Accidents at Work – do I qualify for personal injury compensation?
Employees in the UK have many legal protections in the workplace. If you feel you have experienced an injury at work that wasn’t your fault and could have been avoided, then get in touch.
Accidents in the workplace are unfortunately more common than you might think. According to statistics released by the UK Health and Safety Executive, there were 1.2 million people suffering from a work-related illness in the 2019-20 period. This is a shocking number, especially considering the advances in workplace safety legislation and practice that have been introduced throughout Great Britain over recent decades.
The reassuring aspect is that UK employees are well protected by legislation and can often seek redress for any injuries or accidents suffered at work.
Employers have legal responsibilities and obligations to protect their workers. They have a responsibility to ensure the very best possible safety procedures are in place and adhered to. Any failings in health and safety that result in personal injury have a direct consequence for your employer. They can be held accountable.
Do I have to be in a physical workplace such as an office or shop to be protected?
Workplace accidents refer to any injuries experienced during the course of your job. That covers people working in their employer’s premises, but it also includes accidents that might occur anywhere that a person has to visit because of their job.
A salesperson, for example, may have to travel around the UK to meet clients. Building sites are outdoors and change location but workers must be protected by health and safety procedures in all locations they are asked to work in. Agency workers may move location frequently but again must always be protected.
Many people are employed in high-risk workplaces, such as roofers or meat factory workers, and they may feel that working in hazardous conditions is part of their job. However, their employer is still legally bound to protect them while at work. If you’re unsure about whether your workplace injury is covered then get in touch and we can advise.
What types of injuries are covered?
Any injury suffered as a direct consequence of doing your job is included – this covers anything fro severe lacerations to back injuries, fractures, head injuries and many more. The issue is whether the accident occurred because of negligence on the part of your employer. If it did, we can help you.
The following are some of the ways in which you might be injured in the workplace:
- A slip, trip or fall on the premises or while doing your job.
- Using unsafe machinery, including vehicles like forklifts.
- Falling from scaffolding, ladders or other heights in the course of your job.
- Objects falling on you from a height.
- Using equipment that hasn’t been maintained.
- Lack of training for you or of co-workers.
- Failure on the part of the employer to adhere to health and safety regulations.
- The presence of noxious substances in the workplace.
- Assault in the workplace.
- Lack of appropriate PPE leading to an injury.
This list is not exhaustive and other scenarios exist but they show how wide the definition of workplace injuries is. If you have experienced a different kind of injury and you’re not sure whether it warrants compensation, you can request a free consultation by following this link.
Am I not responsible for my own safety in the workplace?
Employees do have a responsibility for their own safety. Among other things, they must ensure that they are taking reasonable care in fulfilling their duties. They must follow their employer’s guidance on how to stay safe (based on correct health and safety guidelines) and they must ensure that they don’t work while under the influence of drink or drugs. An employee must also report any defect or incorrect operation of machinery or concern around procedure not being followed by other employees. There are many other personal safety obligations based on the type of job you do. If you’re unsure then get in touch and we can advise you. Even if an employee is partly to blame for an accident, we can still help as long as at least some of the responsibility lies with the employer.
What procedures do I need to follow if I do experience a work-related injury?
You should if possible report your injury to your employer as soon as possible after it happens. They are legally bound to record it and often to report the incident to the Health and Safety Executive. You may have to ask your employer if they have done this. It would also be useful at this point to review your contract for details on sick pay or accident pay. This will help us in advising you on next steps. However, if you don’t have this information to hand we can still help.
What should I do next?
If you have questions about accidents in your workplace you can speak to one of our advisors in confidence and for free. Contact us here.