Accident At Work
All employers have a basic legal duty to take reasonable care for the safety of their staff.
If an employee has an accident at work and is injured then an employer can be held responsible for that accident if it can be proved that the employer is negligent.
Employees are sometimes reluctant to sue their employers for an accident at work.
The law requires employers to have insurance in place to pay out compensation in the event of an accident at work claim.
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Many people have accidents at work and are unsure of their legal position. Your employer has a duty for your health and safety at work and if they have not followed the legal guidelines, and as a result you have suffered an accident, then you may be entitled to bring a claim.
An employer’s duty to take reasonable care can be split into four main obligations. If they do not follow this then they can be held liable if an employee makes a claim. These duties are to provide:
- Safe equipment and plant
- Safe and competent work mates
- A safe system of work
- A safe place of work
The above duties exist in case law. Laws have been created and developed over the years by decisions of judges in particular Court cases. However a framework of statutory legislation and laws created by Parliament also cover the above duties and provide protection to employees.
Safe Equipment And Plant
Employers must provide safe equipment and plant. This means that tools, machines and equipment used by employees must be reasonably safe and adequate for the purpose for which they were intended.
This also means the employers must provide safe working premises. For example, if the floor is slippery or uneven the employers can be held liable if they knew of the defect or ought to have known of it.
Under the Employers Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969, employers will still be held liable for an accident at work claim to the employee for providing equipment that was made and manufactured in a negligent manner by another company.
This avoids the potential problems of an employee trying to sue the manufacturer who may well be abroad or have gone out of business if an accident at work claim is processed.
Safe & Competent Work Mates
Employers are directly responsible for the negligence of their staff. If one employee is negligent and injures another employee, the injured employee can sue the employee.
Employers must take reasonable care when selecting and training their workforce.
They must give proper information, instructions and training to ensure that their employees carry out their work in an environment that is safe to everybody.
A Safe System Of Work
Employers must have safe systems of work in place otherwise an individual can make an accident at work claim. This duty forces employers to introduce safe systems of work and ensure that the systems are maintained and modified as necessary.
This includes areas such as the physical layout of work, the sequence in which the work is to be done, the giving of warnings and notices, providing information and training, and establishing safe working conditions.
If employers fail to ensure that a safe system is in use and an employee then has an accident at work as a result, the employers will be held responsible and will have to pay the employee compensation.
A Safe Place Of Work
An employer must provide a safe place of work otherwise an individual can make an accident at work claim. This is a general duty that often overlaps with the others. There are various laws created by parliament that provide protection in this area.
Employers are under a duty to report to the Health and Safety Executive any accident at work that involves major injury or death. These include fractures, amputations, or injuries that involve the injured person being hospitalised for more than 24 hours.
Any major incident of an accident at work such as explosions collapse of equipment must be reported. The accident at work report must be made immediately and confirmed in writing within 7 days.
Practical Tips If You Have Had An Accident At Work
If you have an accident at work you should do the following:
Report the accident in the Accident Book
Take names and addresses of any witnesses
Take photographs and make a sketch plan
Keep any evidence from the scene
Consult your doctor if you have suffered injuries
Keep a note and receipts of all your losses from the accident at work
Claim any welfare benefits that may be available
Claim For An Accident At Work – No Win No Fee!
If you have had an accident at work and are thinking about making a claim, then please call us.
We will assess the suitability of your claim and if we take your claim on, we always work on a No Win No Fee basis.