Having an accident at work is an unfortunate circumstance that is often difficult to recover from. It is helpful to be able to know what your rights are, and how you can be legally supported through a compensation claim.
What are your rights if you have an accident at work?
In every workplace, there are certain laws that mean that your employer has a duty of care towards you. This means that anyone who enters the workplace has to be reasonably protected from any harm that may befall them. In order to achieve this aim, a number of things must be done. These include:
- Consulting employees on health and safety issues. This consultation can be a direct one, or through a safety representative that is elected by the workforce or appointed by the trade union.
- Carrying out regular risk assessments that address all potential harm in the workplace.
- Giving all employees information about the risks that are in their workplace and how they are protected, in addition to instructing and providing training on how to avoid them.
If, as an employee, you feel that you are being exposed to dangers in your working environment, then you must raise your concerns as soon as possible.
If these concerns are ignored and you have an accident at work because of your employer’s inability to protect you, you have the right to make a claim against the owners of your workplace.
What should I do after my accident?
Before you make contact with accident solicitors, there are some steps that can be accomplished in the immediate aftermath of your injury that will ultimately assist you with your case. Understandably, a lot of people are unable to carry out these tasks when they have just had a serious accident, but it is often a good idea to:
- Take photographs of whatever it was that was the cause of your accident
- Take the details of any witnesses to your accident
- Take photographs of the injury that you have sustained
- Ask witnesses to make any note about your accident
- Make notes about the details of your accident as soon as possible
Your accident should legally be recorded in the workplace accident book, so it is important to make sure that this has happened.
An example of a successful case
One such instance in which an individual was successfully compensated for an accident that they suffered at work was when a man who injured his back working on a production line. Working as a manufacturer, he would assemble different parts into cars as they travelled along the production line. Part of this process involved him having to bend down into the cars with a pouch around his waist that contained heavy nuts and bolts. He would have to attach 10-12 parts per car, with each screw and bolt taking around 2 seconds each to complete. He would first put these into the gear box, and would then repeat this process near the pedals, which required further leaning over – which then placed further strain on his back. Putting all of this evidence together to compile a case, a Manchester-based solicitorput forward his statement, and this led to an offer of compensation being made within a week.
If you have an accident at work, it is always important to know your rights and be able to take action if you have been unjustly hurt.