1880 Act of Parliament Forms Basis of Industrial Accident Compensation
The beauty of English law is how it draws on history to form precedents and industrial accident compensation is steeped in this history. History has shown us that workers in generations past have fought for better working conditions and rights. The Employers Liability act 1880, originally passed by parliament to protect miners and rail workers, is still part of the legal framework that protects workers from unscrupulous employers.
Parliament and the acts it passes have always played a major role in establishing the rights of workers and their families but it has not been an easy passage. In Victorian times, workers’ rights and welfare was in its infancy, and whilst not excusable, with the rapid changes going on in the birth of the industrial age, it is possible to see why the protection of workers was slow. 100 years on you would think, with so much talk about the importance of people and people being a business’s greatest asset, that the first act would be to protect its work force. Often, it is the workforce that is thought of last. One good thing is the fact that if an accident happens at work now, workers can pursue industrial accident compensation, thanks to 100 years of campaigning, 100 years of legal precedent being established workers do have recourse.
In Victorian times, there were some great campaigners, some of them employers who tried to protect their staff people like Samuel Plimsoll who put the ‘Plimsoll line’ on his ships so they would not be overloaded and sink, protecting the cargo and the sailors on the ship. Many others campaigned for the governments of the time to pass laws that ensured the safety of employees. Naturally, when things did go wrong, the industrial accident compensation became a part of that process with the evolution of duty of care to employees.
The law is still evolving today, changing as employees bring charges against companies who refuse to compensate them for injuries they have by negligence inflicted on innocent employees. Previous generations who were establishing the law, creating precedents often without a satisfactory outcome have already done the work for us. We have the benefit of their endeavours; the process of making claims is already established. There are quality organisations that specialise in helping employees make claims for industrial accident compensation, organisations like Accident Advice Helpline. With many legal partners, they can direct individuals within a few moments to the right person who can help start a claim process.
History and the full weight of the law is on your side, countless hundreds and thousands of employees before you have paved the way for you to receive what is rightfully yours. Many of them made small inroads established over time, precedent by precedent; legal case by legal case; to create the tremendous legal system we have today. Take advantage of their labour and make a thirty second telephone call that could change your life forever.
Date Published: 10th October 2012
Author: David Brown