All employers are required to have insurance to cover compensation claims that may arise if an employee is injured or contracts a disease whilst working for them. Sufficient cover is required to ensure that costs can be awarded to pay for medical bills or loss of earnings in the event of an accident.
As long as you are an employee and are based in the UK your employer will be required by law to have this insurance. It is also necessary to have a certificate displayed in your workplace or on your company’s internal website or server.
This type of policy is essential if an adequate level of compensation is to be awarded to help you pay bills and ensure your family are supported if you are unable to work, or to get you the best treatment if you need medical care. In the unlikely event that you are killed in an industrial accident your family will be entitled to compensation designed to ensure that they are taken care of.
If you do have an accident you should record the circumstances in your employer’s accident book if you are able; this is also important for near misses, because if your employer does not take action to remedy a potential risk you will have a strong claim if an accident does occur, at which point contact Accident Advice Helpline for help making a claim and receiving the compensation and help that you deserve.
As an employee you should observe all your company’s regulations and procedures related to health and safety, primarily to keep you safe, but also to ensure that you are not liable for any accident that does occur. It is easy to become complacent and stop following the correct procedures, especially if they result in you taking extra time to complete a given task.
However, remember that these procedures were put in place for a reason and skipping one, just once, could have dire consequences. Insurance policies that cover compensation claims must pay out based on an accident or injury being the fault of a specific person, but the insurer can seek to reclaim both it and any costs incurred, after the event, if someone can be shown to have been negligent. It is therefore clear that not following the rules could be costly.
If you have developed an illness or contracted a disease from your work environment, such as a repetitive strain injury, deafness or asbestosis, you are likely to be awarded compensation if you make a claim. If your employer has done everything possible to mitigate the possibility of you being injured or ill, or you have not followed the guidelines or failed to wear safety equipment that has been provided, it may be more difficult to make a successful claim. If you have any doubts regarding whether you have a valid claim contact Accident Advice Helpline who will be able to advise you.
Your family will be covered by your employer’s insurance policy if you are seriously injured or killed at work. Also, if you become ill at a later date, as a result of industrial chemicals or asbestosis, you can make a claim up to three years after the event.
In the case of asbestosis there is no time limit, as the effects can sometimes take many years to reveal themselves and can be very serious. The best policy is to stay safe, follow procedures and alert your employer to any potential dangers.