I Had An Accident At My Workplace, What Do I Do?
Back to the office
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2019/20, employers reported over 65,000 workplace accidents resulting in non-fatal injuries. It is believed that these figures are massively underreported and the actual number could be around double this!
With Covid-19 restrictions being dialled back, many people have been returning to their offices and workplaces full-time. After working from home for so long, it may take some time to get used to a busy working environment and it is important to remember the risks while going about your new day-to-day.
What types of accidents could happen in the workplace?
There are many different types of accidents that can happen in the workplace, including:
- “Slip and Trip” Accidents – Computer cables, delivery boxes, or spillages, are all part of day-to-day life in the office that can quickly become hazards that could result in injury.
- Defective Equipment – Whether it is machinery, electrical equipment, or just a simple desk and chair, all equipment should be kept in a safe and proper working order.
- Manual Handling – Working in the office will often involve tasks that you may have been free from whilst in the comfort of your own home! It is important to make use of proper manual handling techniques to avoid injury.
- Colleague Negligence and Failures of training – Both you and your colleagues might not be used to working around other people and carelessness can often lead to injury, especially if employees have not been given the proper health and safety training.
What duty of care does my employer have?
Your employer has a general duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that employee’s health and safety at work are protected.
This includes maintaining a safe working environment, ensuring that risk assessments are carried out, and providing proper and adequate training to employees.
For example, employers should be undertaking regular inspections to ensure workspaces are free from hazards and providing employees with training to ensure that they are able to undertake all tasks safely.
Of course, employees can act independently and employers might not be liable unless they are responsible for their carelessness, such as by not providing proper training or not carrying out a proper risk assessment of the tasks that they ask you to undertake.
If your employer fails to meet their duty of care and you are injured at work, then they may be liable to pay compensation for your injuries.
What should I do if I have an accident at work?
If you are injured in an accident in the workplace you should:
- Report the accident to management as soon as you can. Ensure that you complete your employers’ Accident Report Book with as much detail as you are able to provide.
- Collect any available evidence that you think may be useful. For example, you could take pictures of the area or the hazard that caused your accident.
- Record the details of colleagues who may have witnessed the accident. Supportive witness evidence can be extremely important in proving your claim!
- Seek medical attention. It is important that you look after yourself and receive proper treatment for your injuries. Attend your GP, or A&E if necessary, and ensure that they record the details of your accident.
- Keep a record of your expenses and losses. If you wish to claim for financial losses caused by your accident, such as lost earnings or travel costs to medical appointments, then you will need to keep evidence.
- Speak to a Personal Injury Solicitor if you think that you may want to make a claim. They will be able to advise you on the prospects of success for your case and the best next steps for you to take.
I want to make a claim, what now?
Provide your solicitor with as much information as possible. Depending on how significant your injuries are, they will draft and submit a Claim Notification Form or a Letter of Claim to your Employer or their Insurance Company.
It is extremely important that the facts in these documents are correct, so I would typically ask that my clients check through them and confirm that they are happy with the contents.
Once they have been notified of the claim, your Employer and/or their insurance company will then investigate the accident. This investigation could involve reviewing documentation and obtaining statements from any relevant witnesses.
Defendants are required to respond within 3 months of the Letter of Claim or 30 working days of the Claim Notification Form.
They will provide a response detailing their position on liability (whether they admit they are at fault for the accident), along with disclosure of any relevant documentation such as training documents, risk assessments, the accident report form, or statements taken from witnesses.
Every case is different and once the Defendant investigations are complete your Solicitor will then discuss the next steps with you.
If you have been involved in an accident at work and wish to make a claim, please discuss your situation with our leading personal injury solicitors, and call us today on 0808 252 5231 or request a call back online.