Afflicting 1.1 million people and costing society a staggering £13.4 billion, accidents in the workplace are a major concern. While numerous measures are put in place for your safety, accidents can – and do – happen. The important thing is being aware of what to do should you be affected.
The first step
The first step with an accident of any description is to seek medical attention. Even mild injuries can have long-term implications, so don’t refuse a medical examination by adamantly insisting that you are fine.
Shock can disguise symptoms and you may find that your injuries take a little while to present fully. By receiving treatment immediately you can give yourself a stronger chance of having a smooth, quick recovery and ensure your medical history is up to date should you encounter further problems.
Establishing any physical, physiological or psychological damage is also important should you decide to pursue a claim for compensation. You need evidence of your suffering and a medical report is the first part of this.
Other evidence can be obtained from a record of the accident. Any injury in the workplace should be written in an accident book but where a worker is incapacitated for at least seven consecutive days, the incident must be reported to the authorities under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).
This does not have to happen immediately but within 15 days of the incident and is the responsibility of your employer.
Your recuperation should be your main priority after an accident, but seeking compensation through a workplace accident claim is equally important.
If you are injured as the result of negligence or failings on the part of your employer then you have strong grounds for complaint. Such negligence could arise from being asked to work in an unsafe environment, not being given the appropriate training or from not having the necessary safety equipment.
Where your employer is at fault, their insurer will be liable to pay damages for the injuries you’ve sustained and seeking compensation is your right as the injured party. Your employer is obliged to have insurance in place for such events.
Not only can it help alleviate financial pressures if you’re out of work due to your injuries, but it also sends a stark message to your employer about health and safety protocols; hopefully preventing similar incidences from occurring in the future.