Accident at work: What are my rights?

An accident at work is hugely stressful, but you have rights.

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Workplaces are supposed to be safe environments where we can do our jobs without the fear of being hurt. But it doesn’t always work out that way.

Although you have the right to safety at work, accidents do happen. So it’s important to know your rights around accidents at work.

What are my rights at work?

One of the most important rights you have at work is the right to be safe. If your employer can’t provide this, they may have breached your rights.

There are a number of things your employer must do to keep you and your colleagues safe and avoid an accident in the workplace. They involve respecting your rights to certain safety measures and procedures.

  • You have the right to effective personal protective equipment, if required
  • You have the right to training so you can do your job safely
  • You have the right to be informed of anything that could cause you harm, such as a spillage or hazardous material

According to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers are required to:

  • Carry out risk assessments to identify any hazards to employee health
  • Make arrangements to implement necessary measures to reduce the risks
  • Appoint competent people to help implement the arrangements
  • Provide clear and appropriate information and training
  • Set up procedures for dealing with emergencies

If your employer fails to offer any of these protections and you suffer an accident at work, you have the right to make a compensation claim against them.

What are my rights after an accident at work?

Above all, after an accident at work you have the right to be treated fairly.

If you have to take time off work after your injury, you still have rights. Your employer is required to keep in touch with you throughout your period of illness. They can check on your welfare and let you know about any work-related matters that could affect you, such as those relating to HR or holidays.

You must also give your consent to your employer if they want to obtain medical records or evidence that could show when you might be able to return to work.

Even while you are off work recovering from your injury, you remain an employee of the business. This means you have the right to still be treated as one after an accident at work.

Can I be sacked after an accident at work?

If you’ve had an accident at work due to someone’s negligence, you have the right to make a claim within three years. This is a legal right, set out in the UK’s legislation.

You are also protected if you choose to exercise the right to make an accident at work claim. Employers are legally not allowed to dismiss you for making a claim against them. If they try to, you are likely going to be able to make a claim for unfair dismissal against them.

This should offer you some reassurance about your job security and your legal right to make an accident at work claim. But if you’d like to find out more, just get in touch.

Will I still get paid after a workplace injury?

If you have to take time off work after suffering an injury, you may have to rely on Statutory Sick Pay. You are eligible to claim it if you meet certain conditions, set out by Citizens Advice:

  • Have already started working for your employer
  • Are ill for four full days or more in a row – this includes non-working days
  • Earn at least £120 per week on average before tax
  • Do not belong to an ineligible category
  • Adhere to your employer’s rules for sick pay

Your employment contract may set out terms for sick pay through your employer. It’s worth checking it over to find out what your company’s stance on sick pay is.

How dangerous are workplace accidents?

The severity of a workplace injury will depend on the type of injury you’ve suffered, as well as the environment it happened in.

Some industries see far more fatalities than others. According to the Health and Safety Executive, 111 workers were killed on the job in 2019/20. This is the lowest number on record, but it remains a high figure – especially for the families of those killed.

The majority of those who lost their lives worked in the construction sector (40 deaths). Agriculture, forestry and fishing saw a further 20 people killed, while 15 people died while working in the manufacturing industry.

The most dangerous type of injury you can have is a fall from a height. This kind of accident killed 29 people in 2019/20. Being struck by a moving vehicle killed 20, while being hit by a moving object killed 18. Being trapped by an overturning or collapsing object killed 15 and coming into contact with moving machinery was responsible for 11 deaths.

What can I do after an accident at work?

After being injured in a workplace accident, you can do a number of things to help you if you decide to make a personal injury claim. For example, you should report the accident to your supervisor and make sure it’s recorded in your work accident book. A copy of this can help your solicitor strengthen your case.

You can also take photos of your injury and what caused your accident, whether that was a trip hazard that no one warned you about or a vehicle that shouldn’t have been present where you were.

If any of your colleagues saw your accident, get their details. They could provide witness statements as part of your claim. You can also ask them to make any notes or record any thoughts about your accident to share with you.

You can also start a diary of your symptoms. Write down daily what you are experiencing and whether any new symptoms have developed or any have worsened. This will show just how badly you have been affected by your injury.

As you now know, after an accident at work, you have the right to make claim for compensation. First4Lawyers work with expert specialist workplace injury solicitors, who will work to get you the compensation and support you need to make a recovery.

To talk through your options and find out if you’re eligible to make a claim, just give us a call, request a call back at a convenient time or start your claim online.

We’re here to make this distressing time a little easier.

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