Injury at Work Advice Update (Jun 2019)
Tip: Read our Injury at Work Rights And Compensation Guide for FAQs.
Whatever your trade or occupation, you will no doubt face a variety of hazards in the workplace. Whilst we are each responsible for our own personal safety, there are some things beyond our control, particularly within the workplace.
As a result your safety at work rests largely in the hands of your employer who has a legal duty to eliminate or minimise your risk of injury whilst at work.
Understand your employer’s obligations
Not all injuries are preventable. Your employer should carry out regular safety risk assessments and implement measures to reduce any risk of injury identified. They should also inform you of any potential for harm and provide you with training on how to deal with it.
In addition your employer must ensure your working environment is safe by putting in place, and promoting, safe working practices for all staff . Your employer will also provide you with the right tools to allow you to work safely.
If you think that your workplace conditions are unsafe, raise this with your employer formally. If your employer fails to act you can contact your trade union representative or the Health and Safety Executive for further guidance before an accident occurs.
Unfortunately some employers fail to act until after an accident happens, often resulting in the serious injury of one of more employees.
Understand your rights if you have suffered an injury at work
All businesses within the U.K. must hold Employer’s Liability Insurance to cover such events. If you are injured in an accident at work, which you feel could have been avoided if your employer had acted, you are entitled to make a claim against your employer’s insurance policy.
Whether you are employed under a zero hours contract or on a temporary basis, or via an agency you have the same rights as those employed permanently to pursue a compensation claim against an at fault employer.
If the insurance company, or if necessary a court, find that your employer should have taken steps to prevent your injury, it is likely that your claim will be successful.
In addition to compensation for your injury, you may be entitled to claim for any loss of earnings if you need time off work for recovery and treatment. Whilst you may be allowed statutory sick pay (SSP) or some additional benefits under your employer’s sick pay policy during your absence from work, you will likely be out of pocket nonetheless.
You are entitled to claim for loss of your regular earnings as well as any overtime and/or bonuses. If your injuries are severe your future earnings could potentially be at stake, along with your future pension entitlement; if this happens you are entitled to recover these losses as part of your compensation claim.
Steps to take if you have suffered an injury at work
If you have suffered an injury at work, you should report it to your employer as soon as possible. If you are too injured to do so, ask a trusted colleague to do this on your behalf.
You employer should record the circumstances of your injury in the accident book. If an accident report book is not available, or if your employer fails to do so accurately, write down details of the accident and send it to your boss (keeping a copy for yourself).
You should seek advice from a doctor as soon as possible, even if your injury does not seem serious at first. If you do not recover as expected, it is important to re-visit your doctor for further treatment as you have a duty to aid you own recovery. Failure to seek appropriate and timely treatment may result in your compensation being reduced.
You should seek independent legal advice when you are well enough to do so. Aston Knight solicitors who have a hard earned reputation as a leading personal injury firm in the North West. We specialise in injury at work claims and can offer a guiding hand through your injury at work claim.
Ayoub grew up in Bury before graduating from the University of Lancaster. After then completing his Post Graduate Diploma in Law at the College of Law, Chester, he joined a prestigious London magic-circle firm where he worked on a multi-million pound product liability claim, being the highest value claim of its type in the world. He then returned to the North West where he joined a leading practice before leaving to start his own specialist practice. To contact Ayoub, visit the contact page.