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Accident at Work

Accident at work: The crucial six months

Estimated Read Time: 3 mins

Carrie Tennick, August 05, 2019

There’s a period during your employment – and everyone else’s – where you’re more susceptible to being injured, making it the most dangerous time you’ll spend in your workplace.

When is it? Perhaps unsurprisingly, you’re as likely to have an accident at work during your first six months on the job as you are during the entirety of the rest of your working career, according to the government’s Health and Safety Executive.

Why are the first six months the most dangerous?

There are a number of reasons an employee is at greater risk of an accident during the first six months – some more obvious than others.

As a new worker, you’ll be unfamiliar with this workplace, meaning that you won’t be up to speed with all relevant dangers. You may also be new to the industry as a whole, making the situation even riskier as you may not be familiar with the equipment in use. Experience can be a great help in preventing accidents and injury.

It means that as someone new to a site, you may not recognise hazards and understand how dangerous they are. You are particularly at risk if these hazards change on a daily – or even weekly – basis.

You may also be eager to impress your colleagues and managers by performing well. But this could result in you not taking in warning signs and/or rules. There is also the risk that, having done the same job elsewhere, you may be used to your previous company’s safety regulations and follow those, rather than the ones at your new workplace. This may result in you not being prepared for the different hazards you may face.

There is also the reluctance you may feel towards raising any safety concerns. You may also not know how to do this. If your employer hasn’t informed you of the processes and safety regulations in the workplace, this is negligence on their part.

How to stay safe at work

Your employer should have made clear what the process for raising a health and safety concern is. If they haven’t, you should request that information yourself to make sure you’re as familiar with it as possible. Do this in writing if possible, as it can provide evidence that you attempted to keep yourself safe if the worst were to happen.

You should also adhere to any safety regulations in the workplace, as they were introduced to keep people safe. If this involves wearing protective equipment, make sure you have it on whenever you are required to.

It’s also advisable to ask any questions you have about the way the workplace operates and how your colleagues stay safe. If you have any reservations about anything, don’t hesitate to address them with your manager.

What to do if you’ve had an accident at work

As a new employee, you might feel anxious about taking action against your employer. But you are entitled to do just that.

It’s important to think about the results of any action you may take. For example, by raising what happened to you, you could help your employer address the problem, which could then help them stop it happening to anyone else.

If you’ve been injured in any workplace accident – from a manual handling injury to a factory accident – you may have a claim for compensation. First4Lawyers can help you work out the best course of action.

Just give us a call, request a call back at the top of your screen or start your claim here.