Accidents at Work – what should I do if I have one?
When you think of somebody having an accident at work, many think of men on building sites or people who work in factories injuring themselves. But accidents can happen anywhere, even if you work in a shop or office. Anything like straining your back when picking up a box, something falling on you from a height or a trip or slip, are all classed as accidents at work. But what should you do if you suffer and accident at work and what are your rights?
Report it to your manager
You might feel silly or feel like you are making a fuss if you have an accident in the workplace, but the first thing you should do is tell your boss what happened. This is so they can record it in the company’s accident report book as they legally have to do this. Again, it might seem like you are over-reacting, but even if your injury doesn’t seem serious at the time you should go to see your doctor. This is because you may be able to make a claim for compensation and having a medical report will strengthen your case.
What if I can’t work because of my injury?
It’s an unfortunate reality but sometimes when you injure yourself you may have to take time off to recover. If you do, you can try to recover some of your financial losses through what is known as statutory sick pay, a government benefit that allows you to get £95.85 a week for up to 28 weeks. While your employer may top up your wages, they don’t have to. The other way to get your money that you lost back, if the accident was through no fault of your own, is through an accident at work compensation claim.
But will I be dismissed for making a claim against my employer?
By law your employer can’t dismiss you for making a claim for compensation. You might feel bad for making a claim against your employer, but you should remember that the point of compensation is to put you back in the same position should the accident not have happened and to pay for any treatment you might need. It is also to compensate for what you have been through, both physically and mentally. Finally, you should remember that any compensation you receive will be paid for by your employer’s liability insurance. As a result, you shouldn’t feel guilty about this. If you do decide to make a claim make sure you get the advice of a specialist lawyer.