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All you need to know about compensation for accidents at work

Workplaces are usually safe environments for people to do their jobs in. However, in some offices, warehouses, shop floors and factories, accidents and injuries do occur. They’re often the result of unsafe working conditions, perhaps exacerbated by bosses’ lack of care when it comes to workplace safety.

Accidents and injuries at work range from the minor to the fatal. In the UK during 2011/12, more than one million employees took time off work with illness due to something happening at their job. Workplace accidents can, in most cases, be prevented if employers make an effort to keep premises safe from all potential hazards.

What is an accident at work?

An accident at work is where someone becomes ill or injured in their place of employment through no fault of their own. Examples include:

  • Slips, trips and falls – these could happen because of wet floors, loose cables or faulty apparatus, such as a rickety stepladder
  • Long-term illnesses arising from performing repetitive tasks on a daily basis
  • Accidents occurring after working while not being provided with proper safety equipment
  • Manual handling injuries, which occur during heavy lifting

Who can I claim against?

Anyone suffering an accident or injury at work is entitled to claim against their employer if there is proof they were responsible for neglecting their duties to uphold health and safety. Employers don’t have the right to dismiss anyone making a claim against them.

How much can I claim?

For relatively minor injuries, such as fractured fingers, where recovery happens within a few weeks, you can receive compensation of up to £1,750. Any severe injuries to feet, hands or wrists could fetch upwards of £30,000, but this depends on recovery time and any losses racked up, such as lost income from not being able to work.

How long do I have to make a claim?

Claims for accidents at work can be made within three years of the accident first taking place. Ideally, claims should be made sooner rather than later, while any attempt to claim after the three-year period is up will not be fruitful. 

I’ve had an accident at work. What should I do?

If you’ve has an accident at work then you have the right to make a claim without suffering discrimination. With First4lawyers, you can start your claim by post, request a call back by phone, or fill in our online claim form. We will then talk you through your case, and the expert solicitor who is assigned to your case will work sensitively to reach an amicable conclusion for you, especially if you still work for the company. Most claims are dealt with through the firms insurance and many claims can be dealt with away from court.


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