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What to do after an accident at work

View profile for Aimee Brown
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Most of us will spend the majority of our time at work, and it is our employer’s legal duty to ensure we work in a safe environment.  This is not always the case however, with the Health and Safety Executive reporting 555,000 injuries occurred at work in 2017/18.  Sustaining an injury in any situation will be life changing, but if it happens at work you may also be worried about broaching it with your employer for fear of dismissal or detrimental treatment. Aimee Brown, Personal Injury Executive, explains here what you should do if you have had an accident at work and how we can help you move forward with your life.

If you have an accident at work that was caused by your employer’s negligence, the first step is to focus on your own health and the injury you have sustained. You should always be treated by the first aider on site, and if the injury is serious then you should go to hospital.

You should also take the following measures:

  1. Report the accident

This is a very important step, not only to ensure you receive the proper treatment but also if you do decide to bring a claim for compensation against your employer. Reporting the accident to your colleagues, particularly if you were working alone at the time of the accident, will mean you will have witnesses to rely on, and it could help them avoid a similar accident in the future. 

You will need to report the accident to your manager for them to record it in the appropriate accident book and with any insurance companies if they need to. Depending on the severity of your injuries, they may be obliged to report it to the Health and Safety Executive.

You should confirm with your manager that your accident has been recorded in the accident book, as this will be needed in the future for any claim you may wish to make.

  1. Take photos or videos for evidence

Using photos or videos can be particularly useful if you wish to bring a claim for compensation, as they will be valuable evidence as to what caused your injury and the circumstances leading up to the accident. You should try and do this as soon after the accident as possible to ensure your employer does not change anything; if you have sustained a serious injury and need to be taken to hospital, ask a colleague you trust to do this for you.

  1. Make your own notes

As well as collecting these photos and videos, you should also make detailed notes about the date, time and location of the accident. Once you have done so, you should send these to your employer so they also have the details for their records. This is particularly important if they do not have an accident book or have refused to record the accident.  

  1. If you have not already done so, visit hospital or your GP

For most accidents at work, it is likely that you will need to visit the hospital immediately; however for some accidents it may not be apparent straight away that there is an injury. You should always seek medical advice, not only for your own peace of mind but to ensure that there are medical notes about the accident which may come in useful for any future claim. If there are not medical notes, your employer could be able to deny liability, or deny that your injuries are due to the accident you had. 

Do not be afraid of making multiple visits to your GP if your symptoms develop or worsen as this will show that your symptoms are of an ongoing nature.

  1. Keep a record of your symptoms and expenses

While you are recovering from your accident, you should keep a daily entry of your symptoms and the impact they are having on your day to day life. It may be that you live alone and now rely on others to assist you with your shopping, or you care for someone else and so now have to pay for additional care. It may be that you are the only earner in the home, or you are a single parent, and you are struggling with food bills, the mortgage, or every day tasks such as taking your children to school. 

You should also keep a record of any payments you need to make such as travel expenses to medical appointments, as well as any loss of earnings, bonus or commission payments that would have been due to you had you been at work.

“We appreciate that you may be concerned about bringing a claim against your employer especially if you wish to return to work once you have recovered,” explains Aimee. “Legally, you have a right not to be treated detrimentally because you are bringing a claim, and your employer should have appropriate insurance to cover any cost of paying a claim.  By coming to us, you can assured that we will help you understand your rights, help you claim financial compensation and put you in touch with the right medical experts and rehabilitation specialists to help you rebuild your life.”

If you have had an accident at work and you have questions about your rights as an employee, click here. Alternatively, you can contact Aimee or the Injury team today on 0800 91 92 30 or email injuryteam@warnergoodman.co.uk.  

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.