What Are Employer Responsibilities To Injured Staff After A Work Accident?

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Every employer has responsibilities to follow after an injury or accident at work. Whether this in the workplace or out on site, your employer should take the necessary steps to ensure that you are working in a safe environment. Health and safety laws are there to be followed to avoid accidents or injuries. If an employer does not have proper procedures in place or otherwise fails in their duty of care, they can be sued by injured employees.

Whilst some accidents can not be foreseen or prevented, the majority tend to involve scenarios that could and should have been avoided. Accidents at work happen when corners are cut, adequate risk assessments are not made, when staff members are not suitably trained and equipped. This can sometimes be the fault of the employee but it can also be the fault of the employer. The government has a number of health and safety guidelines that must be followed and it is an employer’s legal obligation to ensure that these guidelines are implemented. If they haven’t been, then your employer is breaching their responsibilities.

If this is the case, an injured employee has the right to make a work injury claim. This would be paid by the employer’s liability insurance.

Employer responsibilities after an accident at work

Employers have responsibilities when one of their staff members is injured in an accident at work. Regardless of the accident specifics or severity of injury, all employers should have a pre-planned policy that is published, known of by key staff members and put in to place whenever the worst happens. It doesn’t matter if the accident seems innocuous – like a slip on a wet floor or if there is a very serious accident when staff members suffer critical injuries, the way a company handles accidents should always be the same.

Good employers will deal with accidents in a professional and effective manner. They will record details of an accident in their accident book, report it to the HSE if required, and not stand in their employees way should they need to make a claim for compensation. Bad employers will be less helpful, they may try to prevent access to the accident book and be obstructive towards staff who are injured, perhaps even threatening them with the sack.

Accident reporting

Employers must ensure the details of any incident, no matter how minor, are recorded within an accident book or accident recording system. In cases of serious injury or even death, there are additional responsibilities on an employer where the ‘Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013′ requirements become mandatory. This process is known as RIDDOR and ALL employers must adhere to the requirements to avoid serious breaches of health and safety law. Indeed, it may be a criminal matter if company managers and senior staff to fail to comply with the requirements of RIDDOR. All accidents at work must be reported to RIDDOR where the injured employee is caused to be away from work, or left unable to work as normal, for seven consecutive days or more because of the injuries that they have sustained. The report must be made within 15 days of the accident to the Incident Contact Centre of the Health and Safety Executive.

Paying sick pay

It is important for employers to take an accident seriously, giving an employee all the support needed to get back on their feet. Employees may need to take time off to recuperate from their injuries so adequate relief measures should be discussed. Not all employees will receive full pay if on sick leave from work, however, all employees are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they do not get full sickness pay. If a successful compensation claim is made, the employee should be able to recover their lost wages.

Offering light duties

If the employee’s usual work involves aspects of hard physical labour such as heavy lifting, carrying, climbing or standing for long periods, the employer is duty bound to accommodate returning to work on lighter duties (if they exist) whilst recovering. For example, it could be that a back injury will prevent heavy lifting. Therefore, placing the employee in an office for a few weeks on lighter duties means they can return to work and continue to earn their usual salary. This change in duty can apply to psychological injuries, such as stress, as well as physical injuries – removing the situation causing the problem can often help.

What you should do if you are injured at work

All employees have rights if they’re injured at work, even agency staff or temps. If you have suffered an injury because of employer negligence you will be entitled to claim compensation. To do this successfully you need to prove the employer is liable, and this takes evidence. Which is why, along with medical reports, a true report of the accident is so important.

If your employer is taking no responsibility for the injuries you sustained, they may not even let you see or use the accident book to make a report. If this is the case you should speak to a solicitor sooner rather than later.

Claiming compensation after an accident at work is not a great outcome for either the injured employee or the employer. Although a successful claim can see an employee recover their losses and receive compensation for their injuries, all claimants would rather that they had never had their accident in the first place. Most will have concerns about making a claim and whether it will affect their employer or job if they do. This fear can be played upon, and we understand that you may be placed under pressure by your employer NOT to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation. However, it is illegal to imply redundancy or the sack will follow if a claim is made, whether by threats or other pressure, and any employer doing so could face additional legal action on that as well.

Clearly, the decision as to whether or not to pursue a claim rests with the injured employee. If the injuries are minor, will cause no long-term problems, and the employee can still work and therefore not lose wages after an accident at work, they may well decide that they do not wish to pursue a claim for compensation. However, where the injuries are more serious and an inability to work follows, making a claim for compensation really is the only option, and a right, for most people.

It’s usually really quick for us to find out if you have a valid claim, just leave a question below or call us on 01225 430285, or we can call you back.

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Comments & Questions

Read on for questions and advice about claiming...

hi i work for a social housing company from a van traveling around last year in january i had a fall i already had a disability with a false hip and it never bothered me, but last year i had a fall at a job wich effected my false hip so i went to A&E And was told i need revision surgery on my false hip as of this fall.
which has stop me from returning to work for 15 months with the recovery prosess.
im now back at work and feel uncomtable now my employer are saying that i wasnt at the location of were the fall happened from the data from my van.i never put any claim against the company but now im made to feel disshonest which im not.ive never felt so stressed im my life i feel the employer is trying to push me out as im more of a liability to them now i have had a second hip replacement due to the fall any advise would be great.

Ian Morris

We would very much like to speak with you about your accident and situation so that we can advise you. It may well be the case that you have grounds to pursue a claim for personal injury against the employers mandatory insurance cover and we could help you to explore this on a No Win No Fee basis. There may well be grounds for separate employment law action in due course if it were to transpire that your employer had breached employment law and effectively forcing you to leave or resign. Again, although not our area of expertise, we do have access to excellent employment law Solicitors who could also advise you on that matter. Please call us on 01225430285 for a friendly, no obligation conversation with us.


Hi Ian. i am asking this question on behalf of my partner, My partner works as a cleaner and was going about her daily duties hoovering. She the cable split apart at the connector, when she treid reconnecting it it shorted in her hand giving her an electric shock and sever burns to her hand, She spent 13.5 hours in A&E and was told to come back in 48 hours, where she was told she possably could have recieved nerve damage. My question is would i as her partner be within my rights to conntact her employer to ask if all investigatory procedures have been carried out to the condition of the applience and have witnesses been approached and statments taken, and weather photos have been taken of the affected area of the incident as the carpet was burnt and singed due to her dropping the cable to ground that was still sparking. Or as a result of connacting them would it jeopardise any future action she may want to pursue? Thanks in anticipation.

Ian Morris

There is certainly a valid claim for personal injury compensation that can be made in this matter.

Sadly, many people don’t exercise their right to make a claim for compensation when something like this happens because they are scared to do so and wrongly think that making a claim will jeopardise their employment or lead to colleagues being in trouble. This is not the case and whether someone makes a claim or otherwise has no bearing on ones employment and you cannot be dismissed or discriminated against for making a legitimate claim for personal injury compensation. If a claim is made after an accident at work, the claim is made against the mandatory insurance cover that an employer has to have. The employer is not directly affected and the people that your partner works with would not even know if she did make a claim.

We’re more than happy to offer further advice and guidance and talk with you and your partner on the phone. We’re a no-obligation company – we’d never pressure anyone in to making their claim as it is a decision for them. We generally find though that when people understand their rights, they do make a claim and end up being glad that they have done so.

In terms of your ability to speak with the employer on behalf of your partner, that will depend on whether you have been given the appropriate authority to do so and whether the employer is able to discuss matters with you given data protection regulations etc.


i broke 2 or 3 bones not sure, in my foot and chipped another whilst on site 7 weeks ago. my employers offered me office work because i was unfit to work out on site, i am not that confident in the IT world so had 6 weeks off with full pay. i have been told by numerous people that i will have pain for the rest of my life, and i will get arthritis in my foot later in life. i am now back at work but come midday the over the counter medication wears off and i am in pain until i can take more later in the day, my doctor has perscibed stronger medication today which i hope will work, so i can get on and do my job, cost me nearly £30. i have not seen any risk assessments for the job i was working on, i did at a glance see one that the person i was working with had done but not until after my accident had occured but he had not submitted it. i was not made aware of any risks at the time of my being on site. The owner of the property told me after my fall that i needed to be careful because she had lost her balance many times using that door, the step down was approx 2ft with a broken patio slab to step down onto, i had my left hand on the door handle and i had a hoover in my right hand at the time, i stepped out with my left leg first and hit the edge of the broken slab with my left foot, my foot literally went to the left and i was on the floor, i knew it was broken, i felt it and heard it.

Ian Morris

Whilst it is great that your employer afforded you a period of leave but with full pay, you had obviously sustained a serious injury and one that is likely to cause issues and discomfort for many months to come – even if you are able to return to your normal activities. My initial view is that given the nature of the injury and how it happened (the broken slab and deep step), is that you have a valid right to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation. The lack of risk assessments and the broken slab indicate that negligence can be apportioned as the leading cause of your injury and we would therefore like to further assist you with a No Win No Fee claim for personal injury compensation – if you wish to take such action.

I appreciate that you may not yet be certain as to whether or not you wish to make a claim or how taking such action works etc. Please be assured that there is no obligation to proceed further and there will be no pressure from us for you to formally make a claim, but we would be very happy to help you to understand your rights and explain how a No Win No Fee claim works. The best course of action would be for us to have a brief no obligation telephone conversation about the accident, your medical treatment and the claims process. You could then make an informed decision as to what you would like to do.

To this end, you can request a call via our website and we’ll contact you. Alternatively, you can call us on 01225430285 for further help.


I manage a site but have been working as the only manager on site for 8 months now , I came in the one morning and when to pick up a container in the courtyard and slept and fell hurting my back , it turned out a piece of perspex had blown out of one of the poster holders and placed behind cages in a safe place the right before but the wind blew this out out and rai. Had covered it so it wasn’t visible, I cam in early the morning 6am … would this be claimable

Ian Morris

We feel that you may well have grounds to pursue a claim for compensation and would like to speak with you to find out a little more about the site in question and the injuries that you have sustained.

Please call us on 01225430285 for further help – alternatively, use our website claim form to request a call from us.


I had an accident at work lifting a very old roller shutter I have been off work for 5 weeks now with a bad back . I have found out that this roller shutter has never had any maintenance or service done on it and it doesn’t have a logbook to say it has been serviced. When I had the accident I told my line manager but it wasn’t recorded in the accident book. Do they also have to tell RIDDOR because I have been off work for 5 weeks now. When I had the accident I also wasn’t asked if I needed any medical help when I told my line manager and we also don’t have any trained first aiders. I’m also sure this roller shutter doesn’t have a risk assessment. I have had no support from my employer since I have been unable to work for the last 5 weeks . I have been told that roller shutter’s should be serviced and maintenance at least every 12 months . This roller shutter is far more than 25kg and isn’t mechanical only you can only lift it manually.
Kind regards Clive

Ian Morris

Our initial view is that you have a strong basis upon which to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation against your employers due to their apparent negligence in this case.

The fact that the roller shutter door in question appears to have had zero maintenance is indicative of a potential breach of duty and given the severity of your injury, pursuing a claim is certainly a right you have and one you have every reason to pursue. Your employer should be recording the details of your injury in writing based on your verbal report and the fact that they have not does not reflect well upon them. We recommend that you put something in writing to your employer – an email is fine – just asking them to make sure that the cause of your back injury is the faulty and unserviced roller door at work as per your verbal report of the same to your Manager. This protects your interests moving forward.

Given your absence from work, it may well be the case that you are also now suffering the stress and difficulty of losing income as well as coping with a painful injury. If you pursue a claim for personal injury compensation and succeed, our Solicitors would recover compensation for your injury (based on medical evidence and recovery etc) and also recover any lost income or incurred costs caused by the incident at work (this would include your usual pay, any regular overtime or performance bonuses). Making a claim is a legal right and has no impact on your employment rights whatsoever. You cannot be sacked or discriminated against for pursuing a legitimate claim. We would certainly welcome the opportunity of explaining your rights and how the No Win No Fee claims process works with you in order that you can make an informed decision as to what course of action you would wish to take.

If you would like a no obligation conversation with us, please call us on 01225430285 or email us at justice@direct2compensation.co.uk with your contact number and a good time to reach you. We would be more than happy to offer you some help and advice at this difficult time. Alternatively, you can use our website to request a call from us.

In terms of the RIDDOR query, as you have been off work for such a period of time as a result of an accident at work, our view is that the matter should be reported to them. However, that is a matter for the employers really – but you could contact RIDDOR yourself if you wish.

If you have any queries or questions, please let us know. We are here to help you to understand your rights and are more than happy to call you, answer your call or liaise with you via email initially – whichever way suits you best.


What are the issues arising when an employee suffers injuries and the employer does not want to compensate, instead the employer goes to the extent of defaming him, that he is careless and negligent?

Ian Morris

When a claim is submitted, it is not uncommon for defendants to take an aggressive stance in defending a claim and for them to try and apportion the responsibility of the incident and injuries sustained on the claimant rather than accept their own negligence. This is all part of the process and with our specialist expert Personal Injury Solicitors handling a claim, they know how to deal with such spurious defences and how to establish the evidence to succeed with a claim.


A friend was injured at the hospital she works at.
There was blood everywhere and she needed stitches.
She was told as she hadn’t finished her shift this would count as one of her sick days.
She pointed out to injured to work and clothes soaked in blood.
They said if accident happened 15 mins later she would have been okay.
If she was off sick again it would be a disciplinary and could be sacked.
She’s worked there 30 years always doing extra to her scheduled hours.
Boss said sorry those are the rules.
Is he right?
Thank you.

Ian Morris

Whether the employer is correct in law/contractually is unclear (your friend would need to consider her employment history, contract and seek employment law advice), but morally it does seem questionable.

In terms of the injury that was sustained, did that happen at work? There may well be grounds to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation given the injury and requirement for stitches.

If your friend would like further detailed advice about her employment and specifically a personal injury claim, she can call us on 01225430285 or use our website to request a call.


I have injured my back at work after being put on shifts with an inadequately trained member of staff. Concerns were raised, but nothing was done about it – to the point that I now have slipped discs.

Today after asking my employer if I could be taken off single handed calls and put on double handed calls to reduce the pressure on me, I have been completely removed off shift without agreement! Can my employer do this?

Ian Morris

If you are not fit to carry out the duties that you are employed to carry out, you can ask the employer for lighter duties. However, if the employer does not have any suitable lighter duties available, the employer can place you on sickness leave as would appear to be the case here. You may therefore find yourself having to contend with a loss of income if your contract of employment does not provide sick pay.

You mention that your back injury and the slipped discs you are now suffering with can be directly attributed to employer negligence – tasking you with working with a member of staff who has not been appropriately trained. As such, you may well have a valid case to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation. We would certainly like to discuss this with you and offer further help. If you would like to find out more, please call us on 01225430285 or use our website to request a call from us.


Hi Ian I had an accident at work in the warehouse where I injured my whole spine because of the employer negligence as I was left completely alone in the warehouse and in the whole building where minimum 2 people should be at all the times. Management was fully aware of putting one person to do the 12h shift. I was unable to have any break and did not have any food with me for 12h just water in the office and was unable to leave warehouse as Lorries and vans were keeps coming and the volume was high everything was recorded on the company cameras inside the warehouse and outside. After receiving call from manager from main Hub early morning that day he was laughing at me that I was alone that day and no support was offered by management, I did not know where accident book is as it was never showed to me by health and safety and there was no one to report it. I reported all injuries to NHS and currently I am on medication and having treatment ongoing and I reported case to HR via email where they replied that they will investigate what happened on that particular day but they never replied to me at all. I have found solicitor and he is tried to get insurance details of my company but is unable to trace them. I provided email to HR to my solicitor but my company is ignoring my solicitor and not responding at all. What is the next step is such case where employer has responsibility to reply and provide the whole cctv footage but ignoring Solicitor and employee ?

Ian Morris

Your employer is duty bound to have insurance cover for employer liability and they should disclose this to you. Indeed, in most workplaces the employer will have their insurance cover certificate on display and this should be the case where you work.

Have you tried to request the details of the insurance in writing from your employer?

The key issue here is for your Solicitor to be confident that insurance is in place as without such cover, even if you succeed with a claim there is no guarantee that you would be able to obtain the financial settlement.

If and when insurance cover is confirmed, your Solicitor could seek to issue court proceedings to compel the defendant (employer and insurers) to cooperate with the claim.


Thank you for your replay Ian , they must have insurance cover as they are top 5 Freight forwarding company in the World
I do not want name company for a reason they just ignoring my solicitor and me, which looks really bad in my opinion.
I will write an email to HR to request details of insurance.

Ian Morris

Did you get a reasonable response from your HR Department when requesting the insurance details?


Hi Ian, I work nights for a large retail company and had a accident at work. Whilst pulling a two sided cage full of pop/drinks out to the shop floor the stock was badly stacked and started to slip which was starting to push my back back the wrong way, I have been off work with back pain since. Can I make a claim?

Ian Morris

You would appear to have valid grounds to pursue a claim against the employers insurance in this scenario. The employer has a duty to ensure that all stock cages/trollies are loaded safely and if any cages are disturbed during transit and left unsafe, they should be unloaded in situ on the distribution vehicle and reloaded safely.

We would certainly like to assist you with a claim for compensation in this matter. In order to protect your interests and give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding with a claim, please ensure that the details of the incident are on record with the employer. As such, if the accident book used to record the details at the time, email your employer to ensure that the incident has been reported to the right people.

If you would like take this further, please call us on 01225430285 or if you prefer, use our website to start your claim and we’ll call you to offer the help you need.


Hi Ian, thank you for your reply, I have had a meeting with one of my managers last week for a back to work plan, and was told that it has been entered into the Accident book as a Accident at work and my sickness absence is being coded as a accident at work absence, and was told that they had burned off a copy of CCTV footage of the accident. Unfortunately I didn’t take any images. Is there anything I should ask for from work before I make a claim? Many thanks Jim

Ian Morris

I don’t foresee that there is anything you should be asking for as it would appear that all of the important steps have been taken (accident reported and recorded and medical treatment received etc). You could ask for a copy of the CCTV footage, but the employer is not compelled to provide that to you (they would however to a Solicitor).

As and when you wish to proceed, please call us on 01225430285 or use our website to get us to call you.


I caught my foot on the leg of a table in a class room that was next to the window I was closing and fell and broke my wrist. I needed to have an operation to have a plate put in. I returned to work on 15th June on light duties. The accident happened on the 5th May, I received an email from my employer on the 12th June with a health and safety report form (an IR1 form) to fill in. I have no contact from Occupational Health at all. Should the IR1 form have been done within 15 days of the accident happening and should I have had a meeting with OT before returning? I have not started a claims process as I am not sure I am eligible for one.

Ian Morris

To be able to make a claim for personal injury, the cause of your fall will need to be attributable to someone else. You mentioned catching your foot on the leg of a table – if this was simply misfortune and you caught your own foot on the table leg and there was no fault with the location of the table and you had adequate working space to work safely, you’d have no claim. However, if the working area was cramped and overcrowded with chairs and tables meaning that an accident like yours was always likely and it was just a matter of time before someone caught their leg and fell, you would have valid grounds to pursue a claim. If you would like to discuss the specifics of your accident to find out if you can pursue a claim, please call us on 01225430285.

In terms of the IR1 form, there is some ambiguity around the timescales for completion of the form. Whilst the form should be returned at the earliest opportunity and ideally within 1 day of an incident, as long as the form is completed as soon as practicably possible (often when someone has returned to work on light duties), that should be fine.


I tripped or slipped down some stairs at work 12th January 2023 I’m not really sure what happened as all happened quickly, but there was no handrail to grab onto to prevent my fall. The fall caused me to badly sprain my ankle and fractured another part of my foot. I did have to go to hospital and X-rays were done to confirm the injures. It’s now May6th and I’m still signed off work and under Physiotherapy. During these last 4 months, I’ve been the only person to make contact with work regarding doctor’s certificates and physio updates and checking in with my boss, but they haven’t reciprocated, they’ve made no contact with me to check in , asked for any updates , no check on my mental health, I feel slightly neglected and that it’s only been me making contact. I’ve been very hesitant to make a claim. I’ve lost 4.5months of salary and gained anxiety about going to work and going outside, I’m nervous about stairs. I also have issues with my left shoulder which I landed on when I fell , this wasn’t checked at the time at A&E as I wasn’t sure if injured anywhere else as the pain was more dominant on my foot. Now I have issues with left shoulder and trying to move it round and it’s painful I should see doctor about this. My doctor’s certificate of due to end on 17th and my last physio session is on 9th, no one has arranged a meeting from work if I need to do light duties as I’m a General Manager in a restaurant and will be required to work 48hours a week and standing long periods of time. I don’t feel comfortable or ready to return to full working duties.
I’m still unsure what I should do? If I have case to make a claim? And should I be worried what work say?

Ian Morris

The handrail or lack of is somewhat of a red herring in such cases and should be ignored. If there is a handrail in situ, there is a duty for the handrail to be maintained and kept in safe order. However, there is no duty requiring a handrail to be installed or fitted. As such, in this case it would only be viable to bring a claim if the injured party can identify a hazard that caused them to slip and sustain injury. This could be a spillage or substance on the stairs or flooring above the stairs that was not marked with a hazard warning sign, or some form of disrepair to the floor surface of that of the stairs.

In this case, my concern is that you are unable to state with certainty as to why you slipped or fell. If this is the case, it is impossible to bring a claim as you cannot identify any negligence on the part of the employer.


Hi, I had 1 slip on ice, 1 trip on cling wrap and was deliberately kicked in the back and fell onto a pallet within a 2 week period in the workplace. I have been off work for over 2 weeks now on full pay. I have seen the gp twice for medication. My back is extremely sore and I have sciatica continually. I am waiting for an occupational health assessment and also am waiting for physio. I lift stuff all day at work and wrap pallets which I cannot do at present
I have had a back operation about 13 years ago and have had no problems until the recent events. Do you think it viable to claim against my employer for obviously failing to take care of me at work ? What happens if my back doesn’t get better?

Ian Morris

It is certainly worthwhile undertaking further investigations in to the first 2 incidents you have mentioned (the slip on ice and the trip on cling wrap) at your workplace as both are matters where it may be possible to hold the employer liable for a breach of duty. Please call us on 01225430285 or use our website to provide further information and we can then start your claims for you.

With regards to the incident where you were kicked, that is less certain in terms of employer liability, but we can certainly discuss this incident with you in order to ascertain whether there is any realistic prospect of taking that matter further too.


I have sciatica and it’s very painful. I have suffered this problem from lifting heavy boxes at work. Thankfully, my doctor has helped me and for the last 6 weeks I have been signed off work with a sick note. I still go to physiotherapy and I have light duties at work but my manager has ignored the Doctors note and is trying to make me lift heavy boxes again, so I am worried about my health.

Please can you explain what I need to do?

Ian Morris

If your Doctor has issued a fitness to return to work, but to avoid heavy lifting and to undertake just light duties, your employer needs to follow this advice. If your Manager is trying to force you to ignore your Doctors instructions, you need to complain about this in writing to your employers HR department or to your senior manager.

In terms of your sciatica and the injury you have suffered through the lifting of heavy boxes, we can help you to make a claim against your employer for personal injury compensation and recovery of any lost income. You can start your claim via our website or by calling us on 01225430285.


My son had a fall of abut 10 to 12 feet at work and passed away i do not know how it happened no one can tell me as there is an investigation into his death

Ian Morris

The employers that your Son was working for may not yet be able to comment on the incident in detail as there is obviously an ongoing investigation in to the incident. However, the investigation that you mention should bring to light the cause of the incident and explain how your Son came to fall from such a height. Given the fact that he was working at height or in an environment with a potential drop risk around him, there is likely to be a health and safety breach of some sort exposed by the investigation that is underway.

If you are the legal next of kin for your Son (which will be the case if he was unmarried or had no children), you can make a claim on behalf of his estate for personal injury compensation and our specialist Solicitors can help you to do so on a No Win No Fee basis. If you struggle to get to the ‘truth’ of the incident and find that your access to the contents of any investigation are blocked, our Solicitors can assist in ensuring that you are able to gain access to the same.


I recently started a job and injured my knee at work, I don’t think there was any negligence on the employers part, potentially a slippy bit of astro turf but I don’t think so. Anyway, I am barely able to walk due to this injury but was threatened with termination if I didn’t come in 3 days later. I came in and they had someone else complete my work and asked me to do something requiring me to be down on my knees for 2 hours, when I said I don’t think I’ll be able to do that due to the injury, I was shouted at and fired on the spot. I’m not sure I have a leg to stand on (pun intended) but it feels like this is wrong.

Ian Morris

If you cannot attribute your knee injury to negligence on the part of your employer (or any other 3rd party for that matter), you have no right to make a claim for compensation. You mention a slippery piece of astro-turf though? How was that linked to your injury?

In terms of your employment and rights to retain your position, it is sadly the case that you have very little protection from dismissal if you are unable to do the work that you have been employed to do – especially if you have not been with the employer for over 2 years. In this case, as you had only been with the employer for a short period of time, your employer can simply ‘let you go’ as you were not fit to work.


My son suffered a QL back injury at work which keeps reoccuring resulting in him having to rest it when it goes into spasm. His employers are now suggesting he looks for another job. He has asked if there any lighter duties that he could do when this happen. They have said there are non available and he should seek alternative employment. He is a gym equipment repair engineer and the initial injury happened when moving heavy equipment without the required help or equipment. where do we stand.

Ian Morris

If the initial injury happened within the last 2 & 1/2 years (although claimants have a 3 year claim limitation period, in reality at least 6 months of that is needed to enable a Solicitor to gather the relevant evidence to build a robust claim), we can pursue a claim against the employer for the injury sustained and the potential longer term consequences on the basis of employer negligence (insufficient equipment, inadequate training or support). For help with this, your Son can either call us on 01225430285.

In terms of light duties and the employer suggesting that he will need to seek alternative employment, it would seem that they are sadly correct. Although employees have the right to request light duties, an employer has no obligation to provide such duties unless they actually exist. Your Son could seek to transfer to a different role within the business, but again, such a transfer is not a legal right and it will depend on whether suitable alternative roles exist and are available.


My son has just cut his finger on a chop saw at work yesterday, he has a deep cut into his finger on his left hand on his finger next to his thumb . He went to hospital yesterday and had to go back today to see hand specialist, he has missed the bone and tendons, he has been stitched up and bandaged up and arm put into a sling.

His company have told him to go to work tomorrow on light duties. If he does that, will he loose right to claim? As far as I know nothing has been put into accident book as yet .

Could you please give some advice what to do?

Ian Morris

Returning to work on light duties will have no impact on any right to make a claim or the outcome of any claim. If he is able to attend work and do light duties without jeopardising his recovery from the serious injury sustained, then he should do so. Not only would that foster goodwill with the employer, but it will help to ensure that he is at work and receiving his usual salary.

We would be very happy to advise your Son of his rights to pursue a claim for the injuries sustained. He will clearly have some scarring which may have an impact on his grip strength or full use of his hand/fingers for some time and therefore making a claim against the employers mandatory insurance cover would be justified. It is important that your Son knows his right to compensation after an injury at work and that making a legitimate claim cannot lead to him losing his job.


Hi there. Really impressed with your site and the impartial advice to hand.

I work for a very large utility company. Had a back/hip injury through physical work (no neglect or direct fault from job etc) Still undergoing scans to find the exact problem. They’ve been really good with paying for physio initially and now scans to be taken all while I’m on full sick pay for upto 6 months. Cannot fault them.

My job is very physical and requires heavy lifting and use of heavy machinery at all times.
Depending on the outcome of this injury -is my employer obliged to find an alternative role for me should I not be able to continue in my current one?

Many thanks

Ian Morris

Thank you for your feedback regarding our website. We do work hard to try and ensure that there is useful information available to assist people dealing with injuries and understanding their rights and options legally.

In terms of your employment position, employers are not obliged to provide alternative work/position of employment if an employee is no longer fit or able to do the work that they were initially employed to perform. They are however obliged to at least investigate whether a suitable alternative position is available at the workplace before they terminate the employment of someone who cannot now do their previous job on the grounds of ill health/injury.

It is good to hear that your employer has been supportive with you during this period and that you don’t have the immediate added stress of lost income. However, although you don’t immediately see any way in which they have been negligent or caused your injury, you may still have grounds to pursue a claim against their insurance cover for the pain and discomfort caused by the injury to your back from heavy lifting.

You mention that your job is very physical and involves heavy lifting. To this end, your employer does have a duty of care to minimise the risks of injury and they must therefore ensure that you are provided with manual handling training, equipment to enable you to work safely (trolleys or lifting tools for example) and that the work that they are expecting you to undertake can be carried out safely.

If you have any questions about the working environment, the training you have (or have not) received or if you would like advice about making a claim – or even your employment rights, please do not hesitate to contact us.


I injured my ligaments in my shoulder at work 18 months ago the company changed my roll to a seated position where there is no lifting involved. Even though my shoulder still not right, we now have a new manager who wants me to go back on the end of a busy line, lifting 20k coils for 12hours. I have explained that this is going to damage my shoulder. Is this allowed to happen? Can they put an injured member of staff back in to a manual role that will require me to lift coils?

Ian Morris

Employers are free to move staff around within a department, so long as they are not asking you to work in a role that is outside of your job description or in a position that you have not been trained to work in.

In this case, in theory, the employer could move you – but they would have to consider your injury status and whether the move would cause you further injury. If they can demonstrate that there is no longer a seated position available and that you must therefore return to the role you were recruited to perform, they could potentially move you. However, this would be futile on their part as you would likely suffer a breakdown with the shoulder and be forced to be absent from work.

Have you explained in writing that the lifting work is not currently possible for you? Perhaps you should see your GP and seek a note regarding the work you can safely undertake.

In terms of the initial injury to your shoulder, you may be able to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation and we would like to speak with you about that. As the work you were doing prior to your injury involved repeated heavy lifting, we can consider whether you received an adequate level of manual handling training and whether there was sufficient rotation/rest periods from the repeated heavy lifting.

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