Workplace Accidents - Employer's Duties

Injury in the workplace is a significant problem. Under the Health and Safety Legislation (H&S) and case law employer must observe a number of rules and duties to ensure a safe working environment.
The duties imposed on employers to take care cannot be delegated. They relate to the duty of:

  • competent staff
  • adequate plant and equipment
  • a safe place of work
  • a safe system of work

In short, the main employer's responsibility is to ensure the workplace is safe, a risk assessment is carried out and reviewed regularly, and that the staff are properly trained to undertake their duties.

If there is any machinery, it is also the employer's responsibility to ensure that the machinery is safe. Dangerous substances such as chemicals and materials must be also clearly identified, labelled and stored in a safe place. Workers must be aware and consulted on H & S issues and made fully aware of any risks.

Employers must take into account the fact employees may be careless in relation to their own safety. One of the most important factors to avoid accidents is adequate training and supervision off all employees.

Employers are also required to provide protective clothing (PPE), such as gloves, safety boots, uniform, and goggles.

Often employees fail to follow employer's instructions in relation to PPE. In the case of any injuries as a result of that failure, there might be a reduced or no right to claim compensation, due to ' contributory negligence', by the employee.
It must be emphasized that employers, as well as employees must observe their duties and follow H & S rules.

We have a number of clients, who have had an accident at work such as: slip/trip, falls, back injuries, and repetitive strain injury caused by the employers negligence.

The common cause is the employer's failure to provide adequate training, PPE, exercise reasonable care and skill, carry out risk assessment. What is more, they disregarded our clients concerns in relation to faulty machinery or tools, unsafe workplace or system of work.

We believe many workers are instructed to undertake heavy duties such as lifting, climbing, and unloading without required training or assistance.

Be aware of your rights to log a complaint, if the place where you work is unsafe, or if machinery or tools provided are faulty or not maintained properly.

If you feel the workload is too heavy and the assistance is not provided (when required by law) your employer may be in the breach of his statutory duty.

If you have had an accident, at no fault of your own, and you suffered injury in the last three years, you are entitled to claim compensation.

All employees should remember that they must report any incidents to a manager or any relevant person on the same day or as soon is practically possible, and attend hospital or their GP to demonstrate the seriousness of the injuries, and obtain treatment advice.

Following an accident, collating evidence is necessary if you want to take further action and claim compensation.

Evidence will help to assess who is at fault for the accident and assess the value of a claim, especially as insurance companies do not accept undocumented claims.

We help, not only to claim compensation for the injuries suffered but also we monitor how our clients are treated at work, after making a claim. Legally employers are not allowed to penalise their employees for making a claim, in relation to an accident at work, nor can they dismiss such an employee.

Any actions against an employee could amount to a breach of the employment law, and as such the employee is entitled to bring a claim for unfair dismissal through the Employment Tribunal. Any dismissal without minimum notice and lawful justification is unfair.

One of our client's suffered serious knee injuries, due to faulty steps at the workplace. His employer tried to penalise him and he was dismissed by way of redundancy. We discovered the redundancy was not genuine and this amounted to unfair dismissal.

We helped to sue his employers also in relation to the unfair dismissal.

Every employer has certain duties towards its employees to safe guard them against psychological and physical injuries.

If you suffered any such injuries due to your employer's fault please feel free to contact us and we will help you, by providing an initial risk assessment on the likelihood of success on your claim and should you proceed, we will take the hassle of running your claim away from you.