Any business that employs people is legally responsible for their health and safety while they are on the job. Whether you are at the office or out on location, your employer has to take the mandated precautionary measures to protect your safety.
The purpose of health and safety guidelines is to minimize the risk of accidents or injuries. An employer has to follow these guidelines, or they can be prosecuted if you are injured at work.
In the event of an occupational injury, you might be entitled to file a workplace injury claim. The first questions that you’ll be asking yourself will most likely be “What do I do?” and “What are my rights?” Employment rights legislation is there to safeguard your interests and answer your questions.
Irrespective of the sort of job you do or the environment in which you work, it is your employer’s legal duty to keep you safe. Employers also must inform their staff about any issues that could put them in danger and provide them with proper training and personal protective equipment free of cost.
If you get injured at work, your rights include:
- The right to claim compensation.
- The right to take time off work so you can recover.
- The right to get a lighter workload or work fewer hours if needed.
- The right to compensation for lost wages.
All employers have a responsibility to protect their workers and make sure they get the required training on how to handle health and safety problems that might affect them. If an accident does take place, they also have to report it, give the employee or employees time off and pay sick pay when necessary.
If you have an occupational accident, occupational injury or your job is in some way negatively impacting your health, you can make a workplace injury claim. You can get compensation if your injuries or illnesses are a result of negligence on the part of the employer. The injuries can be either physical or psychological – for example, psychological injuries caused by workplace bullying or stress. It’s best to seek legal advice and file a compensation claim as soon as possible.
The government has a set of health and safety regulations, and it’s the employer’s legal obligation to make sure they are implemented. If they fail to do so, they are breaching their responsibilities. Most often, workplace accidents occur because these guidelines are not followed. Sometimes it can happen that the employees caused the accident, but even then, it may still be the employer’s fault if they didn’t provide proper training and made sure that the proper procedures are being followed.
The employer is also responsible for making sure that the workplace is free of hazards. If employees need to undertake any strenuous activities, they need to receive the required protective equipment. The working environment has to be regularly assessed for any health and safety risks, these risks must be documented, and measures have to be taken to remedy them. This can include equipment that can replace strenuous tasks, training, and allocating first aiders.
What do I do after an accident at work?
In the event of a work-related accident, there are a few things you ought to do. Of course, first and foremost, you need to get medical attention. That’s precisely why all workplaces are required by law to have a first aid kit and a designated first aider with the proper training to handle such situations. They will the first ones to help you in case you get injured.
The next step is to see a doctor about your injuries either by going to the emergency section or by visiting your GP. You should do this even if your injuries don’t seem serious. Injuries that appear minor at first can have serious consequences when not properly treated. It’s best to speak to a doctor and see what they have to say.
This can also be useful from a legal standpoint. If later on, you want to file a compensation claim, you have evidence of your injuries which also shows that you followed protocol and complied with the treatment recommended by a medical professional. It essentially demonstrates that you did everything you were supposed to in order to recover from your injuries.
You’ll also need to report your accident as soon as possible. If you can’t go through the regular procedures because you’ve been hospitalized, you can contact a colleague or manager and have them do it for you. Any company with more than ten employees is legally required to have an accident book where they record health and safety incidents. Even companies with fewer than ten employees often have an accident book as well. It’s best to check. Certain types of accidents and injuries also have to be reported by your employer to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).
If you work for a company with fewer than ten employees that does not have an accident book, write down the relevant details of your accident and send it to the supervisor or manager you normally report to but keep a copy for yourself. You can use this copy later on to show that you did what you could to notify your company of the accident and how you got injured at work.
At this point in time, it’s best to refrain from any discussions or speculations regarding who is at fault. The fault will be established by an objective party with legal expertise, which means there’s no need for you to convince your employer. You can instead contact a representative of your trade union if you are a member of one. They can provide you with assistance.
If you need to take time off because of your injuries, as we’ve mentioned before, you have the right to statutory sick pay. If your injuries are more severe and have long-term ramifications, this may make you eligible for industrial disablement benefits.
Employers in the UK have a duty of care to keep their employees and visitors safe while on the premises. They’re legally required to have insurance and adhere to the HSE’s health and safety regulation. If you got injured at work because your employer breached their legal obligation, it’s your right to file a claim so you can be compensated.