What to do Following An Accident in the Workplace

If you’ve suffered an accident at work, it’s important to know your rights as an employee. Before acting in haste against your company, put your ducks in a row so you are ready to defend your position assuredly.

first-aid-stationClick here for image details

Health and Safety Policy

Your employer is legally obligated to provide a safe and healthy environment for working in. As such, they will have a formal documentation outlining their health and safety policy. Request a copy and read through it carefully. Compare the promises laid out with the reality of your own position. Are the company at fault? Did you receive adequate training to use equipment? Is all the equipment regularly maintained? Are your skills up to date? Is the working environment a safe one? Were signs in place for things such as a slippery floor or noisy works going on? Look for any loopholes where your case appears to have been caused by a shortcoming on the part of your employer. If the company has complied with the document, it’ll be more difficult to prove your accident was anything other than that: an accident.

Medical Endorsement

To strengthen your position, it’s vital to have support from a medical professional. A sickness certificate validating your condition is valuable documentation. All medications or therapy required should be documented. This includes therapies such as hypnotherapy or counselling. The emotional and psychological impact of your accident are as important as the physical aspects. Your employer may require you to seek a second opinion from the company’s own doctor. This will further support your case if they agree with the original diagnosis.

Legal Support

In order to understand your legal position, it’s beneficial to seek professional legal advice. An outside law firm with no connection to your company will provide an unbiased matter-of-fact opinion. Employment law is in place to protect employees and employers. If it works in your favour, you have the power of the legal system to help defend your case. Employment law consultants, Peninsula and others like them clearly outline how your case fits with the rights you have by law. If a solicitor feels you have a case, it’s now time to build one.

Information Gathering

To help your solicitor to defend your position, you need to provide as much accurate information about the case as possible. Gather reliable eyewitness accounts, if possible. Procure training dates and highlight if training is now out of date. Ask for maintenance records for faulty equipment. Highlight holes in the employer’s health and safety policy. Include all the medical documentation too. Give as much detailed information as you can to inform your case.

Present Your Case

Your solicitor will determine what, legally, you are entitled to claim. Sick pay, compensation payment, period of paid or unpaid extended leave. Find an agreeable solution to the situation. Once you have built a legal watertight case, present this to your employer. The severity of the situation will determine the forum for delivering your evidence. A tribunal case or an informal gathering with senior management? Decide what approach to take to get justice for your accident.

If you have had an accident at work you may well feel you have a justifiable grievance against your employer. However, always seek professional legal advice to ensure your case isn’t full of leaking holes.