Employers have a legal obligation to ensure your health, safety and welfare while at work is protected. Their duties include:
- To regularly carry out risk assessments and where necessary to put measures in place to prevent foreseeable accidents.
- Ensure equipment and machinery is safe and regularly maintained.
- To provide appropriate first aid facilities and equipment.
- Where necessary, to provide protective equipment and clothing
- To take measures to keep noise, dust and fumes at a safe level.
- To ensure fire precautions have been taken and protocols are in place, including adequate means of escape and appropriate fire fighting equipment.
- To report accidents to the relevant organisation. Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) places a duty upon employers, those in control of premises and the self-employed to report significant accidents, occupational diseases, dangerous incidents and gas incidents. This report must be filed with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
If, as an employee you are concerned about conditions within the workplace, it is important to report this to your employer as soon as possible. If the danger is perceived as immediate, employees have the right to leave the area until the risk has been removed.
As an employee, there is an obligation to take reasonable care of your own and others wellbeing. It is imperative to adhere to guidelines and protocols put in place to uphold health and safety.
What to do in the event of an accident
If an accident occurs in the workplace it must be reported to your employers immediately. Details of the incident should be recorded in an accident book. Seek medical advice from a doctor, even for less serious injuries. Injuries should also be registered with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as an industrial injury.
Any other evidence, such as witness statements and photographs should be gathered to help the relevant authority determine exactly why an accident took place.
If you need time off because of an accident at work
If an accident at work results in you needing to take time off, your employer should pay Statutory Sick Pay to cover lost earnings. You may also be able to claim benefits, depending upon the nature of the injury. Retain receipts for expenses incurred as a result of the accident, such as medical bills, prescription charges and travel costs.
Making a claim for compensation
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, you may be able to make a compensation claim from your employer. You will need to prove that the accident was as a result of a failing in your employer’s duty of care and that a duty of care was owed.