Can a Contractor File an Accident at Work Claim? – View our Online Guide For Contractor Work Accident Claims

Many contractors believe that should they suffer an accident at work that leaves them injured when carrying out a job for employers, they would not be entitled to file for compensation against the person they are working for at the time the incident occurred. They think the challenge lies in establishing who could be held responsible for their injuries. Although being a self-employed contractor puts you in a different category than an “employee” and other workers which includes temporary and agency staff, there are instances when you may be able to file for compensation, providing you can prove an accident at work that left you injured meets certain criteria. To find out more please read on.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Are My Rights as a Contractor the Same as Permanent Staff and Employees?

As a self-employed person, you would not have the same rights in the workplace as that of permanent staff, agency workers or temporary staff. However, if you are working for an employer as a contractor, when it comes to health and safety in the workplace, an employer must ensure that you are kept safe from injury and harm just as they would for permanent and other employees who work for them. The business or company you are working for at the time, must ensure that you are protected from harm and as such, your rights in this regard are exactly the same as that of permanent and other staff who work on a temporary basis.

Can I Sue When an Accident at Work Was Caused by Another Employee?

Whether you can sue for being injured in an accident at work that was caused by another employee, would depend on the circumstances that led to the incident occurring. With this said, even though each incident would be assessed on its own merit, should you have been injured as a self-employed contractor because a colleague made an error or through their lack of judgement, liability may fall to the business owner you are working for at the time the accident happened.

The reason being that all businesses in the UK must by law abide to strict health and safety executive procedures and a failure to do so that results in injury, would mean that the company was in breach of their duty to keep you safe in the workplace whether you are a contractor, self-employed or a permanent employee.

When Would I Be Entitled to File an Accident at Work Claim as a Self-employed Contractor?

A lot of companies and businesses hire self-employed workers and contractors for specific jobs that need carrying out in the workplace. Examples for this are detailed below:

  • For building and construction work
  • Plumbing work
  • Carpentry work
  • Electrical work
  • Erection of scaffolding

If you work as a self-employed contractor and are tasked to carry out any of the above for a business or company, whether the work is set to last a month or several months, and you suffered an accident at work that left you injured, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against the business or company owner. The reason being that the company or business would be charged with providing proper instructions for the work that you are to carry out. As such, the “control” of the working conditions would be taken out of your hands and therefore the liability would fall to the business or company owner.

Some instances when as a self-employed contractor, you would be entitled to claim compensation for an accident at work that left you injured could include the following:

  • A business or company owner, manager or supervisor failed to provide the correct equipment to carry out the work you were tasked to do as a self-employed contractor
  • You were not given adequate or insufficient training before starting a job
  • An employer failed to provide the correct PPE (personal protective equipment). This includes ear plugs, gloves or safety goggles and other safety wear to suit the job you were tasked to do
  • The equipment provided was defective

If any of the above applies to you as a contractor, you should seek legal advice from an accident at work solicitor who would be able to assess your case before advising you on how best to proceed with a valid accident at work claim against the person you were working for at the time the incident occurred.

How is the Severity of My Injury Assessed if I am a Contractor?

All accident at work claims are treated as unique and the amount of compensation you may receive would depend on several factors. You would need to be thoroughly examined by a doctor or other medical professional who would write an official report detailing the extent and severity of the injuries you sustained in an accident at work. This report would be part of the information needed when assessing your claim and would be an important factor when calculating the level of compensation you may receive in a successful accident at work claim.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

What You Should Do When Injured at Work as a Self-employed Contractor?

If you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident at work as a self-employed contractor whether your injuries slight or more severe, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Some injuries may seem minor at first, but you may have suffered serious internal injuries or the symptoms may only become apparent much later on. If your injuries are such that you are unable to report the accident to an employer or person in charge, you should ask a work colleague to do this on your behalf.

The evidence needed should you decide to file an accident at work claim even when working as a contractor is listed below:

  • Details of where and when the accident occurred
  • Details surrounding the circumstances of how the incident occurred
  • Photos of where the accident happened
  • Photos of your injuries and any damage caused to your possessions
  • Witness statements and their contact details
  • A medical report of the injuries you sustained which should be written before receiving any treatment

You should also ensure that the following procedure is followed should you have suffered an injury at work when working as a contractor for an employer:

  • That the accident is reported to the person in charge
  • That it is recorded in the accident report book if there is one and if there is not, you should write down details of the incident together with your injuries before sending this to the person in charge/employer keeping a copy back for your own records
  • Make sure the accident is reported to RIDDOR should it be a “reportable incident”

What can be Claimed for After an Accident At Work as a Self-Employed Contractor?

As a self-employed contractor who suffers a workplace injury, there are certain things that you can include in an accident at work claim against the person you are working for at the time the incident occurred which are detailed below:

General damages – this is for the following:

  • Any pain as well as suffering you endured
  • Any physical injuries you sustained
  • The mental anguish you had to cope with
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of career
  • Difficulty finding another career

Special damages this is for the following:

  • The expenses incurred for treatment and other medical services
  • Travel costs which includes bus, train, car or taxi
  • Loss of any income
  • Loss of future earnings should you not be able to work again
  • Care costs

Should I File an Accident at Work Claim as a Contractor?

If as a contractor you are involved in an accident at work when carrying out a job for a specific employer and you can prove that they are responsible for the injuries you sustained, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor who specialises in contractor accident at work claims. Having a solicitor go over the circumstances surrounding the accident that left you injured would help establish liability and whether you have a strong case against a third party.

It is always worth discussing your case with a solicitor because your injuries may be such that they prevent you from working whether for a shorter or longer period of time. This could put you under tremendous financial pressure, more especially because as a self-employed contractor, you rely on being able to work in order to pay bills. Your injuries may so catastrophic that you need constant care for the remainder of your life.

The amount of compensation you may be awarded in a successful contractor accident at work claim, could go a long way in alleviating all the financial worries you find yourself having to face through no fault of your own. It is also worth noting that all employers are legally required to have valid liability insurance in place and as such the amount of compensation you receive would be paid by an employer’s insurers and not be taken out of an employer’s profits.

Is There a Time Limit for Reporting an Accident at Work?

As with all work-related personal injury claims, the statutory time limit is 3 years from the date of an accident or the date you were diagnosed as suffering from a health issue or medical condition that you developed as a direct result of having worked as a contractor for a specific employer. It is also worth noting that should you have been injured or exposed to any hazardous substances when you were under the age of 18, the time limit begins from the time you turn 18 years of age.

You may think that having a 3 year time limit is long enough to wait before filing a claim, but it is worth noting that gathering all the information and evidence needed to prove a contractor accident at work claim can be a long drawn out and complex legal process. As such, it is best to seek advice as early as possible to avoid running out of time in which case your claim would not be valid and you could lose out on being awarded a level of accident at work compensation you deserve.

How Does a No Win No Fee Agreement Work?

Most solicitors work with clients on a No Win No Fee basis which takes all the worries of paying upfront fees and retainers off the table. A solicitor would first offer a no obligation, initial consultation which is free of charge. This allows them the opportunity of assessing whether as a contractor, you have a valid and substantial claim against a negligent employer.

Once a solicitor has established you have a strong claim, they would ask you to sign a legal contract which sets out the terms and conditions of working with clients on a No Win No Fee basis and the percentage you would have to pay for their services, but only if your contractor accident at work claim is successful. This is known as a “success fee” which is deducted by the solicitor directly from the amount of compensation you are awarded in a successful claim whether your case goes before a judge or an employer’s insurers settle out of court.

You would have nothing to pay for the legal services you have received should your contractor accident at work claim not be successful because the solicitor took on this risk when signing the Conditional Fee Agreement with you.

Do I Need Help From A Personal Injury Solicitor?

Because accident at work claims are often hotly disputed by employers and their insurers, as a contractor, it is far better to seek legal advice and representation from a solicitor who specialises in work-related claims. The reason being that gathering all the information and evidence needed to prove and strengthen a claim can take a lot of time and effort. A solicitor would be in a better position of knowing what an employer’s insurers might require and communicate directly with them which could speed up what is often a long, drawn out legal process.

A solicitor would also have access to legal libraries which provides essential information on previous contractor accident at work cases. The information a solicitor is able to gather can then be used as a basis for your claim. Again, this would help strengthen any claims you may have that an employer was negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm and injury while you were carrying out contract work for them.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

What Are the Consequences of Not Reporting an Accident at Work?

If you are involved in an accident at work and you suffer any sort of injury whether minor or more severe, your employer is legally required to make a record of a workplace incident. Ideally, this should be in the accident report book, but some employers might not have one, in which case details of a work-related accident should be noted down and a sent to an employer while a copy of the record should be kept by the person who was injured in a workplace accident.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Reportable Accidents at Work

Should an incident not be reported, there are consequences which includes an employer being fined, more especially if the accident was not reported to RIDDOR which in some instances is a legal requirement. The law regarding the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations are as listed below:

  • Work-related fatalities must be reported
  • Serious injuries to employees which results in workers having to take more than 7 consecutive days off work must be reported
  • Where injuries involve industrial diseases, these must be reported
  • Specific occurrences that are deemed dangerous which includes “near-misses”
  • Persons injured who are not “at work” examples being members of the public

All of the above must be immediately reported to RIDDOR and other enforcing authority. Should this not be possible, a workplace accident must be reported as soon as possible thereafter with a written report being sent within 10 days of the reported incident. However, for “over-seven-day” injuries, reports must be sent to RIDDOR within 15 days of the incident occurring. Other incidents that must be recorded and kept are listed below:

  • Records of all “over-3-day injuries” must be kept. This refers to all injuries where an employee or person is incapacitated for over 3 consecutive days. However, these injuries do not have to be reported to RIDDOR, but if your employer keeps an accident report book, this is sufficient as it falls under the Social Security (Claim & Payments) Regulations 1979 Act

It is worth noting that the definition of an incapacitated employee or person, is that they are not able to carry out normal activities which they are tasked to do during the course of a normal working day. It is also worth noting the 3-day and 7-day injury criteria, does not include weekends and days off.

Can Not Reporting and Recording Accidents at Work Lead to Problems?

Because it is a legal requirement for all UK employers to report specific workplace accidents and to record other incidents that result in employees or other persons being injured, the consequences of not doing so can lead to an employer being fined by the relevant authorities. Employers must by law, abide by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). Failure to record and report “reportable” workplace accidents and injuries could result in an employer receiving a £20,000 fine from the enforcing authority.

Not having a report of an incident that left you injured, could also make it that much harder for you to file an accident at work claim although if you have other proof that you sustained your injuries while at work, a solicitor might be able to use this evidence to build up your case against a negligent employer. Other evidence an accident at work solicitor can use when building a case against your employer includes the following:

  • A medical report of your injuries provided by a doctor or other medical professional which was carried out at the time of the accident
  • Photos of where the incident occurred – if available CCTV footage can also be used to strengthen an accident at work claim that has not been reported
  • Photos of the injuries you sustained before you received any treatment
  • Witness statements
  • Records of other accidents at the place you worked whether from the Accident Report Book or from other sources

A specialist accident at work solicitor would be able to provide essential advice on how to proceed with a claim should your employer have failed to record or report an incident that left you with injuries in the workplace.

Health and Safety at Work Regulations

Employers must carry out regular risk assessments in a workplace with an end goal being to identify dangers and hazards that could lead to employees and other persons being injured. Once identified, employers should set in place measures to reduce these risks and if they fail do so and you suffer an injury as a result which they then fail to report, it would put your employer at risk of being fined by the enforcing authority. It would also make it more challenging for you to file an accident at work claim against them although not impossible. A solicitor who specialises in this type of claim would establish that your employer failed not only to keep you safe at work, but also that they were in breach of their legal duty to record and report a workplace accident to the relevant authorities.

It is also worth noting that your employer is liable for any visitors being injured should they have failed to set in place measures to keep them safe from harm and dangers. Employers must also organise “first aiders” in the workplace and provide adequate first aid equipment that can be used in the event of a workplace accident.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

What You Should Do Following a Workplace Accident That Leaves You Injured

Should you be involved in a workplace accident that leaves you with a minor or more serious injury, there are specific things that you must do even if you are not contemplating filing an accident at work claim against your employer. These are listed below:

  • Report the incident the person in charge or your employer directly. If you are unable to do so because your injuries prevent you from doing so, make sure a work colleague does this on your behalf
  • Ensure the incident is recorded in the accident report book, it there is no book, write the details of the accident and your injuries down and send these to your employer retaining a copy of the details for your own records
  • Get photos of where the accident occurred
  • Get photos of your injuries before you receive any treatments
  • Get witness statements and their contact details
  • Get a medical report of your injuries whether from a doctor or other medical professional

All of the above forms part of a necessary process following an accident at work that leaves you or anyone else injured. Failure to do any of the above could have serious consequences not only for your employer but also for you when it comes to filing an accident at work claim against them.

What You Should Not Do Following an Accident at Work

There are certain things you should never do following an accident at work that leaves you injured even if you think you may be responsible or partly responsible for the incident occurring. The things you should not do are as follows:

  • Never sign any sort of admission of liability for the incident occurring even if an employer threatens your job. However, should an employer insist you sign a document relating to the accident, a court may disregard this should you decide to file an accident at work claim against your employer and therefore would deem that you did not admit liability

Can I Be Fired For Insisting an Accident be Reported and for Filing a Claim?

Your employer cannot legally fire you because you insist that an accident at work be recorded in an accident report book and reported to the relevant authorities when necessary. If they do, you could be entitled to file an “unfair dismissal claim” against them on top of a workplace accident claim for compensation.

It is also worth noting that the fact that a workplace accident has not been recorded or reported to the necessary authorities which includes RIDDOR, puts your employer at risk of receiving a hefty £20,000 fine. This in itself would strengthen an accident at work claim, more especially if the injuries you sustained were “reportable” by law.

Is There a Time Limit to Reporting an Accident at Work?

There is a 3 year time limit to accident at work claims which begins from the date of the incident that left you injured or from the time you became aware of your injuries or work-related health issues you may have developed. However, the accident at work time limit for people under the age of 18 differs in that the time begins from the date a person turns 18 years of age.

Although 3 years seems long enough to file a personal injury claim, the legal process of doing so and the evidence needed to prove a case, can be a complex, long draw out affair that is often hotly contested by employers and their insurers. As such, it is best to seek legal advice from an accident at work solicitor sooner rather than later to avoid falling foul of the time limit.

Should you run out of time, you may find that even though your employer was negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm and injury in the workplace, you may not be able to claim the accident at work compensation you deserve. With this said, if your employer is fined by the enforcing authorities for not recording or reporting an accident, a solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims, would be able to offer essential advice on whether you could sue your employer.

Would I Still be Entitled to File an Accident at Work Claim?

Just because an accident at work has not been recorded or reported to the necessary authorities, does not mean you would not be entitled to file a claim against a negligent employer. In fact, should an employer have failed to report a workplace accident to RIDDOR or other authorities, they would be in breach of a legal duty not only to keep you and all other employees safe from harm and injury but also of failing to report and record workplace accidents which in certain instances is a legal requirement. In short, it could strengthen your accident at work claim against an employer more especially if they are fined by an enforcing authority which could be as much as £20,000.

If you feel that your employer failed to report an accident at work that left you with injuries to the relevant authorities, you should seek legal advice. A solicitor who specialises in work-related accident claims would assess your case against your employer before advising you on how best to proceed.

Would an Accident at Work Solicitor Take My Case on a No Win No Fee Basis?

Once a solicitor has assessed an accident at work claim that has not be correctly reported to the necessary authorities or recorded as it should be by law, which a solicitor would typically do during a no obligation, initial free consultation, they would then offer legal advice on whether you have a case against a negligent employer. If the solicitor believes you have a strong claim, they would offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis. In short, you would not have to find the funds to pay the solicitor a retainer or upfront fee for them to commence work on your accident at work claim.

In order for a No Win No Fee solicitor to start working on your case, you would be asked to enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The agreement sets out the “success fee” which is the percentage you agree to pay the solicitor but only if your accident at work claim is successful. The contract also sets out the Terms and Conditions of the agreement. Should your claim not be successful and you are not awarded accident at work compensation, you would not have to pay for the legal representation the solicitor provided.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

I Did Not Receive Training and as a Result Had an Accident at Work, Can I Claim? – Is My Employer At Fault?

Employers in the UK have a legal duty to provide adequate training to all employees on a ongoing basis. There are many laws that govern an employer’s duty of care which is to ensure that workers are kept safe from harm and injury while at work. If you suffered an injury in an accident at work and believe the incident occurred because your employer failed to provide sufficient training, you could be entitled to file an accident at work claim and receive a level of compensation to suit your injuries and out-of-pocket expenses.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

The Laws Governing Employers in the Workplace

As previously mentioned, there are many laws that protect employees and employers which are detailed below:

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

There are many Acts of Parliament that cover working with hazardous chemicals and specialist equipment all of which your employer must abide by and if they fail to do so or they ignore any Health and Safety regulations which results in you injuring yourself or developing a work-related health issue, they could be held liable and would have to pay compensation for the pain and suffering you had to endure.

However, many accident at work claims filed by employees are often hotly disputed by employers and their insurers who believe they provided adequate training to their staff. If your employer can prove this to be true, it would mitigate your inadequate training accident at work claim. As such, it is best to seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in this type of claim. They would be able to assess your case to establish whether your employer was in breach of their duty to provide adequate training, whether there are grounds for partial blame or whether you did not receive any training to carry out a job you were tasked to do by an employer.

What are the Most Common Workplace Injuries Due to Inadequate Training?

Whether you work in an office environment, warehouse, shop floor or other area of employment, your employer has a duty to provide adequate training with an end goal being to reduce the risk of you being injured in an accident at work. With this said, the most commonly reported workplace injuries that are due to inadequate training are listed below:

  • A fall from a ladder, scaffolding or other height due to a lack of training on how to use the equipment correctly
  • Lifting injuries that result in back problems and other injuries due to a lack of training on how to lift heavier items
  • Electric shock injuries due to inadequate training on how to use equipment
  • Chemical burns and other hazardous substance injuries sustained due to a lack of training on how to handle dangerous liquids
  • Health issues and medical conditions due to a lack of training or because incorrect safety equipment was provided, an example being when working with asbestos
  • Injuries sustained when using equipment, machinery and tools which can range from minor cuts to catastrophic fatal injuries

Employers are legally bound to carry out risk assessments in a working environment on a regular basis and to set in place measures to reduce the risk of injury and harm to employees and this includes providing ongoing training to all their staff whether permanent employees, temporary or agency staff and other workers.

What Occupations Put Workers Most at Risk When Not Given Sufficient Training?

As previously touched upon, no matter what job you do, an employer must provide sufficient training. However, there are some working environments that put you more at risk of injury if you are not given adequate training than others which are listed below:

  • Factory and warehouse workers
  • Fast food workers
  • Kitchen staff, chefs and porters
  • Electricians
  • Builders
  • Dock workers
  • People who work in shipping

The above are just some of the working environments that put you more at risk of being injured in an accident at work due to a lack or insufficient training but there are others too. To reduce the risk of injury in the workplace, an employer must do the following:

  • Assess your experience and ability to carry out a specific job
  • Provide regular and ongoing training
  • Provide extra training for any new job you are tasked to do whether working equipment or other types of specialist machinery
  • Ensure that your work colleagues are sufficiently experience and trained to carry out the jobs they are tasked to do
  • Ensure that younger, less experience employees are protected
  • Ensure that employees with disabilities are kept safe
  • Ensure that any pregnant employees are kept safe from harm in the workplace

How Do I Prove an Employer Did Not Provide Me With Adequate Training?

For an accident at work claim to be successful, you would need to prove that an employer was negligent in providing sufficient training to carry out a job you were tasked to do. Even if there was just an element of negligence on the part of your employer, you may still be entitled to file for compensation. You would need to show that your employer failed to keep you safe from harm and injury because you were not sufficiently trained to use equipment and machinery that resulted in an accident at work.

Employers should also  have in place specific procedures which must be followed when an employee is involved in a workplace accident and you should have received first-aid from personnel in the workplace at the time of the incident. With this said, employers are bound to follow all health and safety executive regulations and if they fail in any of the following, they could be held liable for your injuries:

  • A failure to identify the health and safety regulations for a specific working environment
  • A failure to make sure that all employees were adequately trained and experienced enough to carry out jobs they are tasked to do
  • A failure to take into consideration an employee’s suitability to carry out a job
  • A failure to provide the level of training that is required and which employees easily and fully understand
  • A failure to make sure that employees are qualified to carry out specific jobs and roles
  • A failure to ensure that supervisors are experienced enough to carry out their jobs
  • A failure to provide adequate training which takes into account difference and changing working environments

It is worth noting that in some cases proving employer negligence can be challenging. However, a solicitor who specialises in inadequate training claims, would establish whether other similar incidents occurred in your workplace by looking through your employer’s accident report book. If it is found that there is a pattern of similar accidents and/or workplace injuries, this could form the basis of your inadequate training in the workplace claim. Other important factors that would be taken into consideration are listed below:

  • Your employer’s health and safety history
  • Specific training programmes that are set in place
  • The company’s employee injury history
  • Witness statements of workplace accidents

All of the above would help a solicitor when it comes to establishing whether you have a strong inadequate training compensation claim.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

What Should I Do Following an Inadequate Training Injury at Work?

Your employer should have a procedure in place that employees must follow if there is an accident at work. However, if you are injured at work, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention whether you think your injuries are minor or more severe. Other steps that must be taken even if you are not thinking about filing an inadequate training claim against a negligent employer are as follows:

  • Make sure the incident is reported to an employer or the person in charge
  • Ensure the incident is recorded in the company’s accident report book (you should have access to this report to make sure the details of your accident are correct)
  • If there is no accident report book, write all the details of the incident down in a letter and send this to the employer, keeping a copy for your own records
  • Take photos of where the accident occurred
  • If possible, request CCTV footage of the incident
  • Take photos of the injuries you sustained before any treatment is given
  • Get witness statements
  • Get witness contact details
  • Get an official medical report of your injuries from the hospital or doctor who initially treated you

All of the above are essential when it comes to proving liability in an inadequate training accident at work claim. The information would be factored into determining the strength of your case against a negligent employer and the amount of compensation you may be awarded in a successful claim.

What Can be Included in an Inadequate Accident at Work Claim?

There are specific things that would be factored into an inadequate accident at work claim which are used to calculate the amount of compensation you may receive. These are listed below:

  • General damages – this covers the amount of pain and suffering you endured as a result of being injured in the workplace. It also covers the mental anguish you may have experienced and whether your injuries were life-changing
  • Special damages – are awarded for any loss of earnings you may incur as well as any future loss of earnings should you not be able to work again. It also includes any alterations that may be required in your home and whether you would need care around the home. It also covers all your medical and travel expenses and whether you would need to go into a care home because your injuries are so severe

What is the Time Limit to an Inadequate Training Accident Claim?

As with other accident at work claims, inadequate training claims have a strict 3 year time limit attached to them. This statutory time limit must be respected because failing to do so would negate the chance of receiving the compensation you rightly deserve even if you can prove an employer was in breach of not providing sufficient training for you to do a job.

It is far better to start a claim as early as possible after an accident at work that leaves you injured takes place. Not only are all the details of the incident fresh in your mind and in that of any witnesses, but it allows time to gather as much evidence as possible to strengthen and prove your claim against a negligent employer.

Would My Accident at Work Claim be Taken on By a Solicitor on a No Win No Fee Basis?

Contacting a solicitor who specialises in work-related claims would speed up the legal process considerably. The reason being that a solicitor would know exactly what is needed to prove an inadequate training at work claim and to show that an employer was in breach of the duty to provide you with sufficient training to carry out a job you were tasked to do. A solicitor would quickly assess whether you have strong claim and they would do so by providing an initial, free, no obligation consultation. Following this, if a solicitor believes that your employer was negligent, they could offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis which means you would not have to pay a retainer or upfront fee for work to begin on your claim.

This would entail signing a legal contract with the solicitor which is known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The agreement sets out the “success fee” you would only have to pay on a successful inadequate training at work claim which is an agreed percentage of the amount of compensation you receive. The amount is deducted directly from the money you are awarded. Should your claim not be successful, because the solicitor entered into a CFA with you, there would be nothing to pay for the legal services they provided.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Can I Make an Accident at Work Claim if I am an Agency Worker?

If as an agency worker you suffered an injury in an accident at work while in the temporary employment of a company or business, you could be entitled to file for compensation against an employer providing you can prove the incident occurred through no fault of your own and it happened in the last 3 years.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

What is the Definition of an Agency Worker?

Agency workers are sometimes referred to as temporary staff because they are employed by businesses through an agency on a temporary basis. As an agency worker would you have signed a contract with an agency that then places you with an employer. However, when you are sent to work on a temporary basis for a business or company, the employer would provide instructions on the work that needs to be carried out on a temporary basis. In short, to qualify as an agency worker, the following criteria would need to met:

  • You have a contract with an agency
  • The agency sends you to work for an employer on a temporary basis
  • The work you do is controlled by an employer the agency has sent you to work for
  • You are not a self-employed person

Workers Who Do No Qualify as Agency Workers

You would not qualify as an agency worker if the following applies to you:

  • You are sent to a job on a temporary basis by an agency, but you are registered as self-employed
  • Your terms of work are under a Managed Service Contract which is when an agency provides a specific form of service for a client – examples being cleaning and catering contracts
  • You are employed as a temporary worker directly by a business or company which is referred to as “in-house temporary staffing bank”
  • You found employment yourself or via a recruitment agency
  • You are working for a company or business on secondment or loan from another employer

What is a Pay Between Assignment Contract?

As an agency worker, the agency you work for may request that you sign an agreement known as a “pay between assignment contract”. Having entered into this type of contract, you would be an employee of an agency which in short, means that your rights differ from other agency workers who have not signed a “pay between assignment contract”.

By entering into this type of contract with an agency, you would be paid by the agency should you have to wait between temporary jobs. It would also mean that you would not be considered as being an employee of the company you are temporarily working for should you be involved in an accident at work that leaves you suffering from some kind of injury or work-related health issue. In this instance, the liability would fall to the agency that you are under contract to.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

What Employment Rights Apply to Agency Workers?

As an agency worker, you have certain employment rights even when you have entered into a “pay between assignment contract” with an agency. These are detailed below:

  • That you are receive the minimum wage
  • That no unlawful deductions are taken from your salary
  • That you are not discriminated against for a disability, your age, gender reassignment, civil partnership, marriage, pregnancy, maternity, religion, belief, race, sexual orientation, sex
  • That you are not discriminated against because you only work for an employer on a part-time basis
  • That there is a limit on the number of hours worked during the course of a week (some exceptions may apply)
  • That you are entitled to take paid holidays
  • That you are accompanied when attending a disciplinary or grievance hearing
  • That you are not fired or picked on for whistleblowing
  • That you receive unpaid parental leave on the condition you meet the necessary criteria
  • That you have the right to request flexible working hours on your return to work from parental leave providing the necessary criteria are met
  • That you receive statutory sick pay (SSP), statutory maternity pay, statutory adoption pay, statutory paternity pay providing the qualifying conditions are met
  • That the work environment is safe
  • That you can file specific claims via an employment tribunal

What Employment Rights Do Not Apply to Agency Workers?

As an agency worker, you would not have the right to the following:

  • File a claim for unfair dismissal having been fired without good cause or without notice
  • To claim statutory redundancy pay
  • To claim maternity, paternity, parental and adoption leave
  • To have a written statement of any main terms and conditions of your employment

How Do I Establish Who is Responsible for an Accident at Work?

You would need to establish who was responsible for an accident in the workplace bearing in mind that in some instances, the liability for an incident is clear cut whereas in others, it is not. With this said,  the regulations and laws pertaining to agency worker accident claims can be complicated and as such, the responsibility is not that evident.

As such, it is best to seek legal advice so an accident at work solicitor can assess the circumstances surrounding the incident that left you injured before offering essential advice on how best to proceed in filing an agency worker accident claim against a negligent employer.

What is the Procedure Following an Accident at Work if as an Agency Worker, I Was Responsible?

If as an agency worker, you believe you were responsible or partly responsible for an accident at work that left you injured, you should still follow a specific procedure which is detailed below:

  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible
  • Report the incident to the person in charge
  • Make sure a record of the accident is entered into the Accident Report Book at the workplace you are employed by on a temporary basis
  • If there is no accident report book, write down all the details of the accident and send a copy to the person who is employing you making sure you retain a copy of the report for your own records
  • Should you not be able to report the incident yourself because your injuries prevent you from doing so, request that somebody else does this on your behalf
  • Get a medical report of your injuries

As an agency worker, you have every right to make a report to the Health and Safety Executive, should you believe that the conditions in a workplace are not safe to work in. If you are a member of a trade union, you can also file a report to your representative should you think that a working environment is unsafe.

What Can be Included in an Agency Worker Accident at Work Claim?

Should you have been involved in an accident at work while working as an agency worker for an employer and sustained an injury, you have every right to file for compensation providing they are responsible for instructing you on what your job entails and they provide all the tools necessary to carry out a job. If an employer is liable for the injuries you sustained in the workplace, there are specific things that you can include in your claim which are listed below:

  • General damages
  • Special damages

General damages – this covers the following:

  • The pain and suffering you had to endure
  • Physical injury that could prevent you from working
  • Any mental anguish you endured as a direct result of an accident at work
  • Any loss of companionship you may have to cope with
  • The loss of a unique career
  • Hardship in finding a new career

Special damages – this covers the following:

  • The medical expenses you incurred as a direct result of your injuries
  • Your travel expenses to and from hospital or other medical facilities for necessary treatments. This includes how you get to the place you receive your treatments whether it is by train, taxi, bus or car
  • Loss of earnings
  • Loss of any future income because your injuries prevent you from working
  • Care costs should you require help around the house on a daily basis or you have to go into a care home

What is the Time Limit for Reporting an Accident at Work?

As with all personal injury claims, there is a strict time limit associated with agency worker accident claims. The time limit starts from the date of an accident or when you became aware of your injuries, health issue or other work-related medical condition which is typically when it is diagnosed by a medical professional.

Failing to file a claim within this timeline would fall foul of the statutory time limit which in short, means you would not be able to claim the compensation you may be entitled to even if an employer failed to keep you safe in a workplace you were sent to by an agency.

Should You File a Claim Following an Accident at Work?

If, as an agency worker you were involved in a workplace accident that left you with an injury, whether minor or more severe, it could mean that you are unable to work for a period of time or it could mean you cannot work for much longer. As such, you could be put under tremendous financial pressure, leaving you unable to pay your bills. It could also mean that you incur a lot of out-of-pocket expenses through not fault of your own and as a direct result of your injuries. As such, you would have right to claim back by filing an accident at work claim against a negligent employer.

You would need to prove you were an “employee” of the company or business you were working for on a temporary basis. As such, seeking legal advice is essential so that you are on the right track from the outset of filing an agency worker accident claim. By law, all UK employers must have in place liability insurance which covers accidents that leave employees injured, suffering from a medical disorder or work-related health issue.

The amount of compensation you may be awarded in a successful agency worker accident  claim would be paid by the company’s/employer’s insurers whether they decide to settle out of court or if they choose to have your claim go before a judge in court.

Working with a No Win No Fee Solicitor as an Agency Worker

You may be put off filing an agency worker accident claim against a negligent employer because of the cost of seeking legal representation. However, most solicitors offer a no obligation, initial consultation which is typically free of charge. This allows a solicitor the chance to assess a claim and to establish who could be held liable for any injuries you sustained as an agency worker when working temporarily for an employer.

Once your case has been assessed, a solicitor would offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis which in short, means that you would not have the worry of finding the money for legal representation when you need it the most. You would sign a contract known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which outlines the percentage you agreed to pay the solicitor which is commonly referred to as a “success fee” because you would only pay this when you are awarded the compensation you were seeking on a successful agency worker accident claim.

A Conditional Fee Agreement also sets out the Terms and Conditions of the contract and as such, having entered into a CFA with you, a solicitor takes on all the responsibility should your claim not be successful and as such, there would be nothing to pay for the legal services they provided in an agency worker accident claim.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

 

Can I Claim Compensation if an Employer Did Not Provide Personal Protective Equipment?

Employers must provide you with the correct personal protective equipment to suit the type of work you carry out on a daily basis. This equipment helps ensure you are kept safe from harm and injury in the workplace and includes work wear like gloves, goggles, high-visibility clothing and other items of clothing and equipment. Should your employer fail to provide the necessary PPE and you suffer an injury or develop a health issue, you could be entitled to file an accident at work claim against them and be awarded the level of compensation you deserve for all the pain and suffering as well as out of pocket expenses you incurred due to employer negligence.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

What is the Law Relating to Personal Protection Equipment?

The law requires that all employers abide by the following regulations:

  • The Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002
  • The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulation 1992 (including amendments)

Employers must provide the correct protective wear and equipment to all employees who work with hazardous chemicals and who work in more dangerous environments handling hazardous material which includes the following:

  • Lead
  • Asbestos
  • Noise
  • Radiation

What is PPE so Important?

Employers have a duty to make sure the workplace is safe for their employees which includes providing the following:

  • Adequate instructions to carry out a job
  • Correct procedures on how to carry out tasks
  • Adequate training to suit a job
  • The right level of supervision at all times

Your employer must also ensure that a working environment is as safe as possible which includes making sure that the right protective equipment and wear is made available and this includes reducing the risk of being injured by providing the correct PPE even when measures have been set in place. This includes the following:

  • Breathing in contaminated air which could negatively impact your lungs
  • Suffering head and foot injuries from objects/materials falling from heights
  • Sustaining eye injuries from splashes of dangerous/corrosive liquids or particles that fly through the air
  • Suffering skin injuries/complaints from coming into contact with hazardous/corrosive materials and liquids
  • Suffering injuries to the body from extreme temperatures whether hot or cold

When an employer fails to provide the correct PPE or fails to maintain the equipment and work wear in good condition, it puts you at risk of suffering an injury in the workplace. Employers who are negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm at work, may be ruled liable should you wish to file an accident at work claim against them.

What Training Do Employers Have to Provide?

Employers must ensure that all employees are correctly trained to carry out the jobs they are tasked to carry out during the course of their working day or night. Employees must be provided with the following even if the correct measures are set in place to reduce the risk of being injured or developing a work-related health issue:

  • The correct training where specialist equipment is used in the workplace
  • Training to recognise and detect faults and to report these accordingly

Your employer must provide protective wear and equipment that meet the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002 and which are CE marked. The must also do the following:

  • Select the correct equipment to suit a job and the user, examples being the correct size which means allowing an employee to choose it
  • To train employees on how to use their protective wear an example being on how to take off gloves without causing any skin injuries
  • To never allow any exceptions to when and where PPE should be worn an example being when a job would only take a couple of minutes to do
  • That PPE is correctly maintained and looked after which includes being stored properly so that is in good condition
  • That employees use PPE correctly and that they report any damage, loss or destruction when necessary
  • To make sure that the correct replacement parts are used when necessary
  • To ensure employees know who is responsible for the maintenance of all PPE that is used in the workplace
  • To ensure that the necessary disposable wear is available to employees as well as visitors to a workplace/work site

It is worth noting that employers must ensure that when employees have to wear more than one protective wear item, that they can be worn together without any issues or without putting workers at risk of suffering any sort of injury. This includes when wearing safety goggles and breathing equipment. Employers must also ensure that the correct equipment is available in the case of an emergency which includes breathing apparatus, safety ropes, safety harnesses and respirators.

What is the Time Limit Associated With Filing a Claim Against My Employer?

The statutory time limit for accident at work claims is 3 years from the date of a work-related accident that left you injured or 3 years from the date you were diagnosed as suffering from a work-related health issue or medical condition. Relevant accident at work time limits are detailed below:

  • 3 years from the death of a member of your family due to employer negligence in not providing adequate personal protective equipment
  • 3 years from the date you were first aware of a health issue or medical condition you developed in the workplace because an employer failed to provide the correct or adequate PPE

Because there is a statutory limit of 3 years attached to accident at work claims, seeking legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in this type of claim is essential. It means you stand a much better chance of filing a successful claim against a negligent employer and being awarded the level of compensation to suit your injuries and out-of-pocket expenses.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

What Are My Rights Following an Accident at Work?

When you have an accident at work that leaves injured because you were not provided with the correct PPE to suit the job you were tasked to do, you have certain rights which an employer must recognise and abide by. These are as follows:

  • Your job is safe even if following an accident at work that left you injured through no fault of your own, you decide to file for compensation against your employer
  • You receive an amount in compensation to cover your out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering that are a direct result of having been injured in the workplace because your employer failed to provide adequate PPE

Your employer’s duty of care towards you must include the following which are legal requirements:

  • That you are provided with adequate PPE to suit the job you are tasked to do
  • To carry out regular risk assessments in the workplace and to set in place measures that minimise any risks to employees

Should your employer ignore health and safety executive regulations or fail to provide the correct PPE for the job you do and you suffer an accident at work that leaves you injured, you would have every right to file for compensation.

What to Do If You Suffer an Injury or Develop an illness Due to Employer Negligence

There is a procedure that must be followed should you be involved in an accident at work that left you injured because you were not given the correct protective wear to carry out the job. First and foremost, you should seek medical attention for your injuries. Other steps that must be taken following an incident in the workplace should include the following, even if at first, you have not decided to file an accident at work claim against your employer:

  • Make sure the incident is reported to the person in charge or your employer
  • Make sure the accident is recorded in the Accident Report Book and failing this, make sure you write down all the details of the incident and send a copy to your employer, keeping a copy for your own records – you should be allowed to read the report even at a later date to make sure the details of the incident are correct
  • Take photos of where the accident occurred
  • Take photos of your injuries before you are treated
  • Get witness statements and their contact details
  • Obtain an official medical report of your injuries

All of the above is required to prove your claim and the more evidence and proof you can provide, the better your chances are of being awarded the accident at work compensation you deserve.

What Can I Include in My Claim?

Following a work-related accident that left you injured because your employer failed to provide adequate PPE for you to do a job safely, and you want to file for compensation due to employer negligence, it is best to seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims. With this said, there are specific things that can be typically included in an accident at work claim. This ensures you are awarded the right level of compensation to suit your injuries and to cover the out-of-pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result. These are listed below:

  • General damages
  • Special damages

General damages cover the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical injuries that may prevent you from working
  • The mental anguish you had to endure
  • Loss of companionship you had to cope with
  • Loss of career
  • Difficulty finding another career

Special damages are awarded to cover the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Travel expenses whether you go by bus, train, car or taxi
  • Loss of income including bonuses or other perks
  • Loss of future earnings because your injuries prevent you from working again
  • Care costs should you need to go into a care home or need daily assistance around the home

It is worth noting that every work-related personal injury claim is different and as such, the level of compensation you receive would be calculated on the severity and complexity of your injuries and how much your life and ability to work has been negatively impacted.

Would a Specialist Solicitor Agree to Work on a No Win No Fee Basis?

A lot of people who suffer injuries at work through no fault of their own decide not to file for compensation because of the cost. Legal representation can be expensive which can put you off making a claim even if you think your employer was negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm in the workplace. However, these days many solicitors work with their clients on a No Win No Fee basis which means they agree to take on the risk of not being paid should your claim not be successful. The solicitor would enter into a CFA which is a Conditional Fee Agreement with you which is a legal document that sets out the Terms and Conditions of the contract.

It also sets out the percentage you would have to pay on a successful accident at work claim which is known as a “success fee”. The amount you would have to pay would be deducted directly from the amount of compensation you receive, whether awarded by a judge or as a settlement paid out by the insurers which is referred to as a “out of court settlement”.

The solicitor would typically assess your claim by offering an initial, no obligation consultation which is free of charge. Should the solicitor believe you have a strong case against a negligent employer, once the CFA is signed, they would begin working on your accident at work claim without requesting a retainer or upfront fee having entered into a No Win No Fee agreement with you at the outset.

Employee Injury At Work Advice