Employer responsibilities regarding injuries at work


Every company that employs staff is responsible for their health and safety whilst they are working. 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, they can be prosecuted.

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.

Accidents in the workplace often occur when the proper procedures are not followed when carrying out an activity. This can sometimes be the fault of the employee but it can also be the fault of the employer. Employers have a legal obligation to ensure that all of their employees have had the right health and safety training so the number of incidents that cause injuries in the workplace can be reduced.

It is up to the employer to ensure that the work-related infrastructure is safe and free from any hazardous objects. The employer should also ensure that the working staff are provided with the necessary equipment to protect them while undertaking any strenuous activities. Your employer is responsible for carrying out risk assessments in the workplace and handling any aspects of health and safety. This includes allocating first aiders and providing training on lifting and handling office equipment.

After an accident at work

Your employer has a legal obligation to report any accidents that might occur in the workplace. Accidents are to be reported to the Incident Contact Centre of the Health and Safety Executive. Any accident regardless of how minor will need to be reported. It is the employer’s responsibility to understand the workplace accident, take the right measures, and provide the employee with relevant accident at work compensation.

It is highly important for employers to take accident at work claims seriously and provide the right compensation for the situation. An accident at work can be a major obstacle in the daily life of an employee. Thus, it is necessary to give an employee all the support needed to get back on his or her feet. 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 employees with adequate relief measures.

As an employer, it is also your job to explain to your employee how he or she is to claim and what kind of documents and certificates will be needed to claim correctly. You should typically employ a claiming service that will understand and uphold your rights, and impart the best advice to the people concerned.

What to do if you are injured at work

All employees should be trained and be aware of health and safety laws so that accidents don’t occur. However, if you have suffered an accident because of your employer not giving you the necessary health and safety training or because they have failed to implement health and safety laws, you will be entitled to seek compensation. If you been injured in a work related incident and your employer is taking no responsibility for the injuries you sustained, even though you believe that your employer was at fault, you need to speak to a solicitor sooner rather than later to get a compensation claim sorted.

Although 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, it is always best to do it sooner rather than leaving it and the event being forgotten about. In order to ensure that you are going to get the best possible outcome for your case and also have the expertise of a solicitor who knows what they are doing, you should find a solicitor who specialises in accidental injury claims.

They can tell you whether or not you are entitled to claim for compensation and be able to give you advice about whether or not to pursue a case for compensation against your employer. Your solicitor will work for you on a no win no fee basis to ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to. They will negotiate on your behalf with your employer to reach a settlement.

46 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

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  1. I work for a car garage as a valet and am supplied with a pressure washer and vacume to do my job however it has recently come to my attention that the vacume is not designed for outdoor use (I have no shelter in which to do my work) so gets wet from rain and spray from the pressure washer. My employer wouldn’t pay for a proper one if I asked so thought I would ask on here to see if there was anything I could do if I ended up getting a shock from the equipment.

    • Electric shocks from work equipment should not happen and employers are obliged to do all they can to minimise the risk of such injuries. To this end, it is imperative that an employer ensures that only the correct electrical equipment is used for the right work and in the right circumstances. Further, an employer must ensure that electrical equipment is safe to use and regularly checked for any possible faults.

      In your case, your employer is putting you at risk of an electrical shock injury and you do need to put them on notice of this possibility by informing them that the electrical equipment you are asked to use is getting wet. You should do so in writing and then it is on record that such a report of a possible hazard has been made.

      Of course, should you then go on to sustain an electrical shock injury whilst working due to employer negligence, you could use our ‘start a claim’ page to pursue your legal right in making a claim for compensation.

  2. I was injured at work and put on light duty. Then I was re-injured while on light duty because my supervisor had me do something outside of my restrictions. Shouldn’t my job be help responsible for this? They are now trying to put me out with a medical qualification

    • As you were injured at work, your first consideration should be whether you can hold them responsible for your injuries and if so, pursue a claim for compensation. Under UK law, employers have a legal obligation under the Health and Safety at Work Act to provide a safe environment for workers and to ensure that the risks of injury are minimised as far as practically possible.

      In your case, you need to consider how you were injured at work and whether or not you can hold your employer liable for the incident that lead to your injuries. Perhaps your employer has been negligent and not provided sufficient training, support or failed to provide the correct equipment needed to enable you to work safely?

      Under UK law, if you can successfully pursue a claim for compensation for the first injury and possibly for the subsequent worsening of that injury whilst on light duties, you would potentially be able to recover a considerable settlement as it seems as if you are no longer fit to work and would be able to recover future loss of income as a result.

  3. i suffered whiplash injury whiles in a company van in company hours ( van was stationary an hit head on my a car all caught dash cam not my fault ) have been unable to work now for nearly a year this part is being delt with by insurance company an solicitor
    I had no income apart from ssp company have no help from my employer.
    should they be helping me get back to work also I,m struggling to pay bills an mortgage.
    Under duty of care should they be helping an in wat way

    • The employer has no obligation to resolve your financial situation, but they should be helping with a return to work – if it is possible for you to do so. This would mean that the employer should work with you to provide a gradual return to work – initially on low hours and probably on light duties in order that you can return to work eventually.

      The other issue you can look in to is getting your Solicitor to obtain an interim payment from the defendant insurers ahead of any final settlement.

  4. l am a parking marshall and was hit by a car whilst on duty leading to a fracture. I was operated on and have a plate inserted in to my leg.

    My employer took assistance of all my medical bills but are now refusing to sign my accidental workers compensation form. They claim they are the ones who payed my bills so the compensation should be awarded to them! Is this possible? I understand they know nothing concerning this and can they be a life time compensation since this is a permanent injury?

    • Your employer maybe entitled to recover some of the costs that they have paid, but they would not be entitled to keep any element of compensation made towards you for the injury you have sustained and any future repercussions associated with that.

  5. I am a window fitter and have recently snapped the main tendon in my arm. I have had an operation to re attach the tendon but will be off work for up to 20 weeks. The window was to heavy for one person but was told there wasn’t anyone to help lift it. I am employed and would normally get statutory sick pay. Due to the circumstances should I be paid full pay whilst I am off?

    • The scenario you describe would indicate employer negligence as the window you were tasked with lifting was too heavy for safe lifting and your employer should not have expected you to lift it alone without assistance. As such, you should consider making a claim for accident at work compensation – something we are more than happy to help you with – as you have a strong prospect of succeeding with a claim in this case.

      Unfortunately, UK law does not require an employer to pay an injured or unwell employee their usual salary whilst they are off work – even if the injury or illness was caused by employer negligence. As such, most employers simply place absent staff on to statutory sick pay (SSP) whilst they are absent, causing a considerable loss of income.

      To this end, your only legal way of recovering your loss of income is to pursue a claim for compensation against your employer. If you would like to discuss this further or wish to make a claim, please use our website to request that we call you at a time that suits you or you could call us on 01225430285.

  6. Hello Ian,
    I’ve suffered a work accident where both parties me and my employer could be blamed. As an outcome I have a torn ligament in my right forearm. I’ve returned to work within 4 days after the incident. Have been working since however I am in constant pain. I was repeatedly asking for any sort of medical help possible from my company. Not much luck. Only a signed form been sent to occupational health. My employer seems to leave me absolutely alone with my struggles. I don’t want to use my ‘sick pay’ in case of an event of surgery I am facing (according to the muscle specialist report). What am I supposed to do in this situation?
    Thank you

    • The employer is not liable to provide any medical help as that will be provided by the NHS or your own privately funded medical professional. The employer must allow you to seek any relevant medical attention and attend any prescribed courses of treatment or therapy sessions.

  7. My mother was injured at a nursing home by a patient. Took a blow to the knees. She reported it immediately and asked to get sent to see a doctor. They refused to send her and she asked again same day because she had no health insurance. They said no and made her sign a paper that supposedly said they are not sending her. Turned out the paper said she refused to go to the doctor. She is in pain every day and had to quit the strenuous job. Can she do anything about it?

    • If the care home have failed to adequately protect your Mother and other residents from the risk of injury by a fellow patient with a known history of agression she could seek to make a claim against the care home on a breach of duty.

  8. Your web has proven really useful to me and given me the confidence to pursue my claim for personal injury compensation. Thank you!

    • Thank you for the positive feedback. We have worked hard to make sure that our personal injury compensation website offers a valuable resource for people in your position.

      If you have any further need for help, or would like to discuss your claim with our expert staff, please do not hesitate to call us on 01225430285.

  9. Can an employer force and employee to go to hospital following an accident? Is it just a case of recording that advice was provided and refused, and that if necessary the employee was removed from duties for that day

    • Nobody can force any person to go to Hospital. Of course, an employer can recommend that an employee should go to Hospital and they should record the details of any such conversations within the accident book record taken regarding the actual accident.

      An employer does have an obligation to make sure that any person who is injured and not fit to be at work is not at work.

  10. Hi I had a industrial injury at work and as a result injured my shoulder . My employer allowed me to work an alternative role which I have been doing for several years . They are now re appraising the role and saying unless I can go back and work in my old role , I will have to take a large pay cut . Can they do this ?

    • Although you were injured in an accident at work, the issue you now have is no longer a personal injury matter but requires the advice of an employment law specialist.

  11. I have suffered sciatica due to the lifting of bags that must weigh three or four stone repeatedly whilst at work. One of the main problems is the height that the bags need to be lifted to put in the communal bin. I drive a dustcart and my job description is loader/driver.

    I needed four weeks off work and then went back and told my boss that I needed light duties as I still haven’t recovered and that I won’t be able to do bin lift for a while. However, I was put back on bin lift on my first day back. I am refusing to lift/push or pull anything but they keep telling me I have to get out and help, I gave my notice out of anger and now they won’t let me retract it. They are trying to force me to do the work that caused my siatica in the first place. Does my employer have no responsibility to give me lighter duties?

    • Employers are not obliged to provide light duties, but they must see if there are such light duties available. If there are not light duties available, the employer should allow you to remain on sick leave until you are deemed fit to work (unless a sufficient period of ‘sickness’ has passed and you are still not fit to return in which case they could seek to terminate employment on the grounds of ill health).

      If your case, the way your employer is tasking you with lifting heavy items may be in breach of safe lifting requirements and even if you had received manual handling training, you may not be able to follow such training due to the working environments and methods of operation and cannot therefore lift safely. As such, you are likely to have a valid claim for work accident compensation.

      Why not speak with us for further advice about your situation as you may well have a valid claim. If you would like some further help, please call us or use our ‘start a claim’ page and we can call you to offer advice, support and if applicable, start your claim for compensation.

  12. I got injured at work. A works driver took me to the hospital but no one accompanied me and the driver left me there without anyone to look after me. I was in a wheelchair. Is this right?

    • In UK law, there is no legal obligation for an employer to accompany an injured worker to Hospital and stay with them at the Hospital, so unfortunately it is ‘ok’ for an employer to do this. However, you would have thought that it was reasonable to expect the employer to make sure that their injured worker was ok and that it would be sensible and the right thing to do for someone to remain with the injured person.

  13. I have been a postal worker for 10 years and have had a bad back for 8. It has recently got so bad that i am now off work and have been for 6 weeks. It is not from a particular incident, just years of carrying heavy bags. There appears to be no occupational therapy and no help with physio and the union are being useless. I am desperate to get back to work but am getting no help. They just make threatening phone calls. Are Royal Mail obliged to help with my treatment or at least refer me to an OT? Would I have a claim for a low level long term injury?

    • The employer ought to be referring you to an occupational therapist on the basis that you are alleging that your injury/pain is being caused by the nature and conditions of your work. You should contact the HR department to pursue this further.

      With regards to a claim against the employer, you could struggle here as there is a strict time limit relating to make a claim. In answer to ‘how long have I got to make a claim’ the answer is 3-years and the 3-year limitation date starts on the date of an accident or the date at which you became aware of an injury. As you have been suffering with symptoms for 8 years or so, this could present problems in your case.

  14. I recently had an accident at work. I slipped on a loose / poorly fitted drain cover. I have submitted a personal injury claim as a result. i was paid in full for the time I was away from work recovering from my injury. After my employer found out about the claim, there has been the suggestion of not paying me my full wage and I get the impression that they want me to withdraw my claim and are very subtly trying to get me to do so. This is making me feel like they are using this against me and has all the hallmarks of seeds sown in a constructive dismissal. What is your view on this ?

    • If your employer paid you in full whilst you recovered from the injuries sustained in your accident at work, that is a good thing. The fact that you received pay in full would indicate that your contract with them entitles you to such arrangements. If this is the case, they cannot seek to recover that from you at a later date. They can however reach a time where they no longer have to pay you your full salary if you are unable to work due to your injuries. There is no legal obligation for an employer to pay full salary to employees who are unable to work through illness or injury – even if that injury was suffered in an accident at work. The standard practice is for workers to be placed on to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). In such cases, a worker can seek to reclaim their loss of income by way of making a claim for accident at work compensation and if successful, recovering lost income and costs through a special damages part of her claim. Whilst it can make it hard for staff having to cope with a loss of wages after an accident at work, at least they do have the right to seek to reclaim them during the claims process.

      You must remember that you have a legal right to make a claim for compensation against your employer if your injuries were caused by the negligence of your employer. As your claim is progressing and being pursued it would appear that you have a valid claim for accident at work compensation and as such, your employer has no right to pressurise you in to dropping the claim and making you feel guilty about exercising your legal right to seek a settlement award to cover your injuries.

      It is common for people claiming compensation against an employer to feel anxious and concerned about how their claim may affect their employer. With this in mind, it is understandable that you feel vulnerable and it is likely that your concerns are unfounded. However, if you have genuine concerns that your employer is trying to force you out you should seek legal advice from an employment law specialist at the earliest opportunity. You should also raise your concerns with the HR department of the employer.

  15. had an accident at work may 2016 lifting boxes on to a loading bay felt as though my arm had dislocated reported to my boss who recorded the incident after physio and painkillers was sent to a orthapedic specialist after more painkillers (injections) it was decided a shoulder replacement was needed as a last resort for quality of life and hopefully pain free mobility. Am currently off sick, but my boss has said my sick pay will end this month. I am not allowed to drive till the end of november and then not sure if I will be allowed to lift,push or pull boxes about so may have to be on amended duties does he have to pay full sick pay till the doctor say I can return to work or can he put me on ssp

    • Unfortunately, your Employer has no legal requirement to pay you your usual full income if you are unable to work – even if the reason for your inability to work is that of a workplace injury. Therefore, your employer is acting legally in putting you on to SSP (as long as your contract does not state that you receive full salary even whilst sick for as long as you are off – which is unlikely).

      Dealing with a loss of wages due to an absence from work is a big problem for many people who are off work due to an injury or accident at work. Sadly, the only way to recover any lost income caused through an absence at work is to succeed with a claim for compensation. In your case, you could possibly pursue a claim against your employer but you would need to be able to identify an area of employer negligence to succeed. With regards to your injury, it would appear to have been caused by a repetitive strain rather than a one-off single incident. With this in mind, you may have grounds to pursue a claim against your employer if they failed to provide you with manual handling training, the correct tools to ensure that you could work safely or adequate breaks and rest periods.

      If you would like to discuss this with us at all and find out more as to whether or not you have a valid claim for accident at work compensation, contact us on 01225430285.

  16. Hi. I had an accident at work recently on the table saw at work. I lost the top half of my thumb (which could not be saved) and sawed down through the lower part of the thumb into the knuckle which got that joins the palm ( this knuckle was also destroyed). I’ve had plastic surgery and they’ve done good job- but even if it recovers well, I’ll be left with a short disfigured thumb that won’t move. I’m wondering whether I should claim? The saw should have a guard on but hasn’t for at least the last 10 years, they haven’t been serviced either in that time….there are jobs that we cannot do with the guard on so we leave it off. Nobody has ever told us to put it back on even though I know it should be on. I felt it was all my fault as there is a push stick I could have used and a guard I could have put on-but I didn’t. I love where I work, have a good relationship with the boss, and I don’t want to land them in so much trouble that they have to shut down, but I look at my injury and feel like I want compensation for it.

    • Your attitude towards your employer is laudable and it is good to hear that you like your workplace and get on well with colleagues and Management. However, you have suffered a horrendous injury and lost part of your thumb and the use of a vital part of your grip strength and dexterity. You mention that you feel partly responsible for this accident, but in my view you should not. The very fact that a safety guard has been removed by the employer and that the employer has turned a blind eye to this rather than doing the right thing and ensuring that the guard is on and that a machine capable of doing the work safely was purchased is a prime example of employer negligence.

      My view is that you do have a viable and valid claim for accident at work compensation and you should not be concerned that any claim would cause your employer to close down. The process does not work that way. Any claim would be made against your employers insurance cover and whilst they may have a small excess to pay on any claim against them, it would not unduly damage the business.

      Given the severity of your injuries, I would strongly recommend that you make a claim for compensation. You have lost part of your thumb and the use of the remainder of your thumb. This could greatly affect your ability to work in the future and you should bear that in mind as that could be very relevant in any claim for compensation that you opt to make. Please email your contact details to me (ian@direct2compensation.co.uk) or call us on 01225430285 so that we can have a brief chat about your situation and talk through a potential claim with you.

      • Thank you for getting back to me so promptly. The guard wasn’t removed by the employer, it will have been removed by one of the workers, could even have been me, but it’s over 10 years ago so it’s difficult to say who. Would this make a difference to a claim? I feel sorry for my employer as she only bought the business 2 years ago as an investment when my old boss was retiring and selling up. She has bought a business that has fallen well behind with health and safety I feel. It’s in my interest that the company continues too as I’m hoping to return as I’ve been there for almost 30 years.

        • It really doesn’t matter who removed the guard, the fact that the employer has failed to ensure that health and safety regulations are adhered to would indicate that they have been negligent in that respect.

          I appreciate that you feel sorry for the business, but it is not your responsibility to bear responsibility for their health and safety failures. The choice as to whether or not you should make a claim for compensation rests with you and you alone. However, as I said earlier, the extent of your injuries and permanent implications of the damage to your dexterity and grip strength is not something that you should ignore. You have a maximum period of 3-years from the date of your accident in which you can seek to make a claim for compensation.

          We would very much like to assist you if you do opt to make a claim and as such, I look forward to hearing from you.

  17. I had an accident at work tripped over metal shelves left on the floor and fell backwards on to a concrete floor but have no memory of hitting the floor only seeing a co worker after the fall. I had a muscle spasm in my neck and also a deviated jaw I’m now taking medication for anxiety. Just before my accident I just finished a return to work interview with my manager where she accused me of lying and put it through unpaid . I had a phone call (after calling four times the previous week to keep them up to date on my recovery) from my line manager stating “what’s going on” if she didn’t hear from me it would be unpaid. I didn’t call that morning as I wasn’t sleeping well through the night and was later to rise. I felt anxious and tried returning to work but once there felt light headed and anxious so my doctor gave me a further line for 1 week I then thought about returning to work but was anxious and upset about returning after being accused of lying by my manager at my previous return to work so I felt the issued needed to be addressed and phoned to sort things out internally and spoke to the senior manager who asked me “why had it taken three weeks out of the blue to come up with this? I explained that the reason I hadn’t mentioned it before was because it happened just before my accident ( she was aware off my accident) also said “I would not dictate who done my return to work but to come back and discuss the matter with her, I felt she was hostile towards me and felt stressed and anxious went to the doctor and he has put me on medication to deal with anxious .

    • It certainly sounds as if your employer has treated you unkindly and applied unfair pressure on you with regards to your absences from work.

      With regards to the accident you mention where you tripped over metal shelving units that had been left on the floor of your workplace, we feel that you have justifiable grounds to pursue a claim against your employer for accident at work compensation on the grounds of employer negligence. Employers and workers have a strong duty of care to ensure that any workplace is safe and that any risk of injury is reduced as far as possible and that where risks of injury remain present, that adequate hazard warnings are erected.

      In your case, I can see a legitimate argument in your favour against the employer that the shelves were left on the floor of the workplace and were not cordoned off of marked with any hazard notices.

      Given the attitude that your employer has shown towards you, I would imagine that you do not hold them in the highest esteem. With that in mind, you may wish to further pursue a claim for compensation for the injuries you sustained to your neck and jaw in this fall at work. We would be happy to investigate your options for you and look to see if we can help get your claim up and running. You can call us on 01225430285 or email your contact number to us via justice@direct2compensation.co.uk at any time.

      We look forward to speaking with you.

  18. I had an accident at a training venue 150 miles from my place of work. I did not take a picture of the broken path and Im now back at my normal place of work.

    Can I get employees there to take pictures of the accident site? Or are they not obliged too?

    • You should definitely ask someone to obtain photographs for you. There is no reason for them not to do so.

      Any photographs showing a tripping hazard or defect in a footpath should ideally include visible measurements to reflect on the size of the hole or height of the tripping hazard that caused the accident. As such, it would be helpful if your colleagues could take a clearly marked ruler/measure with them to hold against the edge of any hole or side of any tripping hazard. If they do not have anything suitable available, placing a 50p piece against the edge/side of any hazard is the next best thing.

      I would suggest that you direct any colleague you ask to get photographs for you to this page of our website as it contains really helpful tips and examples of how to present photographs showing clear measurements for use in a claim for tripping accident compensation.

  19. I had an accident at work and needed to go a&e but they sent me on my own, should i have been accompanied by someone?


    • There is no requirement for an employer to accompany an injured worker to Hospital, but you would expect a caring employer to want to make sure that their injured worker is ok and to make sure that they have arrived at Hospital safely.

      For more information about employer responsibilities after an accident at work, read this article that I wrote covering this subject.

      If you would like to discuss the details of your accident at work any further, or get some further advice as to whether or not you have a viable claim for accident at work compensation, call us on 01225430285 or go to the ‘start your claim’ page of our website.

  20. my husband had a fall at work breaking 2 ribs and his wrist. His company have accepted liability What information on my caring of him do they need?

    • The employers will only need information on what care YOU have provided for your Husband if you are claiming costs for this by way of a claim for personal injury compensation after an accident at work. In such cases and in any claim for personal injury compensation, you can claim special damages as well as compensation for the pain and discomfort of the injury itself. In a special damages claim, you can claim costs for care/support given by a loved one (usually a spouse) or friends who have provided time to help an injured person during their recovery when they cannot work or live as normal. Things that can be included would be days taken off work by a partner to provide care or for time taken off work to drive someone to and from Hospital appointments etc.

      For more information on special damages claims, read this article

      I hope that this answers your question, but if not, please call us on 01225430285 for further help.

      Yours sincerely


  21. Hi i am an employer, I have a worker that works from an office above a pub, he needs to climb a staircase. He often is there on his own and he walks with a frame. I have often seen him coming down the stairs on his bum. I am concerned he will have an accident am I able to ask him to sign a disclaimer that acknowledges his awareness of the risks and therefore will not bring a claim if he does fall?

    • Janice

      If the staircase that your employee has to climb is free of hazards and in full and well maintained repair, you probably have nothing to worry about.

      However, as you have noticed that he has mobility issues and you have concerns about his safety in using the stair case, you would be wise to have a minuted meeting with the employee where you raise your concerns and ask them further about their ability to use the stairs safely. From there, you have 2 choices, either allow him to continue using the stairs or prohibit this and either find him an alternative workstation where stairs are not required or terminate his employment.

      It is hard for me to advise on this, but I would strongly suggest that you speak with your employer liability insurers to discuss this issue and get their advice.

      Yours sincerely


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