It’s important to follow health and safety procedures at work so you don’t have an accident. You will probably have had talks on this during induction when you first started your job, and perhaps on a regular basis throughout your working life.
Who is responsible for an accident?
It is up to your employer to ensure a safe working environment, and make sure you have safe ways of working which will include the right equipment and the right training to do your job efficiently. If you suffered a back injury because your employer didn’t provide a safe environment, he is responsible.
Your working environment should be safe to work in
Your work surroundings must be safe to work in, and there should be nothing you can fall or trip over with lack of proper railing or exposed wires. It’s also your employer’s responsibility to make sure whatever job he asks you to do, is carried out in a safe environment, and there must be a set of health & safety regulations covering the different activities carried out as well as a policy and set of procedures.
Carelessness lessens the value of any financial reward should you win
Keep in mind that if you are the cause of an accident, and this could be due to your own carelessness, then any claim you make will be compromised, and the amount you win could be reduced. This would also apply to things such as repetitive strain injury – e.g. if you’d caused it yourself through carelessness. These rules also apply to the self-employed or to a visitor who comes to your business premises.
If there are accidents at work
If there is an accident you must collect as much evidence as you can. Make a record of it and you’ll find that your employer must report any serious accident which results in incapacitation of more than a week (7 days) to the Health & Safety Executive. If you are an employer and you employ 10 or more, you should record injuries in an accident book. Make notes and ask any witnesses to write down what they saw at the time. Ask about any accidents which have occurred before and get your union involved and ask them to.
See a medical professional about your injuries
It’s important to go to the doctor or hospital, depending on how severe your injuries are. You’ll need evidence of injuries you’ve suffered, therefore having medical treatment is important. Legal advice is important, don’t agree to anything with your employer until you’ve sought advice and signed anything.
Your entitlement will depend on the circumstances. It will include compensation for any pain, expenses for any private treatment, damage to your personal belongings, such as your clothes and shoes and any loss of current and future earnings.
Your claim for compensation should bring you to the position you were in before you had the accident, so don’t expect a massive win, or a massive amount of money, the pay-out will reflect what earnings you were expected to earn now and in the future for however long your injuries last. As we’ve already mentioned, your compensation could be reduced if it is decided your carelessness contributed to the injury.
Compensation and pay-outs
You should always receive the compensation you are entitled to even if your employer doesn’t have the money to pay you. Any payment you’re entitled to will be covered by Employers’ Liability Insurance.
Legal costs are your responsibility, and if your claim is unsuccessful you’ll be responsible for your employer’s costs too. You should have legal expense insurance, and if you don’t, you’ll be advised to have it to cover the costs.
Currie & Co – Experienced Solicitors
If you need further advice and guidance regarding accidents at work, then please get in touch with us at Currie & Co, where one of our professional experienced solicitors will be more than happy to help you.