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Accidents at Work

Accidents at work can happen to anyone. You don't have to be working in a traditionally dangerous occupation such as construction to be hurt or injured on the job - thousands of workers are injured every year in offices, shops and other workplaces. For more information, read our types of work accident page.

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, your employer has to provide you with a safe working environment. If they fail to do so, and you get injured as a result, you shouldn't feel afraid of claiming work accident compensation for your injuries.

An employer's duties and responsibilities to their workers will vary depending on the industry, but will include regularly inspecting equipment and machinery, or having staff trained properly in safety procedures.

Accidents at work - Are you at risk?

The latest figures from the Government's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that the number of accidents at work taking place every year is falling. This is an indication that most employers are taking their responsibilities towards their employees seriously. However, if your employer is one of the minority that doesn't take this responsibility seriously, your safety could be put at risk unnecessarily.

Many injuries that occur in a seemingly safe workplace are caused by faulty equipment, improper training, or inadequate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). The latest HSE figures show that slips, trips and falls account for around 36% of all major injuries in the workplace. Many of these accidents could have been avoided by having the appropriate health and safety procedures in place - things like making sure walkways are clear from obstructions, or using signs to warn workers of wet floors.

Accidents at work could also mean an accident that occurs 'off-site', for example while driving a company vehicle - it's your employer's responsibility to make sure the machinery and vehicles you use are safe.

Accidents at work - job security

Those who have experienced an accident at work should know that they can claim compensation for their injuries if it's found that the accident could have been prevented by the employer.

Like many work related incidents, many people may be worried that they could be treated differently, or even fired by their employer for making an accident at work claim. This is against the law, and would be 'unfair dismissal' meaning the employer would be open to further legal action.

Another common worry is that a claim for compensation will leave an employer out of pocket and struggling financially when paying compensation. While this is understandable, it should be made clear that an employer will very rarely need to pay compensation directly from his or her own finances, usually it'll be their insurers who will pay for an accident at work.


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Peter called us after being injured at work - hear what he has to say about his experience.

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