When someone is injured in an accident at work, employers have certain responsibilities that they are obliged to follow. One of these requirements is to ensure that details of any incident, no matter how minor, are recorded within an accident book or accident recording system. In cases of serious injuries, the employer also has a responsibility to report the accident via RIDDOR to the Health and Safety Executive. 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.
What good employers should do
The vast majority of employers care about their staff and site visitors. Good employers take health and safety regulations seriously, don’t try to get in the way of people being treated fairly and provide a safe working environment to their staff. They will carry out regular safety training for their staff, and one of the things that they should do is make sure that all staff understand how to record the details of any accidents within the employers accident book.
Unfortunately, there remains some less impressive employers out there who treat staff as a disposable asset and fail to uphold their duty of care towards health and safety at work. Remember, employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that all workers have a safe and secure working environment where the risks of injury are avoided as much as possible.
Bad employers will avoid safety training, cut corners with regards to providing the right tools, expect workers to use dangerous machinery that is not maintained, and unsurprisingly don’t provide accident books. In the worst cases, really bad employers will even refuse to acknowledge that any accidents have happened in their workplace. If this has happened to you, we suggest that you contact us immediately. In these circumstances you need expert advice and support. You can still succeed with a claim against such an employer, but it will be important to move quickly to ensure that the strength of any claim you may wish to make is not unduly affected.
What to do if you can’t use the accident book
At Direct2Compensation we can help you to understand your rights after an injury at work and how to make sure you have done everything possible to provide the evidence to support your claim. If your employer won’t let you see or use the accident book, you can take the following actions to help you claim compensation:
- Get witnesses: You can ask colleagues and co-workers if they would be willing to act as witnesses. Whilst this is obviously a difficult thing for them to do, we’ve found that many people who are sick of the employer neglecting their safety at work are more than willing to help.
- Take photographs: You can take photographs of hazards at work, such as faulty machinery or inadequate work practices.
- Send a recorded delivery letter: Another good thing to do is to send a letter to the registered office of the workplace listing what happened to you, the date, the cause and the injuries. Send this letter by recorded, signed for mail and retain a copy of the letter and your receipt and proof of postage.
- Find a specialist solicitor: You can then provide all this to your solicitor to help them succeed with your claim for personal injury compensation.
It is important that an injured employee is aware of what they should do next after a work-related injury. Some things will be obvious, such as getting medical treatment, but many people don’t know their rights after an accident at work, or what they should do to make sure that the incident is properly recorded and that the right people have been informed.
It is never unethical to pursue a genuine claim for personal injury compensation, especially when you are dealing with bad employers who fail to act ethically and responsibly. Health and safety is vital in the workplace and by making a claim after an accident at work, you could be helping to make sure that the employers change their ways and that colleagues don’t suffer the same fate.