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.