Accidents at work are one of life’s inevitable things, and if this has happened to you then you might well be entitled to claim some compensation as a result. There are lots of different things you need to consider before doing so, however, one of which is approaching your employer, which is a legal necessity. Obviously, doing this is something that many people will consider to be quite awkward, and won’t know how to approach. Whilst this is fair enough, as it’s a situation quite unlike any other, it is important that you take the right approach. If you’re uncertain as to what this is, then this article could help.
First of all, it’s important to make sure that you both meet your obligations for communication. In the UK, it’s a legal requirement for companies to report serious injuries and workplace incidents to the Health and Safety Executive, who are the governing body responsible for ensuring that the working environment is kept as safe as possible. It is both the responsibility of your employer to do so and. therefore, it is also your responsibility to tell them about the incident. Before you do anything else, you must both carry out your respective tasks, as not doing so means that you’re breaking the law, and from that point on any claims could be on shaky ground.
The second point is to decide who you feel was responsible for the accident. It is not uncommon for this to be disputed as many firms don’t want to admit to responsibility for a serious injury, which in a sense, is understandable, but it’s important that during this stage of the process you remain calm, be honest about the incident and keep your cool. Some companies may actually be happy to admit that an accident was their fault, and will work with you to try and find a solution to any problems that have arisen as a result of it occurring. The one thing you shouldn’t do is waltz in and starting making idle threats, as this will reflect badly on your character later on should you actually proceed with making a real claim. Ensure that you take a sensible, reasonable attitude to the incident.
You should also follow up your employer’s communication with the Health and Safety Executive, and see what, if anything, has changed as a result of this. It’s important to do this quickly, as time can be of the essence when it comes to making an eventual claim. Some magistrates might decide that if the incident had been so serious, you would have made a claim immediately. Chase up your employer’s incident report with the HSE, and see what action they’re planning to take, and do so quickly.
By this stage, you should have a fairly good idea as to whether or not you will be eligible to claim any compensation as a result of the accident and, of course, whether or not you want to do so. It’s important to ensure, however, that you take those initial steps of communicating with your employer, as it will give you a solid ground for any eventual claim.
Date Published: September 30, 2013
Author: David Brown