Workplaces should be safe environments, where we can carry out our jobs without fear for our health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, in some offices, warehouses, shop floors and factories, accidents and injuries do occur. They’re often the result of unsafe working conditions, due to lack of care or attention when it comes to workplace safety.
Accidents in the workplace can range from the minor to the fatal. In the UK, more than 620,000 injuries a year are reported in the workplace, according to the HSE, with 1.3 million suffering from a work-related illness.
Workplace injury can be prevented if employers try to keep premises safe from all potential hazards. If they don’t and it causes an injury, there may be grounds for an accident at work claim.
What is classed as an accident at work?
An accident at work can occur when an unexpected event leads to the illness or injury of an employee. Examples include:
- Slips, trips and falls – These could happen because of unmarked wet floors, loose cables, or faulty equipment, such as a rickety stepladder.
- Accidents outside of work hours – Such as an injury before or after your shift occurring while you are still on the premises.
- Manual handling injuries – These can be caused by lifting heavy items and not being provided with adequate materials or training.
Long-term illnesses, however, may be regarded as industrial diseases. These could come from performing repetitive tasks or being exposed to harmful substances or excessive noise over an extended period, such as exposure to asbestos.
I’m worried about making a claim against my employer
It is essential that your employer provides a safe working environment. We understand that you might feel apprehensive about raising a claim against them, but they are legally required to have an insurance policy in place to cover such compensation cases.
By asserting your injury at work rights, you are not financially impacting your employer directly, or creating issues for anyone else in your workplace. In fact, your actions could lead to a safer working environment for your colleagues in the future.
If you are worried about losing your job as a result of speaking up, rest assured that it is illegal for employers to dismiss anyone making a claim against them. You are also protected once you return to work, and so if you feel you are being treated unfairly or harassed as a result of the initial claim, you may be able to take further action.