What should I do after an accident at work?

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Many companies have proper regulations and procedures in place and should you have an accident at work they will ensure that you receive proper treatment for your injury. It is inevitable in some jobs that accidents will occur, but when they do, your employer should deal with every aspect of the incident professionally. Should your employer not handle your case and injury properly, or was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation.

Employees have legal rights in the event they are injured at work, and employers have legal responsibilities that oblige them to ensure their staff are properly trained, provided with the correct equipment and advised as to how to handle an accident and injury in the workplace.

An injured employee who has been hurt in the workplace needs to know how the claim works so that they approach it in the correct way. Below are some basic guidelines for what to do after an accident at work and at the same time help your compensation claim:

Medical treatment

Clearly, if an injury is sustained, it is vital that good first aid is received and that the injured party is treated by a medical professional.

Report the accident

If you have had an accident at work you need to explain to the employer the exact series of events that caused the accident. Your employer needs to ensure that the incident is recorded properly and that steps are taken to prevent other colleagues from having the same accident.

Record in the accident book

The accident MUST be recorded in the employers accident book. If your employer won’t do this or let you see the book, there are actions you can take. Accident book entries should usually be done within minutes and the injured party should contribute to what is written and only sign it when they are happy with the way the accident circumstances have been recorded. If relevant, previous complaints or comments from staff to management about potential hazards that relate to the accident in question should be noted.

The injuries should be described and their cause listed. For example: “Joe has suffered a nasty laceration to his right hand and 3 fingers after it became trapped in the cutting machine on the factory floor. The safety guard was broken and not repaired despite the staff informing Management of the issue. Ambulance called and Joe has been taken to Hospital for treatment. This has been reported to Management”. The injured party should ask for a copy of the accident book entry.

Do not feel that reporting the accident would tarnish the reputation of your company. Your employer is responsible for your safety. He is legally bound to do so. Immediately reporting the accident to your employer will help him curtail such accidents in future by adopting proper safety precautions.

The employer is legally bound to report about any accidents in the workplace to the Incident Contact Centre of the HSE, depending on the type of accident. As your employer is responsible for reporting to the HSE, you should always check to see whether this has been done.

Get witnesses

If possible, obtain the names and addresses of supporting witnesses. Whilst the accident book entry is the main issue in an accident at work claim, having supporting statements from colleagues can provide a stronger prospect of success in certain cases.

If the employer is not convinced with your explanation, it would make sense to bring in witness testimonies in order to verify your story with your employer. The witnesses in this case would most probably be your fellow employees and colleagues. It is highly important for employers to take heed of the events imparted by the employee in case of an accident at work.

Discuss returning to work and your pay

Once medical treatment has been received, talk with the employer as to the situation and the likelihood of any return to work.

If you have experienced a serious accident in the workplace, your pay will definitely be affected, as you might not be able to work. You should talk to your employer about this and check whether they have the scheme for providing additional pay due to the accident.

Don’t leave it too late

You have three years in which to put in a claim for any personal injuries that you may have sustained during an accident either in public or in the workplace. However, it is always best to do it sooner rather than leaving it and the event being forgotten about, and to find a solicitor who specialises in accidental injury claims. They can confirm if you are entitled to claim for compensation and give you advice about whether or not to make a claim.

You’re entitled to support

There can be many causes of accidents at work but an employer should do everything in their power to help injured employees claim personal injury or work related compensation. It is also important that business owners or employers give employees the right treatment needed for the accident. Many a time, employees who have had an accident at work need to take leave and time off to recuperate from their injuries. In a situation like this, it is highly important to provide them with adequate relief measures, advice on what they should claim and how.

A good claiming service will understand and impart the right knowledge to the people concerned. With these basic guidelines in the back of your mind, your accident at work claim should be heading in the right track. Don’t be intimidated by the procedure; get professional advice and approach it in the correct way. Your solicitor will handle the case on your behalf and ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to.

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