What covers me for accident at work?
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 sets out the basic conditions an employer must adhere to protect their employees from accident at work. A breach can result in criminal charges and also a civil action from the injured party seeking compensation for their accident at work. Whilst it’s fair to say the majority of employers do take reasonable care over health and safety, some accidents are just that and cannot be predicted.
Areas of regulation
There are also regulations to cover specific areas of work activity, where accident at work is especially likely. These include regulations on handling heavy and awkward items, wearing personal protection equipment and working with chemicals and many others. Employers with more than five employees are required to carry out a risk assessment of the workplace.
How awards are made
Compensation awards are made on two bases: General Damages and Special Damages. General Damages cover pain, suffering and loss of amenity. They are not tariff based, meaning it isn’t possible to assess the potential value of the award. However, Special Damages which cover loss of earnings, out of pocket expenses including medical expenses and where applicable, the likely cost of future medical treatment, will be assessed according to the circumstances of the case. A claim must be brought within three years and a claimant should bear in mind that time is needed to prepare a case therefore, seek to act sooner rather than later.
Approximately 2 million workers per annum suffer some kind of accident at work or injury to their health, ranging from minor injuries to serious harm from long term exposure to hazardous substances. Some workplaces are more hazardous than others. Building sites are probably the most dangerous, followed by large commercial and industrial kitchens and catering establishments. Lifting heavy items incorrectly or being hit by moving objects are also very common causes of injury.
To find out if you have a valid claim for compensation for injury from an accident at work, contact Accident Advice Helpline and take our 30-second online test or call us on 0800 689 0500 or from your mobile on 0333 500 0993.
Date Published: February 11, 2013
Author: David Brown