All accidents at work must be officially reported as soon as possible whether the record is made internally in an accident report book or by other means and should be reported to RIDDOR if it is a legal requirement to do so. In some instances, your injuries may prevent you from reporting an incident yourself, in which case a work colleague or someone else should make sure an accident at work report is recorded on your behalf.
Following an accident at work that leaves you injured, it is important to seek first-aid followed by medical treatment from a qualified doctor. Having a medical report detailing the extent of injuries is crucial should you wish to claim compensation from a negligent employer, whether the incident that occurred was their fault or that of a work colleague. A medical report is also essential should you be entitled to claim any benefits which includes industrial injuries benefits.
Telling an Employer the Workplace is Unsafe
You have every right to discuss any concerns you have about safety in the workplace with your employer. You also have the right to speak to a trade union representative if you are a member of a trade union without fear of being treated detrimentally by an employer. All employees have the right to talk to a representative of the Health and Safety Executive if they believe their well-being and safety is being put at risk in the workplace. Another right you have is to not go to work if you feel you are in immediate danger and not return to your job until things are put right by an employer.
How To Fill Out an Accident Report Form Following an Accident at Work
A responsible employer would ensure that all accidents at work are recorded in an accident report book. The record of the incident or near miss, should encompass all the relevant details of the accident, the employees who were involved and the name of the company/business/organisation. This report is also useful because it keeps track of recurring incidents in the workplace which in turn provides valuable information on safety measures that need to be put in place.
The following procedure after an accident in the workplace should be followed if you are going to the aid of an injured work colleague:
- To ensure an area is safe before going in
- To administer first-aid
- To notify the management or person in charge as soon as possible
All of the above would ensure that the necessary accident investigation procedures can be set in place. When completing an accident report form, the following information is required:
- The contact details of the injured worker – this includes their full name, home address and telephone number, email address, date of birth and gender. On top of this, details of why they were in an area that left them injured. If another person fills out the accident report form on your behalf, they would need to include their contact details too
- Details of the accident and injury sustained – following an accident at work in which you suffered an injury, you would need to collect as much information pertaining to the incident together with the extent of your injuries and other damage that was caused in the accident. This has to include the date and time of the incident and where the accident happened. It is essential for this information to be “specific”, an example being on what floor or department the accident occurred
A complete detailed report of the injuries you sustained which must be recorded to ensure that you are provided with the correct treatment. This has to include the following:
- The type of injury you sustained – whether you suffered a broken or fractured bone, laceration, bruising or burn?
- What part of your body was injured?
- Did you need resuscitation or were you hospitalised?
- Were you take to hospital by ambulance?
- Were you ever unconscious?
- The number of days you were off work as a direct result of your injuries
The supportive evidence required is as follows:
- If a work colleague or other persons saw the accident, witness statements should be gathered which should include their contact details and if possible, a written statement of how the accident at work occurred
- Photos or CCTV footage of where the accident happened
- If available it is also useful to collect any Health and Safety Executive checks that were carried out in the past
Making a Record of the Accident
The following questions that you should ask yourself when making a record of the accident that left you injured, would help give an object picture of the circumstances surrounding the incident:
- How did the accident at work happen?
- Did you notice anything that was different than usual in your working conditions?
- Were you given the proper personal protective equipment?
- What job were you carrying out at the time of the incident and were you using any specific equipment to carry out the task?
- Offer an explanation of the events that led up to your accident at work
One of the main aims of an accident at work report, is to prevent further incidents that leave employees injured from happening. As such, the reason as to why an accident occurred is a main factor that needs to be addressed. A report could help identify whether the incident happened due to poor training, faulty equipment/machinery/ tools or because of human error.
Was Your Accident at Work a Reportable Incident?
Certain accidents at work must be reported to RIDDOR and should your employer fail to do so, they could be given a hefty fine by the enforcing authority. The procedure of reporting accidents in the workplace to RIDDOR is as follows:
- The person in charge whether an employer, manager or person who is in charge of the workplace should report an accident at work to RIDDOR. The report can be made online which would be sent directly to a dedicated database, a copy of which would be sent to the relevant person for their own records
- The report can also be made by telephone with the Incident Contact Centre being open from Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 5 pm
Filling Out an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Claim Form
Should you be entitled to industrial injuries disablement benefit following an accident at work and need help filling out the relevant form, the Barnsley Industrial Injuries Disablement office provides all the assistance you need which includes completing the form for you. You would be asked to check over the information before signing the form.
What is the Criteria for Accident at Work Claims Made Through Unison?
In order to claim benefits through Unison, you must be a member and meet the following criteria:
- That you were a member of Unison for 4 weeks before being involved in an accident at work that left you injured
- That you are not in arrears in your contributions
- That you adhere to the time limit when claiming the benefit which is within 12 months of the date of the accident at work in which you suffered injuries
- That you were injured carrying out your normal tasks or when travelling to and from your place of work or to where you were carrying out union business
It is worth noting that Unison members are not entitled to further benefits during a calendar year having received the maximum amount in a single claim. It is also noteworthy that when filling out the form, all the questions must be answered in full. If any questions are not fully answered, it could delay payment of the claim. The information required is detailed below:
- Your member details – this information is required as proof of your Unison membership
- Details of the accident at work – this information is required to establish whether you are entitled to claim the benefit and must include, the date of the incident, the date you left work due to your injuries, the details of the accident and how your injuries were sustained, the date you returned to work, whether you would be away from work for 6 weeks or more in which case you must wait before sending in your benefit claim form in order to receive the maximum amount payable
You would also need to provide bank details for the benefit to be paid by BACS. Should you prefer to receive the benefit by cheque, it can take 5 days longer for an approved benefit to arrive.
Can an Employer Fire Me for Making an Accident at Work Claim?
You cannot be fired for making an accident at work claim against your employer and if you are, you should seek legal advice because your employer could be in breach of your employment rights. If this is the case, you could file an unfair dismissal claim against your employer and if they treat you detrimentally for seeking compensation, you may also be entitled to file a detriment claim, in which case an employment law solicitor would be able to assist you.
What are My Rights Following an Accident at Work?
You have specific rights if you are injured in an accident at work and you cannot be treated detrimentally for seeking compensation from an employer. Your job must be kept safe even if you file an accident at work claim against your employer. You cannot be fired for doing so and if you are, you could file an unfair dismissal claim against your employer too. With this said, the best course of action should you be fired for “no good” reason, is to seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises not only in accident at work claims, but employment law too.
Getting Help From an Accident at Work Solicitor
Seeking legal advice following an accident at work can be expensive, but many solicitors offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis which means once a solicitor is satisfied that you have a strong claim against your employer because they were in breach of their duty to keep you safe in the workplace, they would begin representing you without having to ask for an upfront payment. Conditional Fee Agreements were set in place to help people who suffer injuries in the workplace or elsewhere, the opportunity of seeking accident at work injury compensation without worrying how they would pay a solicitor for the legal services they provide.
Once you have signed a CFA with a solicitor, the Terms and Conditions of the agreement are laid out together with details of the “success fee” which you would pay, but only on a successful accident at work claim. The amount payable is taken from the compensation you are awarded. You would not have to pay the solicitor if your case is unsuccessful because the solicitor took on the risk of not being paid a fee when entering into a Conditional Fee Agreement with you. In short, working with a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis when filing an accident at work claim takes all the worry of paying an upfront fee for legal representation off the table.