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Friday 6th March 2020

Accidents at Work - know your rights

There are more than a million people in the UK suffering from work related illness or injuries, it is therefore important to understand your rights.

Your employer owes you as an employee a duty of care to protect you from injury. To fulfil that duty they must provide you with appropriate training, appropriate protective clothing and appropriate work equipment. Your employer also has an obligation to carry out a risk assessment and do what's needed to take care of the health and safety of employees and visitors by providing a safe system of work.

If you have an accident you should ensure that the accident is recorded in an accident book as this provides a useful record of how the accident happened. Under the Reporting of Injuries Disease and Dangerous Occurrences regulations (RIDDOR) your employer has a duty to report work related accidents to the Health & Safety Executive.

You should also ensure that you seek medical advice at the earliest opportunity and explain to the medical practitioner exactly how the accident happened.

Any injury at work can result in minor injuries or serious debilitation injuries and if your employer fails to fulfil its duties you may be able to recover compensation for that injury and any losses caused to you.

You should keep a diary/record of any losses being incurred such as loss of earnings, travel expenses, prescription charges, aids that you have to purchase to assist with mobility. You can also claim for care that has been provided by family members, whether that is personal care or help with housework. A note of the hours spent should be kept in a diary.

Any claim must be made within three years of the date of the accident and you'll normally need a lawyer to represent you.

By law, your employer must be insured to cover a successful claim and should place a certificate with the name of their employer's insurance company where it can be seen at work. If not, they must give you the details if you need them.

In summary
• make sure you record any injury in the 'accident book'
• if need be, make sure your employer has reported it to the Health and Safety Executive
• check your contract or written statement of employment for information about sick or accident pay
• keep a record of any expenses incurred or losses in a diary.

For help in making a claim following an accident, or for any other personal injury matter, please contact Roger Henderson on 01392 209218 or email

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.