What is an Accident at Work?
An accident at work refers to any incident which happens in the workplace or whilst a person is carrying out any responsibilities which are associated with their role. Workplace accidents can cause physical injuries or damage to property.
Types of Accidents at Work
The most common types of accident in the workplace are slips, trips and falls cases. Other common types of accident include; vehicle accidents, exposure to dangerous substances, injuries caused by falling objects, electrocution, drowning, crushing and laceration.
Accidents at Work and the Law
When you go to work, you expect to stay safe, and this is a reasonable expectation to have. In the United Kingdom, there are laws in place which require businesses to take adequate steps to protect their employees. In order to do this, each company must carry out risk assessments of potential risks which could affect employees, and then they must put policies and procedures in place to help to mitigate these risks. If they do not do this, or if steps are not taken to ensure that employees follow these policies and procedures, then the employer may be held liable for any problems which occur.
What to do When an Accident at Work Occurs?
If an accident occurs in the workplace or as part of a job, then it is important the correct procedures are followed.
The victim, or an advocate of the victim, should let the employer know as soon as possible after the accident. If the incident is still in progress, then the employer must take appropriate steps to minimise the impact of the incident. This can include; a trained first aider administering first aid, or calling the emergency services in a timely manner.
All accidents which happen in the workplace should be recorded in the workplace accident book. This book helps to provide a record of all of the incidents which happen in the workplace, and can be used as evidence during the claims process.
The accident victim should always seek medical advice, so that they know the full extent of their injuries. If the victim is forced to take time off of their job because of the injury, they should be given appropriate sick leave and pay. Each company has their own sick leave and pay policy which should be set out in the contract of employment. However, these policies must meet minimum national standards.
The employer should also report the incident to the relevant authority, and the employer has the option of reporting it to the HSEhttp://www.hse.gov.uk/.
Making a Claim after an Accident at Work
If you want to make a claim after an accident at work, then you should start the claims process as soon as possible, because there is a statute of limitations on this type of claim. For the best possible chance of success, you are advised to work with a qualified claims advisor or solicitor.
If you inform them of the circumstances of the accident, they will be able to advise you about whether or not you have a valid claim. Once the validity has been established, they will work with you to compile all of the evidence that you need to make your claim. At this point, they will contact the employer or their insurance company to let them know that a claim is being made against them. The defendant will then have the opportunity to respond to the claim. They will either choose to settle, negotiate the value of the claim or let the claim go before a court. If the claim goes before a court, the judge may find in favour of the defendant.