Are you worried about how your employer will react if you report an injury you sustained in the workplace? Quentin Underhill, solicitor and head of personal injury at Birchall Blackburn Law answers one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to having an accident at work.
While you are at work you are owed a wide range of statutory and common law duties which are all designed to keep you reasonably safe from harm. This is known as the employer’s Duty of Care.
First things first
If you are unlucky enough to suffer an accident, First Aid or emergency medical treatment should always be the priority. When describing how an injury occurred to paramedics or hospital staff always be honest – never make something up because you are initially worried about employers getting into trouble with the authorities.
Sometimes injuries turn out to be much worse than they first appear. Protecting an employer who has not bothered to properly protect you might ruin your ability to make a claim. What is more, it will increase the chance that someone else will be injured by them.
After that, always report the accident to a manager or supervisor as soon as you can. The earlier the better. Ideally, ask for an accident book entry to be made. Management is responsible for keeping you safe and poor managers will sometimes try to deflect blame by suggesting the injured worker did something wrong.
When you are asked to sign the accident book make sure you check what has been written, correct anything you do not agree with and only sign it after you have checked it and are happy it is completely accurate.
Checking whether you have a right to claim compensation
One of the most important things to keep in mind is any compensation you could receive is paid for by the employer’s insurance company. Most employers are happy to let their insurers deal with things and your relationship with them shouldn’t change.
Depending on your length or service and the terms of your employment contract, you have rights which the employer is not free to deny you. Unless the accident was quite obviously caused by your own decision to depart from training or procedure it is very unlikely that you will dismissed for either having the accident or making a claim. If they do try to dismiss you or start to treat you unfairly in a way which amounts to constructive dismissal, you could have an further right to claim compensation against them.
If you have been injured at work through no fault of your own, please call us immediately on 0800 614 722 for your free no obligation consultation.