What To Do When You Have an Accident at Work
Having an accident at work can be a traumatic experience. Not only do you have to deal with an injury you may suffer but you also need to deal with the fall out at work of what happened. So, if you suffer an accident at work what should you do?
Focus on your injury
Before you do anything, it is crucial that you look after yourself. Immediately after the accident, you should be treated by your workplace’s first aider. Although your injuries may appear minor at first, in the worst case, even a minor injury can become a lifelong condition without proper treatment, so you should be assessed by a medical professional.
Report the accident to your colleagues
If you were working alone at the time of your accident at work, make sure your colleagues know what happened. This is important if you later decide to make a claim for compensation, or if there is an investigation. It means your employer and their insurers cannot claim that the accident didn’t happen.
Report the accident to your manager
As well as telling your colleagues you must also tell your manager. In many organisations, you could be in breach of the staff manual/procedures if you do not report your accident at work appropriately.
Make sure the accident is recorded in the accident book
Every organisation should have an accident book and it is important that any accident you suffer is recorded in it. Some employers may be reluctant to record a workplace accident in the accident book, but it is important that your incident does not go unreported.
Take photos and video evidence
This is particularly vital if you want to make a compensation claim because of the injuries you have suffered in the accident at work, or if you feel the need to defend yourself from any bogus accusations a dishonourable employer may make.
Ask a colleague you trust for help
Many employers carry out accident investigations when the key witness – the person that suffered the accident – is off work injured. A trustworthy co-worker can ensure that the true facts of the incident are recorded and help to prevent your employer from blaming you.
Make a diary entry of your symptoms
It is crucial that you keep an up-to-date list of all your symptoms as doctors and nurses do not always make a full record. They understandably concentrate on the most serious at the time. However, what may seem the most minor injury immediately after the accident can often turn into a long-term, debilitating condition. This may be the focus of any legal claim.
Go to your GP and/or hospital
If you suffer ongoing symptoms as a result of your accident make sure you go to the GP or hospital and keep a record of these visits. A record of these visits is also important for any legal claim you make.
Consider submitting a grievance
Irrespective of the outcome of any accident investigation, if you have suffered an injury then you have the right to complain to your employer about it.
Keep a record of your expenses and losses
Keeping a record of your expenses and losses is fundamental for an accident at work claim as you can claim all of these costs back.
If you follow these steps you will be in the best possible position if you choose to make a claim.