Accidents in the workplace claims: Answering your questions
Been involved in a workplace accident but not sure if you're entitled to make a claim? We know that the law surrounding accidents at work can be complex, which is why we have put together our answers for the most frequently asked questions, so we can make the claims process as simple as possible.
1. Can I claim for an accident at work?
You can claim for an accident at work provided we can show it was the result of an act or omission of your employer and/or employee.
2. How much compensation can I claim for a work injury?
This entirely depends upon the nature and severity of the accident. Any compensation you receive will reflect the length of time it takes for you to recover.
3. I have had an accident at work - what are my rights?
Provided we can show it was the result of an act or omission of your employer and/or employee, you have the right to make a claim.
4. What are my employer’s responsibilities for accidents at work?
An employer owes its employees an overriding duty of care. They must ensure that employees have:
- a safe working environment – this includes the provision of any PPE equipment that may be necessary;
- a safe system of work – this will usually consist of appropriate risk assessments for working processes identifying possible hazards and adapting the process to cater for these;
- an appropriate level of training – to achieve the reasonable level of safety expected of the working environment everyone needs to have training to ensure they do not use equipment inappropriately giving rise to a potential hazard;
- a reasonable level of supervision where necessary – obviously some jobs do not require any supervision whereas jobs cannot be performed safely unless there is someone there to coordinate the work effort.
In terms of an accident – depending upon the nature and severity of the accident the employer may be required to report the details of that accident to the Health and Safety Executive. Typically accidents involving serious injury (usually resulting in a hospital admission i.e. fractures, loss of limbs), collapse of buildings, diseases or death need to be reported.
Employers will be Vicariously Liable for the acts or omissions of their employees provided the incident took place in the course of their employment.
5. If I get injured at work, do I get paid?
This entirely depends upon the arrangements within your contract. Some employees would seek to put you on Statutory Sick Pay as soon as possible whereas others have their own internal sickness pay. Please note that any benefit you obtain as a result of your injury will be recovered by the Department of Work and Pensions on conclusion of your claim.
6. What happens if an employer does not report an accident?
Failure to report an accident at work (if it is necessary) is a criminal offence and can result in a prison sentence or unlimited fine.
7. What is the most common cause of accidents in the workplace?
The most common causes are when there are no safe systems of work in place or these systems of work are not followed.
8. How long do I have to report an accident at work?
As with any personal injury claim you have three years, from the date of injury or date of knowledge that you suffered a loss, to pursue an accident claim against your employer.
9. What to do if an accident occurs in the workplace?
You should report it to your supervisor/line manager and ensure an accident report is completed.