High frequency of incidences related to job accidents, the irregularities that cause them, and the serious grievances resulting from them are problems for society as well. Nevertheless, it is important for the employer to be aware of the liability arising from work accidents and legal consequences, as well as for the awareness of the legal rights of workers in case of work accidents.
An employer has a responsibility for the health and safety in a place of work. It is the employers’ duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees; ensure their employees a safe place of work and protected them from anything that may cause harm, and provide training and maintain equipment. In addition to that, employers have duties under health and safety law to assess risks in the workplace. They must give information about the risks in workplace and report the incidents.
Any injury at work, including minor injuries, should be recorded in your employer’s ‘accident book’ by employers. An accident book records details of injuries from accidents at work that employers must report under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR). It is mainly for the benefit of employees, as it provides a useful record of what happened in case you need time off work or need to claim compensation later on, but recording accidents also helps your employer see what’s going wrong and take action to stop accidents in future.
Your employer has a duty to report work-related accidents, diseases and dangerous incidents to Health and Safety department at your local authority. These include deaths, major injuries (for example a broken bones), dangerous incidents (like a scaffolding collapse), people overcome by gas and any other injury that stops an employee from doing their normal work for more than three days.
Although the reporting must be done by your employer, if you were involved in an incident, it’s a good idea to make sure that it has been reported correctly. It is also important that you record but not limited to details of when the accident occurred, time of the accident and details of any witnesses that saw the accident.
As well as reporting work-related accidents and illnesses, your employer also has an obligation to carry out a risk assessment and do what’s needed to take care of the health and safety of employees and visitors.
At Advantage Solicitors, we have represented many clients that have suffered injuries as a result of accidents at work. In the light of all the facts mentioned above, please see below example of a case that we have recently settled:
We acted for a claimant that whilst using a defective mitre saw cut his hand resulting in the claimant being unable to work. We pursued on behalf of our client a claim for damages under the Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The matter was initially disputed and therefore we requested disclosure of documents that clearly showed his employer did not maintain their work equipment. After obtaining medical evidence and quantifying his losses the Claimant was awarded the sum of £40,000 in damages. If regular records of this workplace accident could not be reached, perhaps it would not be clear who the faulty party was, which would affect the outcome of the case.
If you have any questions or consider having a claim for damages please receive legal counselling.
Solicitor, LLB Law (Hons) – Director