at Work?
Workplace accidents can take many different forms, for example a head injury, suffering a loss of sight, burning or scalding or serious spinal cord injuries. The more serious the injury, the more likely you may be able to make a claim for compensation for what has happened to you. Accidents at work can happen at any time, either as a result of something you have done, something that has been done to you, or a consequence of something your employer has not done. As part of their duty to their workforce, employers must put certain basic safeguards in place. For example, they must:
- Ensure that plant and machinery are safe and well maintained
- Provide protective clothing where it is required
- Ensure noise, dust and fumes are kept under control
- Provide proper first aid facilities
- Introduce proper fire prevention precautions and ensure there is a way to escape a fire
- Assess risks and make sure workplace practices are continuously revised to prevent injury
Typical Accident at Work Claims
If you feel that your employer has failed to meet their responsibilities for the safety of staff required by law then you may have a good basis for claiming compensation, even if your actions contributed to your injury. Typical circumstances that may give rise to an accident at work claim could include injury as a result of:
- Equipment that is defective or has been inadequately maintained
- Actions by co-workers which could be considered negligent
- Items falling from shelves or stacked piles
- Machinery which is dangerous
- Contact with toxic or noxious substances
- Suffering a slip, trip or fall
- Health & Safety Regulations being ignored or never implemented
- Not receiving proper training, particularly with respect to lifting and handling
- Practices and processes in your workplace that are defective
- Suffering an assault
- Having an accident while operating heavy machinery, such as a forklift
How to deal with an Accident at Work
If you suffer an injury at work then you must report it to your employer straight away and the details should be entered into the Accident Book. If there is no Accident Book then it is important to create a written record of what happened, send a copy to your boss and keep a copy for yourself. You should also see a doctor as soon as you can, both to receive necessary treatment and to have a medical record of your injury.
Making a Claim
In order to make a claim for an accident at work, you must be able to show that your injury has directly resulted from your employer’s negligence and/or breach of duty. Your claim should be issued within three years of the accident – after that time your claim may be time-barred and you will not be entitled to compensation.
Find out more about making a claim for your accident in the workplace by getting in touch with Goodharts today.