What to do if you have an accident at work

Most employers take good care of the people who work for them and nobody wants to see anyone get hurt while on the job, however the reality is that accidents do happen, and if they do you may be entitled to compensation, depending on the circumstances.

By
22nd August 2012 at 8:38 am

As an employee you are entitled to work in a healthy, safe environment where all necessary precautions are taken to minimise the risk of accidents. And if you work with dangerous equipment or chemicals then it is even more important for your employer to ensure that health and safety requirements are strictly adhered to. Most employers take good care of the people who work for them and nobody wants to see anyone get hurt while on the job, however the reality is that accidents do happen, and if they do you may be entitled to compensation, depending on the circumstances.

If you are unlucky enough to have a serious accident at work that causes long-term damage which affects your ability to earn a living then no matter how well you get on with your boss, if you think the accident happened as a result of their negligence, you may have to make some difficult decisions. Nobody wants to engender bad feeling, but at the end of the day, you have to take care of your future.

The first thing you must do if something does go wrong is report the accident to your health and safety officer. Not all companies will have one, but even if you do not work in a large plant or factory there will almost certainly be someone to report to such as your line-manager. It is their responsibility to log the accident in the company ‘accident book’ and find out the details of what happened. This is mostly for your benefit as it should be an accurate report of exactly what happened. If the accident is very serious then of course your immediate priority is to get medical treatment, but try and remember as much of the details as you can and ask your work colleagues for their account of events as well. The more people who have a clear idea of how the accident happened the easier it will be for you to make a successful claim for compensation.

As soon as you are in a fit state to discuss the accident, it’s a good idea to get yourself some legal representation. In most cases you will be dealing with your employer’s insurance company rather than your employer himself, and as everyone knows, insurance companies do not like paying out unless they absolutely have to. Without the help of accident compensation solicitors you will probably find it very difficult to deal successfully with your claim. Let the professionals take care of things for you so you can focus on getting well again and getting back to work if at all possible.

Jane Tchan

Jane Tchan is editor of SmallBizPod. She has more than 30 years of experience gained from working across a diverse range of industries, including tourism and leisure, retailing, sports sponsorship and food. During that time she has edited a variety of publications and online media http://www.smallbizpod.co.uk

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