All employers are legally obliged to make sure that they have carried out a full risk assessment with regards to health and safety in the workplace and that they have taken all reasonable steps to minimise the risk to their workers and that they are fully compliant with all of their health and safety regulations as set out by law.
However some accidents inevitably occur at work from time to time and if the injury has been directly or indirectly caused by negligence or an oversight on your employer’s behalf, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
What Might Constitute a Claim?
Your employer has a Legal Duty to provide you with a safe and secure place to work. They must ensure that you have the proper materials, equipment or tools. If you work alongside other people, your employer must ensure that your co-workers are competent to carry out their duties and that you, too, have received all the necessary training and supervision, if required, to enable you to carry out your job.
If you’ve sustained an injury because of faulty equipment (even if the equipment has been supplied by an outside company) or if you’ve suffered injury due to a lack of care from your employer in them abiding by the health and safety regulations direct fault of your employer, e.g. if you’ve slipped on a wet floor and hurt yourself you are entitled to make a claim for compensation even if it wasn’t the direct fault of your employer. Likewise, if you have suffered injury due to a co-worker’s negligence – something they may have done or even forgot to do – your employer would still be liable to pay you compensation. An exception to this, however, would be if a fellow worker assaulted you. That would then become a matter between you and the co-worker.
Won’t my Employer Sack me if I Make a Claim?
Injuries and Accidents, no matter how much we try to prevent them, do occur regularly in the workplace and are dealt with by your employer’s insurance company so it is highly unlikely that you will be victimised or lose your job as a result because you would then have another opportunity to take your employer to court.
What can I Claim?
You may be entitled to claim compensation for loss of earnings for the injuries you’ve sustained if you’ve had to take time off work. In cases where your injuries may be that severe that you’ll not be able to work again, you may also be entitled to claim for your loss of future earnings which could be very substantial and run into thousands if the injury forces you to give up work for good.
Who do I Turn to?
Your union representative, if you have one, would be the first person you should go to if you feel that health and safety issues have been breached and that you are considering making a claim for compensation against your employer. They can advise you on the relevant procedures you’ll need to follow.
On the other hand, if you don’t belong to a union, you should seek advice from your local Health & Safety Executive or go and speak to a solicitor or a company who specialises in industrial injury claims. If you’re in any doubt about what you should do, your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau will be able to assist you.
Last Updated on 25 May 2021