What should I do after an accident at work?
Aston Knight Solicitors, a local solicitor in Bury, are specialist personal injury solicitors helping victims of accidents and injury at work. A common question we get asked from our clients at the outset of their case is, “what should I have done and what should my employer have done after my accident at work?”
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, all employers are under a legal duty to ensure that their work premises are free from any Health and Safety hazards. Under this duty, your employer has to carry out a risk assessment and do what is necessary to take care of the health and safety of their employees and visitors.
- Recording accidents
Your employer must report serious work-related accidents, diseases and dangerous incidents to the Health and Safety Executive. They must report:
- Major injuries, a broken leg or rib for example
- Dangerous incidents like the collapse of scaffolding
- Any other injury that stops an employee from doing their normal work for more than ten days
The reporting must be done by your employer but we suggest if you are involved it is a good idea to make sure it has been reported.
Any injury at work, no matter how minor the injury is, should be recorded in your employer’s accident book as soon as possible. We suggest you record the details of any injury in the accident book and if you are too ill to do this ensure someone records this on your behalf. If necessary we suggest you send an email to your manager setting out what happened. In our experience too many people fail to record the details of their accident and this can cause difficulties further down the line when making a claim for compensation. Another benefit for recording accidents is that it allows your employer to see what is going wrong and take action to stop accidents in the future.
- Gathering Evidence
From our experience it is a good idea to obtain evidence of the accident since this might be required at a later stage, especially if you intend to bring a claim for compensation. We suggest you obtain photographic evidence (both of the area where the accident happened and of any injuries you sustained), together with the contact details of any witnesses who may have witnessed your accident or injury at work. If you can, we suggest you obtain a witness statement from the witness as soon as possible after the event whilst the memory is fresh in everyone’s mind.
- What if you need time off work?
If your accident is such that you require medical attention, then your employer must give you sufficient time off work to get the injury treated. Some larger employers may have a designated first-aider on site who may assist with an initial examination and recommend further specialist advice or treatment.
If you need time off work because of an accident or injury at work then you are legally entitled to claim Statutory Sick Pay (“SSP”). This is the very basic legal requirement an employer has to meet. In some circumstances your employer may have their own sick pay scheme with payments being made on a discretionary basis.
- What if you need to make a personal injury claim?
If the accident results in a personal injury then you may have a claim for compensation against your employer. Any claim for compensation against your employer must be made within three years of the accident date and we recommend you put your employer on notice of your claim as soon as possible.
If your accident has been serious and necessitates time off work, your employer has to permit you sufficient time off work but also has to make steps to facilitate your safe return to work.
By Ayoub Khan, Solicitor
Aston Knight Solicitors Bury are a specialist firm of solicitors that specialise in serious injuries including medical negligence claims and work injury compensation. If you would like to discuss further please contact a member of our team on 0161 447 9191 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free and confidential discussion.