Around 611,000 people suffered injuries at work in 2014-15, according to the Health and Safety Executive.
These range from cuts, broken bones, head injuries and burns, through to more serious injuries like spinal damage, loss of sight or hearing, brain injuries and amputations.
Your employer is legally responsible for ensuring your safety at work. This includes giving you proper training, appropriate protective clothing and making sure any equipment you need is safe to use.
Nevertheless, accidents still happen.
Here are just a few examples:
- Trips, slips and falls
- Back injuries brought on by lifting heavy bags or boxes
- Being hit by falling objects or debris
- Electrocution by a piece of equipment
- Being crushed or tangled in machinery
- Work-related vehicle accidents
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Assault by colleague or, for instance, someone you’re caring for
- Repetitive strain injuries, like hand arm vibration syndrome
If you’ve been injured in an accident at work, and think your employer was at fault, you might be able to claim for compensation. But even if that’s the case, there are a couple of things you should do before anything else.
First, make sure your accident has been recorded in your employer’s accident book. Before you sign it, check that the version of events is accurate – if it’s not, don’t be afraid to change it. This is important if you want to make a later claim for compensation.
If your accident prevents you from doing your normal work for three days or more, it should also be reported to the local council’s Health and Safety department. Even though this is your employer’s responsibility, it’s worth checking it’s been done accurately.
If you think your employer was at fault, and want to find out if you can make a claim for personal injury compensation, you should get in touch with a specialist solicitor. You have three years from the accident to make a claim, but it’s a good idea to get legal advice as soon as possible.
Your employer should be insured against any claim. And, after your accident, your employers’ insurers may offer you compensation for your injuries. But it’s important to know that you’re not obliged to accept it and you should speak to a solicitor before signing any agreements with them.
Whatever the nature of your work, or however your injury occurs, a specialist solicitor can help you find out who was responsible and guide you through the process of making a claim.