Everyone has the right to be safe at work, whether you work on a building site, an office or a supermarket. Of course, accidents will happen even in the safest workplaces and this is why all employers are required to have "Employers Liability Insurance" in place. This insurance policy covers compensation claims from employees who have been injured at work. Such injuries can be both physical (an injury or illness) and psychological (stress and anxiety caused by conditions at work). If you feel you may be entitled to compensation for an injury at work, read our intro guide below to find out how to go about it.
The Responsibilities Of Your Employer
Accidents in workplaces are far less common than they were in previous generations thanks to UK legislation that requires employers to undertake risk assessments of both your work environment and your job role. While some jobs such as construction, security or farming may carry more risks than an office job, all employers must do their utmost to provide employees with a safe working environment. Employers have a 'duty of care' to employees and if you suffer an accident at work that was not your fault, you could be entitled to compensation.
An employers responsibility includes;
- Providing employees with the necessary machinery and tools to complete their jobs.
- Ensuring the machines and tools are maintained to a safe condition.
- Keeping their workplace is kept in a safe and tidy condition. Employees should be provided with suitable work spaces and chairs and floors, corridors, doors and gates should be clean, unobstructed and free from hazards.
- Training employees required to lift heavy objects on how to do this safely.
- Providing employees with suitable safety gear including headgear, eyewear, ear defenders, gloves, safety boots and high-vis jackets.
Employers are also responsible for training members of staff on safety. Personal injury compensation claims can also be made if the accident or injury was caused by the negligence of another employee.
What To Do
If you suffer an injury at through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation. In the immediate aftermath of the accident you should do the following;
- Make a record of the incident.
What exactly were you doing at the time you were injured. How did the accident that caused your injury happen?
- Were there any witnesses?
Ask for the name and phone number of anyone who witnessed the accident as they may be required to provide evidence during the claims process.
- Report the accident to your Manager and in the workplace accident book.
Make sure you have followed any established workplace procedures for reporting accidents. Make sure your manager is aware of what happened and record the incident in the company's accident book.
To make a personal injury claim you must be able to prove that your employer was negligent and that the injury you received was as a result of this negligence. In the case of workplace accidents this is sometimes difficult to prove in court so it is vital you talk to a reputable personal injury solicitor (preferably one that specialises in workplace compensation) to find out if you have a winnable case.
When submitting a claim for workplace compensation you will be asked to provide some important information to help assess the merits of your claim. This will include;
- The name and contact details of your employer
- Your job title and a brief description of your role
- Whether or not the injury received carrying out a clearly defined part of your job role
- Whether or not you were you wearing any protective clothing provided by your employer and deemed necessary for the job.
- Whether you are aware of any changes to safety practices in your workplace as a result of the incident?
Beware anyone who promises to gain you thousands of pounds of compensation before they have fully considered the facts of your case. Compensation vary’s significantly between cases but payouts can be anywhere from thousands of pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds in more serious cases.
There is a strict 3 year time limit on making workplace compensation claims so be sure to start the process as soon as possible after the incident.