Injured at Work Due to Negligence? What to do Next
If you’ve had an accident in the workplace, it’s understandable if you feel hesitant about pressing charges. However, if you suspect that the incident was avoidable and may have been due to negligence on the part of your employer, you are well within your rights to demand an investigation and contact a legal representative with the goal of claiming compensation.
Not only will this approach see justice served, but it may lead to a review of safety measures at your workplace and the prevention of similar incidents that could occur in the future to either yourself or your colleagues. Read on and see the recommended process to follow if you feel that a workplace injury you have received may have been the fault of your employer.
Seek Medical Attention
Naturally, the immediate step after receiving a workplace injury is to access medical help. Any legal liability on the part of your employer will be compounded if there is no trained first aider on site, but it is very rare that this is the case. Once you have been treated by the first aider, you should also make an appointment with your own GP to ensure that any injury or condition can be formally diagnosed and that there is an official record of it.
Ensure That All the Facts Are Recorded and Reported
Law states that there should be a designated accident reporting book in your workplace. This is provided for any employee to use when an incident occurs. The individual should use it to fill in details of any mishaps as and when they occur, however trivial they may appear. You need to make sure that the entry for your experience has been completed thoroughly, and you are also strongly advised to request a copy for yourself. Your employer should not refuse you this right, but your solicitor will be able to legally obtain one if they do.
Serious injuries should also be reported to the Health and Safety Executive via a RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) report. Your employer must not neglect to do this if the injury in question involves a broken or fractured bone, an amputation, blindness or reduction of sight, brain or organ damage, burns or scalds affecting more than 10% of the body or causing serious damage to the eyes, internal organs or respiratory system, scalping requiring hospital treatment, injuries resulting in loss of consciousness, or injuries that have required resuscitation, hospitalisation for more than 24 hours, hypothermia or heat-induced illnesses. Remember, you should always read through documents relating to your accident and ensure that they are completely accurate before signing them.
Look Back Over Your Training
If you feel you were not correctly trained to undertake the task that resulted in your injury, check whether you have retained any documentation or correspondence relating to the training you have undergone, and find out if there have been any omissions. If you were not correctly trained, this will count heavily against your employer, as it is a serious breach of health and safety. The same applies for any failure to ensure that you have had a comprehensive induction to the workplace in which the incident occurred, as this would have included guidance regarding hazard avoidance.
Recall The Circumstances
What were you wearing at the time of the incident? Did you have any protective gear? If not, why not? Had your employers failed to provide it? CCTV images of the incident should corroborate facts about the actions you took and any equipment you used. You are well within your rights to request access to this footage, either yourself or through your lawyer. Act quickly though – in some situations, CCTV film is wiped after 30 days.
When was the last time any equipment that caused your injury was maintained or upgraded? Had there been any prior incidents or reports of risk surrounding that equipment or area of the workspace? Had any action been taken as a result of this information? These are all vital questions to ask when building a potential case of negligence against your employer.
Don’t Back Down
More often than not, individuals who are considering taking legal action against their employer may be extremely nervous about any repercussions surrounding their job. While this is simply down to human nature, none of these worries should come to fruition and no reasonable employer should consciously add to these concerns or actively create barriers to prevent you gathering the information you require. If you feel as if you are being threatened or manipulated by your employer or another member of the management team with regards to your potential claim – however subtle or veiled those threats or actions might be – you should know that the individuals involved may be placing themselves directly in the legal firing line. It is your right to pursue damages against a negligent employer, and no one should take it upon themselves to persuade you otherwise.
Whenever you are ready to make you claim, simply get in touch with DPP Law on 0333 200 5859. Their legal specialists will be more than happy to assist you moving forward.