What should I do after an accident at work?
3rd Jul 2019
Having an accident through no fault of your own can be a traumatic experience, often made worse by it happening in the workplace. Your employer has a legal obligation to ensure the safety of all employees and if they have breached this duty of care then you are eligible to claim for compensation and any loss of earnings you have incurred due to this accident.
What steps do I need to take after an accident?
Record it as soon as possible
If you have had an accident while in the workplace which was caused by faulty equipment, fault of a co-worker or even hazardous conditions then the first thing you need to do is to record the details in your employer’s accident book. It is important to do so at the earliest opportunity as this serves as initial proof of the accident. A colleague is able to do this on your behalf, should you be too injured to do it yourself. If, for any reason, there isn’t an accident book you (or a colleague) should put the details in writing and send them to your employer as soon as possible.
It is also important to take photographs to help substantiate your claim. This could be of the accident location, the faulty equipment or just of the circumstances surrounding your accident. It will provide compelling visual evidence and will protect against any dishonesty from your employer attempting to fix an accident location. Take as many photographs as possible – you can never have too much evidence!
Next, gather details of any co-workers who may be a witness to the accident because they will be important as your claim progresses. Ideally, they will have seen the accident first-hand but if that isn’t possible, perhaps they noticed something amiss before the incident took place and dismissed the concern or they can corroborate your account of faulty equipment. You and any witnesses have the right to report any accident without fear of reprisal from your employer, so any interviews will be conducted by an independent party.
What am I entitled to?
As an employee, you are entitled to statutory sick pay, but always check your contract of employment because it may be the case that your employer is liable to give you additional sick pay following an accident. Additionally, depending on the severity of your injuries, you could claim benefits.
Employers, by law, have insurance policies in place which protect them from paying any compensation out directly, so you don’t need to feel bad if you thought it would come out of their own pocket. Its nothing personal against your employer and should be treated objectively.
McHale & Co are an accredited APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) Practice. If you have been in an accident and would like to get in touch with our Personal Injury experts, who can advise you about your claim, call 0161 928 3848 or email firstname.lastname@example.org