Accidents happen. Including in the workplace. If you've been unfortunate enough to be injured at work, there are important steps you should take to improve safety for others and also ensure those responsible are held accountable.
Take immediate action
After an accident, you may be in pain or shock. However, if you can, you should immediately get to work making a record of the incident. Try and imagine you are a crime scene investigator. Use your phone to take photos of the scene of the accident and of any injuries you might have. You should also collect details of your witnesses. If any colleagues saw your accident, take their details and advise them that you may call on them to back up your claim.
As soon as you feel able, you should report your accident. You should always follow the rules of your employer (in many cases, failing to report an accident is a disciplinary matter even if you are the victim). If your employer has an ‘accident book’, make sure the incident is added to it. If your employer doesn’t have one – or doesn’t want to use it – write to your manager and save a copy of the mail. It’s vital you get evidence that you took all the necessary steps to report your accident.
Seek medical advice
After suffering an accident at work, you should seek medical attention. In an emergency, go to the hospital. If it’s not an emergency, then go to your GP. Give them a full account of any injuries and any impact this has on your life. It’s always a good idea to schedule follow-up appointments, especially if pain or discomfort continues. Again, remember to keep accurate records of any appointments or treatments.
Know your rights
Your rights will depend on the type of employment you have. If you are an employee or agency worker, then you may be able to get Statutory Sick Pay for up to 28-weeks. If not, then you may be entitled to Universal Credit or other benefits. Most employers or HR departments will be able to advise on this, or you may need to speak to specialist legal experts. Remember to keep hold of any receipts for expenses or losses caused by your accident at work.
Get expert legal advice
If you believe that your employer or workplace was in some way responsible for your accident, then you can take legal action. The team at Mulderrigs Solicitors offer free advice to help you determine if you have a case. They are also experts in worker rights, so contact them today if you feel your employer has been negligent.