Over a million people suffer from accidents at work every year! While some injuries are minor, others can have serious consequences for you as an individual; such as time off work, financial strain, emotional stress and even permanent disability or death. The law sets out many rules to protect you from accidents at work and compensate you if you are injured whilst working.
Am I entitled to get compensation if I am injured at work?
You are entitled to compensation if you can prove that the workplace accident was someone else’s fault which could be your employer, a fellow employee or another company based at your place of work. Your employer is not allowed to treat you unfairly or dismiss you for making a workplace accident claim. They are also required by law to have insurance against staff accidents. This means that their insurance company will pay for your accident compensation, not your employer.
I am worried about claiming against my employer, will I lose my job?
Making a claim against your employer can be worrying. However, it is their responsibility and a legal obligation, to ensure that they are maintaining health and safety standards in your workplace. Eligible workplace accident claims might involve injuries from unsuitable or damaged equipment as well as unsafe systems of work, dangerous working practices, contact with dangerous materials and poor health and safety.
Once an accident has occurred, make sure it is reported straight away as this may be a useful reference point, if you ultimately make a claim for compensation. Accidents, no matter how minor, should be recorded in the company’s accident book, which is mandatory for all companies with 10 employees or more. Industrial injuries of a more serious nature must be reported to the Incident Contact Centre of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). All workers are protected by many regulations, including the Manual Handling Regulations 1992, Workplace Regulations 1992 and Personal Protective
Equipment Regulations 1992.
These Regulations govern workplace health and safety and place legal duties on employers to ensure that they carry out assessments to identify risks to the health and safety of their employees, implement steps to reduce or remove any risks and to generally provide safe work equipment and a safe working environment. Other Regulations govern health and safety where a worker meets dangerous chemicals and other harmful substances (The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 [COSHH]) or where workers are exposed to loud noise or are expected to use vibrating tools.
If a worker can show that their employer has not complied with some or all their legal duties or was negligent and therefore to blame in some way for the worker’s accident (or disease), then they may be able to claim compensation.