What to Do After an Accident at Work?
Accidents at work can happen when you least expect them to and through no fault of your own. They can even occur when you are doing your daily job duties. Unfortunately, this is not unusual, as about 41,000 employees suffer non-fatal injuries at work every year in Scotland alone.
If you are the victim of a work accident, you are likely to be left with some scarring consequences – both physical and emotional. Not only that, but you will probably have an array of questions you would like an answer to. In short, what should you do after an accident at work that is not your fault? This handy guide explains all you need to know.
What to do after an accident at work
First things first, you should immediately seek medical assistance. Some injuries, such as whiplash injury, may not show worrying symptoms to start with, but could soon deteriorate if they are not treated promptly.
Then, ensure your employer is aware of the accident and that it has been recorded in the company’s accident book. In fact, by outlining the events that led to the accident, your employer should take steps to ensure it does not happen again. You shouldn’t feel bad about reporting the event and, possibly, tarnishing your company’s reputation. Remember that, at the end of the day, your employer is responsible for your safety and well-being in the workplace.
It may also be wise to gather evidence (i.e., photographs, CCTV footage, etc.) that demonstrates how the accident happened and get witnesses who can testify to this. In fact, having supporting statements from colleagues can strengthen your case in more serious, trickier scenarios. This could be, for instance, if your employer is not convinced with your explanation of the accident.
I had an accident at work: what are my rights?
Your safety and well-being should always be at the top of your business’ agenda. In Scotland, and the UK on the whole, we are lucky to have legislation in place that is designed to protect us from potential accidents at work.
If you become ill or suffer an injury due to negligence on the part of your employer, it is your right to claim compensation. A work injury or health-related issue can be the result of a number of different factors, from inadequate staff training and machine equipment not being properly maintained to uneven flooring and unhygienic workspaces.
Employers have to carry out regular assessments to ensure your work environment is as safe as it can be. What’s more, they are obliged to inform their workers about any risks, dangers, or hazards.
Can I be sacked for having an accident at work?
If you have picked up an injury in the workplace through no fault of your own and have rightly decided to seek compensation, you may feel worried that you could end up being dismissed for filing a claim. But the reality is that, by law, you cannot be sacked for having an accident at work or making a claim.
Most employers know this and will act in the right, sensible way. However, if you are fired only because you are rightly seeking compensation, you can file a case of unfair dismissal against them. In this scenario, if it can be shown that the reason for sacking you was because you sustained an injury at work through no fault of your own, the decision of the case will always be in your favour, and your contract will not be terminated.
If I get injured at work do I get paid?
The answer is yes. If you are the victim of an accident at work and it was not your fault, you will be able to get compensation for the pain, suffering, and distress you have (had) to endure.
Not only that but, depending on your contract, you could also qualify for sick pay. This is the case if the injuries you have sustained cause you to take several days off work. If your employer does not offer sick pay as a benefit, then you could be entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP). You could also be entitled to a benefit known as Industrial Disablement Benefit which is particularly helpful if you are not receiving full wages after the accident.
Overall, compensation will vary based on the severity of your injuries, medical treatment costs, and how much you have lost by having to stay away from work.
Suffering an injury at work can be a traumatic experience. But with the right help, you can make the recovery process as smooth as possible. Watermans is always here to provide you with all the support and legal assistance you need.
If you have any further queries on what to do after an accident at work, feel free to get in touch with our team. We will be more than happy to answer your questions and guide you in the right direction.