Workplace accidents shouldn’t happen, but they can. Find out what you can do if you’re injured at work
We all know how easily an accident can happen.
And while steps should be in place to prevent accidents at work, they can still happen in any type of job – from a construction site to an office, a factory to a restaurant.
Every workplace has its own set of hazards which, if not properly risk assessed and monitored, can result in accidents - some of which could have terrible consequences.
Accidents can sting businesses, but the effects on an individual who comes to harm, can be far more serious.
The latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive indicate that more than 609,000 injuries occurred at work in 2015/16 across the UK, with more than 31.2 million days lost due to workplace injury.
Tragically, 144 people were killed at work last year.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, most workplace accidents are caused by manual handling – such as lifting heavy objects -slips, trips and falls from height.
The organisation estimates the cost to British employers of failing to meet health and safety obligations as £2.8bn in 2013/14.
Injured at work?
So what happens if we are injured while at work? Are we entitled to make a claim for compensation? Or will it simply cause more trouble?
According to Angele Hart, Head of Personal Injury at Heptonstalls Solicitors, employers have a duty of care towards their employees and must take steps to ensure the working environment is safe and therefore minimising the risk of an accident.
She adds: “If the employer is negligent, failing to comply with Health and Safety Legislation and you have an accident resulting in injury, then you may have grounds to make a claim for compensation.
“However, many people are worried about the implications of making a claim against their employer, as they feel they may be subject to the repercussions of such an action.”
There is some protection, she adds. “If you have been with your employer for more than two years and they were to discipline or dismiss you for making a legitimate claim, there may be grounds for unfair dismissal.”
Some injured workers may also feel wary about lodging a claim for compensation after an accident at work because they fear the financial impact it could have on their employer.
Angele adds: “It is important to know that all employers are required by law to take out employer’s liability insurance.
“So, if a claim is successful, the compensation is paid out by the insurance company - and not the employer.”
If you have suffered an accident at work in the last three years that wasn’t your fault and would like some further advice, call Heptonstalls on 0800 917 8267 or visit the website