An accident at work can happen at any time and is defined by the HSE as “an event that results in injury or ill health”. While there is the saying “accidents happen” it’s still important to ensure that you and your employer follow the correct procedures in reporting the accident and protecting your health and safety.
Employers have a legal duty to ensure that all of their employees are equipped properly to protect their health and safety. This can include providing appropriate and sufficient training, up to date Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), ensuring that machinery and equipment is regularly maintained and serviced, conducting regular risk assessments, and making sure that hazard signs are used correctly.
For businesses that employ more than ten people, there should also be an accident book where accidents can be recorded (no matter how minor you consider them to be). If an injury is serious, an employer must report it to the HSE.
The HSE compiles an annual report into non-fatal injuries in the workplace and publishes a list of the most common causes of injury. None of these are particularly surprising and, while some accidents are completely unavoidable, many others can be attributed to hazards that have gone unaddressed.
These types of accidents usually happen because something has been left out on the work floor or there is a wet floor without the appropriate signage.
Employers should always provide employees with appropriate training for lifting and carrying. Handling heavy objects without proper training can cause back, neck and spine injuries which can have a long-term impact on a person’s ability to work.
This can be anything from something falling off a shelf or coming loose to being hit by a car or forklift truck.
In some industries there is an increased chance that an employee may find themselves in a violent situation and may become a victim of an act of violence.
Following on from the above, any stress related injury such as PTSD caused or contributed to by employers are also claimable as a personal injury claim.
This is particularly relevant to tradespeople such as builders, roofers, scaffolders, and window cleaners, essentially anyone who works at height. Employers must ensure that proper training and protective equipment is provided.
If you suffer an accident in the workplace and are employed or are an agency worker, you should tell your manager or the person you normally report to. If you are self-employed, you should report it to the HSE (if you are working away from your premises, you should report it to the person you normally deal with).
You should also take a photograph of the injury and make notes about the accident and collect the contact details of any witnesses.
If you believe that the accident and injury were avoidable and were your employer’s or client’s fault, you can claim compensation by making a personal injury claim. For any legal claims it is vital that you receive legal advice as quickly as possible in order to ensure that notes and information about the accident are collected while memories are still fresh.
Jarmans Solicitors have an excellent team of litigators with experience of a wide range of personal injury claims. If you would like some legal advice contact us to make an appointment.
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