As stated in the 2015/2016 the Labour Force Survey, 621,000 injuries were suffered, and 144 employees died, as a result of an accident at work over the last year.
Given the high volume of accidents that occur during the course of employment each year, it is important to understand what can be expected of your employer with regards to keeping you safe at work.
Can I be sacked?
You cannot be sacked for bringing an accident at work claim against your employer. Many people, who have suffered from an accident at work, never get to the stage of beginning a claim for personal injury through fear of being dismissed from their employment as a result. Your employer has a duty to ensure that they are correctly insured, under the Employment Rights Act 1996, in the case that they have to pay compensation to an employee who has sustained an injury while at work.
Your employer must ensure that they have ‘taken all steps reasonably possible’ to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees, under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This duty of care includes a variety of measures, such as ensuring that risk assessments have been correctly completed, making sure that there are no unnecessary obstructions to walkways and busy areas, providing proper training with regards to manual handling and site operations etc.
It is also important that your employer provides you with the correct protective equipment for your role, if your role warrants it. This equipment can be anything high visibility jackets and helmets to rubber gloves and non-slip shoes. Under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, your employers should maintain the equipment to a safe and workable standard for use, and provide you with training on how to use the equipment.
Employers should ensure that accidents are recorded in an Accident Book, if they are reported. In addition to this, they should submit a RIDDOR Report. RIDDOR puts a duty on employers, and people in charge of employment premises, to record and report serious accidents at work. You can request a copy of your accident entry into an accident book from your employer at any time.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 also places some duties on employees to ensure their own safety, and to not put themselves in situations where they are exposed to unnecessary risk of injury. You should ‘take reasonable care for the health and safety of yourself and of other persons who may be affected by your acts or omissions/errors at work’. You should also be co-operative with your employer to enable his duty to keep you safe to be complied with.
Here at Edward Hands & Lewis, we deal with a variety of accident at work cases, from accidents in factories and on building sites, to accidents in offices. Our Personal Injury Team has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in work related accidents and has won thousands of pounds in compensation for our clients. This team is headed by Alexander Speed in our Manchester (Stockport) office and other lawyers, spread across the EHL Group.
If you have suffered from an accident at work, and would like to discuss this with one of our experts, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0161 429 8000.
The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.