Earlier this year, staff at an unnamed DIY store refused to cut timber, purchased by a customer, down to make it fit into his vehicle, giving health and safety requirements as the grounds for the refusal (HSE case 163; http://www.hse.gov.uk/myth/myth-busting/2013/case163-diy-store-cut-timber.htm).
The customer’s request to be given a suitable saw to cut down the timber himself was equally refused, based on the store’s liability for potential injuries to customers.
Personal and work injury claims
The panel reviewing the case stated that, while the store was right in assuming injuries to consumers and employees could lead to public liability or industrial injury claims, this was actually a case of less than adequate customer service. According to the panel, the store’s staff should have been trained in the correct use of the equipment necessary to cut the timber for the customer, making it possible for them to perform this task quickly, easily and within the law.
Employees injured at work as a result of inadequate training, safety procedures and/or lack of adequately maintained equipment are entitled to make work injury compensation claims. Similarly, customers injured in stores or on stores’ premises are also able to make claims for personal injury compensation against the responsible authority.
When to make work injury claims
Workplace injury claims, like claims for compensation following injuries by slips, trips or falls, road accidents and other personal injuries, can only be made within a maximum of three years after the injury occurred. In addition, the accident leading to the injury must have been the responsibility of someone other than the injured individual.
How to claim for compensation when your safety has been compromised
The first step in initiating personal, road accident and industrial injury claims is to call Accident Advice Helpline on their free-phone number – 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone. Once the friendly advisers manning the helpline have established eligibility to claim, the case is taken over by legal experts working on a no win, no fee basis. More often than not, claim procedures can be conducted almost entirely over the phone, and in many cases claimants do not need to attend court.
How much compensation to expect and when
Every compensation claim is different, and as a result, it is impossible for advisers to define exactly how long it will take for a claim to be successfully completed, or how much compensation will be paid to the claimant at the end of the process.