What to do if You Have an Accident at Work

What to do if You Have an Accident at Work

28th January 2015

Here in the UK we have some of the most stringent health and safety legislation in the world, designed to protect the British workforce and reduce accidents in the workplace.  While statistics show that accidents and injuries (including fatalities) at work are falling year on year, there is still room for improvement and accidents do still occur, especially in the construction industry which is recognised as the sector in which most injuries and deaths occur.  If you’ve been unlucky enough to suffer a workplace injury, then it’s vital that you seek legal advice immediately. 

Employers are legally obliged to make sure that the working environment is safe for employees and certain standards must be met in order to fulfil this requirement

What Employers Must Do

  • Carry out regular health and safety assessments and risk assessments of working conditions and equipment and correct any problems that are identified.
  • Ensure that adequate and appropriate safety measures are in place and being followed by all members of staff.
  • Provide proper equipment for each task being carried out.
  • Provide correct and adequate training for all employees to ensure they are able to carry out their jobs and use their equipment safely.

What Employees Must Do

  • Every employee should follow the safety procedures outlined by the employer and exercise care when carrying out their jobs.
  • If an employee becomes aware of any health and safety issues he or she must notify the employer immediately – this includes work out equipment, lack of adequate training or personal health problems which could affect the employee’s ability to do the job safely and may result in a workplace accident or injury.

In The Event of an Accident or Injury

  • Any accident or injury in the workplace must be recorded in writing as soon as possible.
  • If applicable, an injury or accident should be reported to the union representative.
  • Anybody who suffers a serious work related injury should seek advice from a specialist immediately.
  • In the event that you are no longer able to work as a result of the accident, you will need to apply for interim payments of compensation in order to replace earnings and cover extra expenses.
  • Any employee who suffers a workplace injury may need to seek medical advice, or rehabilitation equipment.

While workplace accidents will never be totally eliminated, if employers and employees take a sensible and responsible approach to health and safety, they can be minimised.  Nobody wants to suffer an injury at work and most employers here in the UK know that keeping their employees safe will not only avoid the need for costly compensation payments, but also increase productivity.