All employers have a duty of care to protect their employees and ensure they can work safely. To do this, they need to provide a safe working environment and failing to do so could mean that employers are deemed negligent following an accident. Negligence is something that can be avoided, which is why you are able to make a claim for compensation if you suffer an injury following an accident caused by employer negligence through specialist personal injury law firms, such as Accident Advice Helpline.
Duty of care
In law, duty of care is often difficult to define. Employers do not have what is known as absolute duty of care, which means that an employer only has to take steps that are deemed reasonably practicable to ensure the safety of the workforce. In other words, sometimes accidents happen that could not be foreseen, so employers may not always be deemed negligent. For instance, if you work in a shop and a customer spills a drink on the floor and you slip on it, your employer may not be to blame as they may have been unaware of the spillage. However, if your employer knew of the spillage and did nothing about it, then they could be deemed to have acted negligently.
To ascertain if employer negligence has taken place, several factors have to be taken into account. Firstly, it needs to be established if an employer’s duty of care extends to where and when you were injured. For instance, if you are driving a vehicle belonging to the company for which you work and are involved in an accident, it may be that another road user is negligent, not your employer. However, if the vehicle is poorly maintained and it was this lack of maintenance that caused the accident, your employer may well be negligent as they have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment, in this case a safe vehicle.
Secondly, to ascertain employer negligence¸ it must be decided whether they breached their duty of care. In the above example, if the vehicle was poorly maintained, the employer could be deemed as having breached their duty of care, but not if the vehicle was mechanically sound. Finally, before claiming for any compensation, employer negligence has to have been responsible for any injury sustained in an accident. For instance, if you slipped at work and broke your arm, the injury is clearly a result of the accident, so if employer negligence was responsible for you slipping, you can make a claim for compensation.