Just because you have been injured whilst at work, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation. To make a successful claim the injured employee must be able to demonstrate that the employer was liable and exposed the staff to risk of injury rather than it being their own fault. It’s not always easy to know where you stand so here we look at common themes among valid work accident claims.
Table of contents
- Have you got a valid work accident claim?
- Taking responsibility – who is at fault?
- Example 1 – when an employee is at fault and can’t claim
- Example 2 – when an employee is not at fault and can claim
- How we can help
- Comments – your questions answered
Have you got a valid work accident claim?
All work accident claims and causes of injury should be reviewed on an individual basis. However, there are some basic pointers that can help you identify where you stand regarding the strength of a claim or otherwise. They key is to be able to prove that your employer was liable for your accident and therefore responsible for compensating you for your injuries and any other losses that you may incur.
Did your employer ever give you any training?
This could relate to manual handling training, specific training to use certain machinery or other job relevant training? If the answer is no, your employer has breached health and safety guidance already.
Were you given an induction to the workplace?
This would include guidance on accident management protocols, safety exits, hazard avoidance etc.
Did you have the correct protective equipment?
Were you provided with, or advised what personal safety and protective equipment you should have to complete your job safely? If the answer is no, your employer could be liable for your injury.
Were tools and equipment fit for purpose?
Did your employer adequately maintain equipment and service machines? Did they ensure that safety guards and mechanisms worked?
Did you know how to report an accident?
Were you advised how to report accidents and how to access the accident book? The injured party wishing to claim must ensure that the details of their accident and injuries have been correctly reported and recorded.
Were there enough staff to maintain safety?
Did the employer ensure correct staffing levels and an adequate amount of first aid trained staff?
Were reported risks taken seriously and made safe?
Did your employer act upon reports of potential risks of danger to employees?
The above is just a guide and there could be many more ways in which an employer would be liable.
Taking responsibility – who is at fault?
Employees and employers alike are bound by the rules of the Health & Safety at Work Act. Both parties must ensure that their actions do not put others at risk, with the employers having responsibility for training and equipment management/usage. To answer the question, ‘does any accident work enable a claim for accident at work, personal injury compensation?’ The answer is a definitive no, as not every injury warrants a claim!
As stated, to succeed in claiming accident at work compensation from an employer, the injured party would have to demonstrate that their employer failed to ensure their safety in the workplace, that they breached health & safety protocol and could have avoided the accident if they had done things properly.
For example, let’s take a worker in a factory, using potentially dangerous machinery to do their job. Unfortunately, the employee has had a really nasty accident with the machine and will be off work for quite a while. Is he entitled to make a no win no fee claim for personal injury compensation? Here are two scenarios, the first where the injured party would NOT be entitled to claim and the second, where they would.
Example 1 – when an employee is at fault and can’t claim
A worker works in a factory for a company. The worker was properly trained by their employer to use a dangerous machine safely and the training was regularly repeated. The worker’s use of the machine was also monitored on occasion by a supervisor.
The employer also made sure that the machine was fit for purpose with regular servicing and had all the relevant parts fitted such as a safety guard. The employer gave the employee the correct equipment to do their job safely, provided the employee with all the relevant protective clothing and did not pressurise the employee in to cutting corners by not using their training, work practices and equipment provided.
The staff member then opted to NOT follow the instructions of the employer, or use the safety equipment that had been provided and had a nasty accident and injury from the machine as a result (such as removing the safety guard to enable quicker working and crushing or lacerating their hand/arm). In this case, the injury and accident would entirely be the fault of the employee and not the employer. Therefore, the employee would not be entitled to claim accident at work compensation.
Example 2 – when an employee is not at fault and can claim
A worker working in a similar factory, but for a company that hasn’t provided the employee with any training to use the machine, hasn’t provided relevant safety clothing and equipment and doesn’t service the machine to check it is safe to use. If the employee then gets injured, crushing and lacerating a hand because they were allowed to use a dangerous machine without being given the knowledge of how to do so safely, the employer would be in trouble and fully liable. The claimant would have had a nasty accident at work and be completely entitled to make a claim for compensation.
It comes down to sensible management of potential dangers.
How we can help
Hopefully, you have found this information useful to you when deciding about your claim. It’s also helpful to know your rights after a work injury and what responsibilities your employer has regarding injuries at work.
The most important thing to do, once you’ve received medical attention, is to find out where you stand. In most cases, it is relatively easy for us to evaluate the likely outcome of a claim for workplace accident compensation, so we advise you to contact us and discuss the details of your accident and injury, just leave a question below or call us on 01225 430285, or we can call you back.
We can help to make sure that the details of your accident have been recorded properly and by the right people. We can help you to understand the claims process, how the costs of making a claim on a no win no fee basis are met and whether claiming compensation after an accident at work can impact on your employer or colleagues.