Health & Safety And Work Accidents

Making An Accident At Work Claim

Almost half of all injuries involve an accident at work. Nevertheless, employees often find it difficult to bring a work accident claim for compensation. Naturally, many are afraid of the possible consequences if they take their employer to court over a work accident. Mostly, however, these fears are groundless as all employers are obliged by law to have Employer's Liability Insurance which covers them if an employee suffers injury in an accident at work and action can be taken against employers who discriminate against employees simply because they are pursuing a legitimate compensation claim against them for injuries caused by a work accident.

What To Do If You Have A Health And Safety Issue

If you sustain injury in a work accident which causes absence from work, ensure that you receive your statutory sick pay which is payable for up to 28 weeks should you not otherwise be entitled to full pay.

If you are still off after 6 months as a direct result of your work accident injuries, then you can make a claim for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and/or possible other benefits. You should also check whether you are entitled to any sick pay from your employer under your contract of employment.

You should also ensure that your work accident is recorded in your employers accident book. They are obliged by law to record all work accidents in their accident book if they have more than 10 employees in the work place. If there is no accident book and no-one has made a note of your work accident, then you should write to your employer and provide them with a full description of the work accident and the injuries you sustained in it in your letter.

Bringing a Work Accident Claim

To bring a claim for a work accident, you will have to prove that your employer has caused the injury by their failure to take reasonable care to prevent the work accident. An employer has both common law duties grounded in negligence and statutory duties via Acts of Parliament and European legislation. Just a few examples of duties which an employer owes to their employees and can be found liable for should they be in breach are:-

  • A safe system of work in the work place
  • Safe work premises
  • Safe equipment in the work place and adequate training and supervision in how to use it
  • Competent staff

Safe System

To prevent a work accident, an employer must ensure that work is carried out in the work place in the safest possible manner given the nature of the job, the equipment provided, and standards within the industry. Employees must be notified of inherent or known dangers and provided with sufficient training to protect them from those dangers so as to avoid a work accident. Regular monitoring should be carried out in the work place to ensure procedures are being adhered to.

Safe Premises

This not only means that floors in the premises must be kept free of substances and objects which could cause slipping and tripping accidents, but employers must also ensure, for example, that the premises are adequately heated and ventilated, and that the car park is safe.

Safe Equipment and Adequate Training and Supervision in How to Use it

To avoid a work accident, equipment should not only be safe, but employers must provide employees with sufficient training in how to use it safely, and have a system of inspection and maintenance in place to ensure that the equipment is kept in good repair and work accidents prevented. This covers all equipment from the desks employees use to computers and pneumatic drills.

Competent Staff

To prevent a work accident, an employer has a duty to ensure that all employees are competent in their jobs. Hence, an employer is responsible for any accident at work causing injury to an employee which was caused by another employee, whether it is through failure to use equipment properly, a drink or drugs problem, or a work accident simply caused by messing around.

What To Do If You Require Advice

Should you require advice on health & safety or in relation to a work accident, then please do not hesitate to contact us. We can be contacted either by telephoning us on 0333 3010 700, or by completing the questionnaire on the right hand side of this page.

As a specialist employment law firm, you can rely upon us to provide you with quality advice from a leading employment law solicitor within the profession.

Please note that we offer a free initial consultation.

Settlement Agreements

Should you have been offered a Settlement Agreement (which used to be known as Compromise Agreements) which you require independent advice on, then please call one of our employment law solicitors immediately on 0333 3010 700, or complete the questionnaire on the right hand side of this page. We will then arrange an appointment with you to go through the Settlement Agreement.

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