Having an accident at work can both upsetting and confusing and can lead to many different complications. Even the smallest of injuries can disrupt your usual work life and make you feel nervous about your workplace environment. Sometimes, particularly if you work for a big company, it can be difficult to get access to the correct staff in order to have your accident dealt with in the correct way.
Therefore, we have created this step-by-step guide to help you know exactly what to do after you have an accident at work. This should eliminate any confusion you may have so that the process that you and your employer should be following is clear.
Focus on Your Injury
Firstly, it is essential that you take care of yourself and your injury as soon as you have had an accident at work. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed or self-conscious if your colleagues saw the accident take place and you should ask to see the on-site first aider. Every work environment is lawfully obligated to have a first aid kit and first aider so that your injuries can be checked. It is important that you do this, as even if your injuries seem minor at first, you may have additional wounds you haven’t noticed.
You should discuss with the first aider how you are feeling and explain any pain you are in. They should then be able to discuss with you whether you need to go to the hospital for more extensive medical treatment. It is important that you concentrate on your injury and your health at this stage, as that is the most important thing.
You should be sure to report the accident to your work colleagues, especially if you are working alone, as they need to be made aware of what has happened. This is important in case there is any investigation undertaken to explore why the accident took place.
If all your colleagues and employer already know about the accident, then you may find it unnecessary to discuss it with them yourself, but it is crucial that you have proof of reporting the accident. This is because often employers can deny any knowledge of the accident if they are later found to have caused the accident by acting negligently. It is also important that you let others know straight away, to avoid one of your colleagues suffering the same injury.
Consider Getting Legal Advice
If you are concerned that your accident took place at work because of the negligence of your employer and the company, then you may consider getting legal advice. This may also be the case if you feel that you weren’t treated appropriately or given access to the correct care that you are entitled to, by your employer after the incident took place.
The injury at work may have led to other consequences such as loss of earnings or being diagnosed with a long-term life condition. Therefore, you should think about seeking the advice of injury lawyers who can assist you with how to prove negligence has taken place. But make sure you do your research beforehand on the personal injury lawyer you have chosen and familiarize yourself with their terms and conditions. For example, you should find out how much their services cost so that you don’t find yourself with an unexpected and hefty bill from them.
Speak to Your Manager
While you will have already told your colleagues and those in charge about your accident at work, you should make sure that you discuss this with your manager too. Your manager is the person that is responsible for everything that occurs in the workplace. You should also ask your manager if there is anyone else you should inform about your accident at work, as failing to report an accident correctly could find you in breach of your contract or workplace regulations.
Record it in the Official Accident Book
Every workplace should have an accident book where any incidences are reported, but often employers avoid reporting them this way as it can influence their safety and performance targets. However, it is essential that you don’t let the accident go unreported and if your manager refuses to enter the incident in the official accident book, then you should e-mail them so there is evidence that you reported it and they refused to record it appropriately.
Do make sure that you send them an e-mail from your personal account, as then you have control over the e-mail, which you wouldn’t have if you sent it from a work email account. Your employer not recording it in the accident book is very serious, so you should be sure to contact an employment law solicitor who will be able to advise you further.
You should be sure to document the accident and your injuries if you are considering making a compensation claim in the future. If you can, you should take a video or photo of the scene where you hurt yourself, so the conditions are clear and cannot be disputed by your employer. You should also have pictures taken of your injuries so that you can show the consequences of the accident.
Additionally, if you are required to attend any medical appointments due to your injuries, then you should keep a record of them as well as they are further evidence of how the accident at work has impacted upon the rest of your life.
Keep Records of Your Expenses
The purpose of putting in a compensation claim is so that you are reimbursed with what you have lost as a result of the accident. However, without a clear record of your expenses, then this can be difficult to claim for. Don’t forget to document the loss of wages due to absence and medical fees.
Having an accident at work can be a very difficult thing to go through, but by following this simple step by step guide you can be sure that you are handling the incident correctly.