Details on the Procedure to Follow for an Accident at Work

Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Money Savings Advice Procedure to follow for an accident at work

Accidents in the workplace aren’t necessarily anybody’s fault. Anyone can trip over their own feet, drop something or walk into a door frame. Often, though, accidents happen because they have not been prevented. If you have an accident at work, there may be a reason for your injury.

Accident at Work Record Keeping

Accidents and incidents at work must be reported to management. They must record the date, time and cause of the accident and investigate it to ensure it is safe for other employees. This data must be kept for three years.

If you have an accident at work, you should make sure that it’s been recorded and reported. Your employer should take steps to reduce the risk of it happening again. You can also consider claiming compensation for your injury.

Perhaps you weren’t given the proper equipment, or the equipment was badly maintained?

Maybe you weren’t made aware of risk like a wet floor, or something is wrong with the building you’re in, and it hasn’t been repaired or made obvious? Accidents at work can be caused by something as simple as litter on the ground.

Read on to find out what procedure to follow if you have an accident at work.

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What to Do Immediately After an Accident at Work

If you’ve had an accident at work, your injuries should be a top priority. You might need to seek out a first aid kit, or could need further medical attention.

Deal with your injuries first. If you can, make other people aware of any injuries so that they can support you. There should be at least one trained first aider in a company with between 5-50 employees, so in most cases, there will be someone on site that can deal with your injuries effectively.

Many businesses will ensure your trained first aiders are known around the business, so familiarise yourself with them before you have an accident. Even if you can’t approach a trained first aider, it’s best that your manager knows what happens as soon as you can make them aware.

Once you’ve dealt with your injury, ideally with the help of a trained first aider in the workplace, you will need to address the accident that caused you to get hurt. Speak to a manager or someone in charge, to make sure that they’re aware of what’s happened. The scene of the incident may need to be secured so that nobody else will get hurt.

Your manager is responsible for everyone that’s working in the building. They should be told as soon as possible about any accident at work – don’t leave it until you next see them, but be sure to call or email them immediately if they aren’t available to speak to directly.

Recording an Accident at Work

Any accidents in the workplace need to be properly recorded. That’s the case whether they happened to you, another member of staff or a customer. Your place of work should have an accident book that they maintain.

Make sure that any accident is recorded in the accident book. The document should be signed by those involved, to show that it’s an accurate record.

It’s also possible to keep accident records online. Just like paper records, these should be maintained with accurate details of incidents.

An Employer’s Responsibility to Report a Workplace Accident

Employers are responsible for officially reporting any accidents that happen in the workplace. This should happen whether they believe that they’ve been negligent or not. If you’re an employer then you shouldn’t feel concerned about reporting accidents – they happen, and 

Accidents should be reported under RIDDOR - the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (2013). Dangerous occurrences include near misses, so an accident might need to be reported even if nobody was injured.

Employers should file a report within ten days of the incident. Ideally, things should be reported on the same day they happened.

An employer, or manager in a position of responsibility, can make a RIDDOR report online. Certain details need to be recorded in an accident report. These include the time, date and location of the incident and the details of all people involved.

The report should also provide a description of injuries that were sustained, as well as a description of the incident itself and how it came to happen.

Getting Evidence of an Accident at Work

If an accident happened and it wasn’t your fault, it’s worth taking a few photos of the scene. If you want to claim compensation, you’ll need to have evidence to show. Was the floor wet without a sign? Snap a picture to show that there wasn’t any visible signage. Is there a loose tile on the floor? Get a photograph to show what it looks like.

Witnesses can help confirm that accidents happened, but these are likely to be your colleagues and won’t want to go against their employer. Don’t rely on other people standing up and speaking out for you.

You might also want to visit your GP or another medical professional. Make sure that any injuries are properly documented so that you can show they actually happened. Take photographs of your own injuries, or ask your doctor to record the situation so that you can provide the right evidence.

Accident records must be kept for at least three years by an employer. They must be stored in line with data protection requirements. If you know that your employer isn’t keeping accurate records, then you can report them – speak to a solicitor to find out more.

Compensation for an Accident at Work

If you’ve been injured or suffered any losses because of an accident at work, you might be able to claim compensation for your employer. You’ll need to show that your employer was negligent, and prove that you’ve lost out as a result.

If your injury’s severe or long-lasting, seek legal help for your compensation claim. This can be costly, but it is the best way to increase your chance of success. If your claim is successful, you can claim your legal costs back through the courts.

Small and minor injuries go through the small claims court, with a maximum award of £1,000 compensation. You can claim back your court fees but not any legal costs, so it’s best to take this route alone. You may need to provide evidence and attend a hearing. Start the process by filling in an N1 form and submitting it.

Compensation Might Be Paid for Injuries Themselves

Compensation might be paid for injuries themselves, and any loss of earnings you’ve suffered, but could also be paid for other out-of-pocket costs like prescription charges, travel expenses, adjustments you’ve had to make as a result of the injury and any property damaged in the accident.

Make sure that you keep records of the costs you’ve incurred, as these will be evidence in court and can affect your compensation.

Don’t claim compensation through the courts straight away. First, you should approach your employer with a letter that details the incident. Make it clear what losses you’ve suffered and what compensation you’re expecting. If they believe that they’re responsible, employers might settle out of court to save their own time and money. You may be able to get compensation without needing to sit through a court hearing.

If you contact your employer but do not feel that their response was satisfactory, you can then submit the N1 form to start a full compensation claim.

When to Claim Compensation for an Accident at Work

You have up to three years to claim compensation for your injuries. It’s best to get started as soon as possible, though you might not decide to claim until you’ve found other work. Find out more about claiming compensation from our trusted financial partners, who’ll help you through the process of preparing your compensation claim.

Is There a Time Limit if Pursuing Compensation for Injuries Received?

Yes. The traditional time limit will be three years from the date of the accident. Alternatively, the situation is a little different where your injuries/medical condition are not diagnosed until further down the line. In this case, the three-year window of opportunity would begin on the date that you received your diagnosis.

Can I Pursue Personal Injury Compensation Myself?

Whether injured in the workplace, or outside of the workplace, you are perfectly entitled to pursue compensation without the assistance of any third party. However, research does show that claims management companies have historically secured significantly higher damages/compensation than those pursuing claims under their own steam. So, it is certainly worth considering approaching a claims management company to seek their guidance.

What Evidence Do I Require to Make a Claim?

It is important to remember that before claiming compensation, you need to prove negligence by one or more third parties. Once you have proved negligence, then you can look at pursuing compensation. The evidence required will vary from case to case but might include any of the following:-

  • Medical records
  • Photographic evidence
  • Details of treatment received at the scene
  • Post-accident treatment
  • Witness statements
  • Timeline of events
  • Details of the accident/injuries
  • Evidence of similar injuries in the past
  • Details of your post-accident pain and suffering

This is by no means the full list, but it does give you an idea of the type of evidence required to prove negligence and pursue compensation.

How Much Does It Cost to Use a Claims Management Company?

You will find that the vast majority of claims management companies will offer a “no win no fee” arrangement. However, prior to taking on your case, they will review your evidence and details of the incident. If they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of success, they will likely offer you a “no win no fee” arrangement. However, they will also seek to negotiate a success fee.

What Is a Success Fee?

A success fee is a share of compensation awarded as a consequence of a successful prosecution. It is the claims management companies reward for pursuing your case on a “no win no fee” arrangement. Traditionally the fee tends to be around 25% of any compensation received but can vary from case to case.

What Is Tort?

When pursuing compensation as a consequence of an accident, due to negligence, you will likely come across the term “tort claim”. This is a legal description of a case where injuries have been received as a consequence of negligence by one or more other parties. It also covers the ability to claim general and special damages.

What Are General and Special Damages?

When seeking compensation, your claim will be split into two specific areas known as general damages and special damages. General damages related to financial compensation for your pain and suffering as a consequence of the incident.

Special damages are recompense for expenses incurred to date, future medical expenses, special needs, loss of income, etc. The level of general damages is limited, but special damages are in theory unlimited.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making a Personal Injury Compensation Claim?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Personal Injury Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Money Savings Advice Author Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Mark has been writing professionally for over ten years for the financial sector. Having started in the financial world as a stock-broker in central London and then moving to equities trader Mark is one of our senior financial writers who has a vast knowledge of multiple financial sectors.

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