The responsibility for workplace health and safety lies with both employers and employees. If you are involved in an accident in the workplace, in addition to knowing what you should do on your own responsibilities, you also need to be aware of what your employer should have been doing to ensure that you were safe whilst on their premises.
Duties of employer and employee
There is a duty on all employers to protect the welfare, safety and health of all employees.
This includes ensuring that workplace equipment is correctly maintained and is routinely risk assessed, providing employees with any necessary protective clothing, as well as maintaining first aid equipment.
However, there is also some burden on employees who should share responsibility for their own health and safety and share the duty to ensure that the workplace is a safe place to work.
If you ever suffer from a work-related injury or illness or are unfortunate enough to be involved in a workplace accident the details need to be reported to your employer as soon as possible.
Ideally, the details should be recorded in the company accident book or alternatively you can submit a detailed report of any injuries suffered and the incident itself to your employer. Seeing a doctor is vital, as your medical records will be needed if you have to claim state benefits or decide to pursue a claim for compensation.
In certain circumstances it is also worth notifying the Department for Work and Pensions of your injury, as this could support any claim you might make for state benefits.
Submitting a claim for compensation
For most people, the main problem associated with having an accident at work is how will they cope financially. For short term absence from work then you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay and if your injuries or illness mean youhave to be off work long-term or even give up work completely, there may be other benefits you could be entitled to.
Ifyou plan to bring a compensation claim against your employer then this should be handled by a specialist solicitor who is experienced in these sorts of claims.
In terms of advice, before you decide whether to instruct a solicitor, you may want to speak to someone from your trade union or alternatively the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
In order to pursue a claim for compensation you will need to make sure you have a record of everything including the circumstances in which the injury occurred, as well as records of any state benefits you have received and your medical records.
Something else to bear in mind is that any award of compensation can be reduced if the court finds you somehow contributed towards your own injury in your capacity as an employee.
Taking legal advice is vital so make sure you consult with a solicitor who has experience of compensation claims against employers for workplace injury and illness.
If you need legal advice including accidents in the workplace and the best ways to get compensation, make sure you talk to Jefferies Solicitors.