Every employer has a legal responsibility, under the Health and Safety at Work act, to ensure that their employees operate in a safe working environment, within which they can carry out their job without the risk of injury. The guidelines are clear and specific and each employer must adhere to them. However, there are occasions when employers fail to meet these requirements, resulting in employees suffering a work place injury, for which the employer is liable. If you have had an accident in the workplace you are advised to contact us at Accident Advice Helpline, where one of our solicitors may be able to make a claim for compensation on your behalf. However, in order to make a successful claim the case presented must show evidence proving the employer’s negligence. Failure to do so will significantly reduce the chances of your claim being successful. The most common reasons for insufficient health and safety claims are detailed below.
The first consideration is to ensure that the accident did not occur due to you acting irresponsibly. This includes failing to follow work processes, ignoring training guidelines, being intoxicated or using machinery that you are not trained or authorised to operate. If it is clear that the incident was in no way your fault it is necessary to ensure that a record is entered in the workplace accident book. It is imperative that any injury is reported and recorded in the book and signed by the company’s Health & Safety officer. Having no record of an accident will severely affect the chances of obtaining compensation
Additionally, any health and safety compensation claim must be made within the legal timeline, which is normally three years. Failure to do so will severely reduce the chances of any claim being successful. If a claim is not settled or court proceedings have not been instigated within three years of the date of the accident, the law states that no compensation is due. Therefore, if you have suffered from an injury at work, you must start the claim as soon as possible by contacting a solicitor for advice on how best to proceed. We at Accident Advice Helpline will be happy to help ensure you act in good time. The only exceptions to the three year rule are if you are under 18 or were not aware of the fact that you had sustained an injury at the time of the accident. In these cases, the three year time period commences on your 18th birthday or at the time of diagnosis of the injury. In either case, failure to immediately document the accident, both at work and with a solicitor, could still leave room for the employer to argue against the claim.
Failure to keep adequate notes, detailed records of what occurred and any meetings, communications or follow-ups, subsequent to the incident, may also result in a failed health and safety claim. Witness statements, photographs and any other available evidence are critically important. You must be able to present a case that clearly proves the employer failed to meet their responsibility. Inconclusive evidence will result in a reduced likelihood of being able to make a successful compensation claim.
Date Published: September 25, 2013
Author: David Brown