Accidents at work, what are your rights?

Health and safety law has been enforced from as far back as 1937, making sure that workers can do their job in safe environments. There are over 120,000 cases of work-related injury in the UK every year, costing the British economy roughly £15bn a year. For both workers and employers, it’s essential you know your rights to ensure that, should there be an accident, you know you are covered and what action to take.

Employers’ duty
The law dictates that employers have a duty to:

  1. Provide a safe place of work on a continual basis.
  2. Ensure that the way in which people work is safe.
  3. Maintain all working tools in safe working condition.
  4. Make sure all employees are properly trained and working in a safe way.

If a worker is injured because the employer has not done their duty, they are eligible to seek financial compensation.

New legislation

There are many other recently introduced laws which have bolstered workers’ rights, these statutory duties cover a range of hazards such as working heights and the provision of safety equipment.

Another significant piece of legislation that has increased workers safety rights is the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations which ensures that every employer carry out a risk assessment on their premises. The regulation also ensures that every time there is a modification to the work environment, additional assessments must be made.

Report it

If you sustain an injury at work that was not your fault you have the right to seek financial compensation. You should not be concerned about whether this will affect your job as employers could face further legal recourse under unfair dismissal legislation. As soon as the accident occurs, it’s should be reported to a line manager so it can be logged in the report book. The entry should be as complete as possible, with names of witnesses also given. Failure to fill this in correctly can lead to issues in corroborating the case.

See a doctor

A doctor should be contacted so that the injury can be examined and any future developments can be predicted. Having a specialist doctor’s recommendation will aid both the employer and the employee in the claims process.

Legal representation

There are many work accident solicitors out there to help represent employees should they need to take the case to court. Making sure that it can be shown the incident was a result of employer negligence is the critical factor in deciding the success of any claims. There are many different firms offering no win no fee contracts.