Whether you work in a dangerous profession such as mining or in a relatively safer place like an office, there is a chance that you could suffer a personal injury. Accidents at work vary in severity, we’ve dealt with claims from office workers who have suffered concussion after objects fell on their head, through to very serious injuries such as a worker severing a finger, or where employers breach health and safety rules and a worker dies as a result.
However, just having an accident at work is not enough to guarantee compensation as to make a claim after an accident at work, 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. The injured party wishing to claim must also ensure that the details of their accident and injuries have been correctly reported and recorded.
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.
Why they would NOT be entitled to 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.
Why they WOULD be entitled to 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. Hopefully, you have found this information useful to you when deciding about your claim for accident work compensation. If you’ve had an accident at work, find out what to do next or contact us and we’ll help you to get the justice you deserve.