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What Happens if An Employer Does Not Report an Accident in the Workplace?

It is a legal requirement to record accidents at work whether in an Accident Book or by some other official means. There are specific workplace incidents and “near misses” as well as work-related diseases that by law must be reported to RIDDOR. If you work for an employer who does not have an Accident Book, you should send either a personal email or a letter sent recorded delivery to your employer that provides an in-depth report of the accident and the injuries you suffered while at work, remembering to retain a copy for your own records.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

To find out more about reporting accidents at work, your employer’s responsibility to ensure this has been done and what happens if an employer does not report an accident in the workplace, please read on.

What Are Reportable Accidents and Incidents at Work?

As previously mentioned, there are specific workplace accidents, near misses and work-related health issues that employees may develop due to the work they do that by law must be reported to RIDDOR, the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. Should your employer fail in their duty send a report to the authority, they run the risk of receiving hefty fines. Reportable incidents, accidents and dangerous occurrences in the workplace are detailed below:

  • Accidents at work that result in fatalities
  • Accidents in which employees and other staff suffer serious injuries and as a consequence have to take more than seven days off work in row
  • Industrial diseases
  • Near-misses deemed dangerous (dangerous occurrences)
  • Members of the public injured in a work environment

An employer or the person in charge of a work environment is legally obliged to report any of the above incidents to RIDDOR as soon as it is feasibly possible followed by an official report of the incident being sent to the authority within ten days of the report having been sent.

With this said, any injuries that are referred to as “over-seven-days”, the report has to be sent to the authority within fifteen days of an incident happening. It is also worth noting that “over-3-day” injuries must be officially recorded either in an Accident Book or by some other means but do not need to be reported to RIDDOR. If an employer has an Accident Book, it means they are adhering to the Social Security (Claim and Payments) Regulations Act.

Over-3-day injuries refer to those that incapacitate a employee or other worker for more than three days in a row. In short, they are unable to do their “normal” duties in the workplace which does not include days off or weekends which also applies to “over-7-day” injuries.

Would an Employer Get Fined For Not Recording or Reporting Accidents at Work?

Should your employer fail to report an incident that must, by law be reported to RIDDOR, they would receive hefty fines through a magistrates court which can be anything up to £20,000 or they could receive an unlimited fine through the Crown Court. As an employee who was injured in an accident at work, you have the right to ask an employer whether the incident was reported to the relevant authority or not.

Would My Accident at Work Claim be Valid If Not Reported?

If you do not have a report of the accident at work that left you injured, it may be harder for you to claim compensation. However, if you have an official medical report of the injuries you sustained in the workplace, this will certainly help strengthen your case. An experienced personal injury lawyer would be able to build a case against your employer using the report. With this said, the more evidence you have the stronger a claim would be. The sort of proof you would need to provide would include the following:

  • Photos of your injuries which should ideally be taken before you receive any medical treatment
  • Photos of where the workplace accident occurred – if there is CCTV footage, your employer must provide this when you request that they do
  • Statements from fellow workers and other people who witnessed the workplace accident
  • Contact details of all witnesses
  • Records of previous accidents and incidents in the workplace

What if My Employer Ignores Health and Safety at Work Regulations?

An employer is legally obliged to ensure that a work environment is safe and that they have set in place “all reasonable” measures to reduce the risk of harm coming to employees, other workers and anyone who visits the business. Should you or any other person, or fellow worker sustain injuries in a workplace accident because your employer ignored the law, they would be deemed negligent and could receive fines on top of the accident at work compensation the injured party would receive in a successful personal injury claim lodged against them.

Employers should also designate first-aid officers in a workplace and they must ensure that the correct first-aid supplies are available so that should you sustain an injury in an accident at work, the person who is designated as a first-aid officer would be able to provide any initial treatment that you may required.

What Should I Do If I Am Injured in an Accident at Work?

Even if you are not thinking about seeking compensation from an employer by filing an accident at work claim, there are certain steps that must be taken if you are injured which are listed below:

  • Make sure the workplace accident is reported either to the person in charge or your employer directly
  • Make sure you follow the correct procedure as set out by an employer if you are injured at work
  • If you cannot report the incident yourself because your injuries prevent you from doing so, you have the right to ask a trusted fellow worker to report it on your behalf. You also have the right to check that all the details have been correctly recorded when you are able to
  • Make sure you get as much evidence as you can which includes photos of your injuries, where and when the accident at work occurred, witness statements and their contact details

Although you may not wish to claim compensation at first, you could find that a little further down the line what you thought were minor injuries were in fact, a lot more serious. As such, having gathered as much proof that you sustained your injuries while carrying out your work, the stronger your claim against an employer would be even if you have waited a week or two before filing an accident at work claim against them.

Is There Anything I Should Not Do If I Am Injured in an Accident at Work?

If you are injured in the workplace, there are specific things that you must not do and this includes if you think you may be partly liable for the injuries you suffered. The reason being that you should discuss your case with an accident at work solicitor first because they may be able to prove “contributory” negligence on the part of your employer. This would entitle you to seek compensation from them although the amount you may be awarded would take into account the level of responsibility you are deemed to have had.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Other things that you must avoid doing if you are involved in an accident at work and suffered injuries includes the following:

  • Do not sign anything – even if your employer hints that you may lose your job or be made redundant if you don’t. It is worth noting that if an employer insists that you sign a document admitting liability for the workplace injuries you sustained, a judge could well disregard the document because it could be deemed that you were forced to sign it and therefore it would not be seen as an admission of liability

Could My Boss Sack Me if I Insist That They Report an Accident at Work?

An employer must have a very good reason other than the fact that you are injured in an accident at work and you insisted that the incident be officially recorded whether in the Accident Book, by some other means or to RIDDOR. Should your boss try to intimidate you, threaten you or even hint that you stand a good chance of being fired, you must seek legal advice from a solicitor because your employer would be in breach of the law. This could entitle you to seek further compensation from them.

The fact that an employer hesitates, refuses or just does not want to report a workplace accident to RIDDOR, could leave them open to a hefty fine. Should your case go before the Crown Court, as previously mentioned, the fine your boss would receive could be “unlimited”. On top of this, the fact that an employer receives fine would add tremendous strength to your case against your boss.

What is the Time Limit To Reporting an Incident to RIDDOR?

Accidents that leave employees suffering from severe injuries, work-related diseases, near-misses and fatalities must be reported to RIDDOR immediately or as soon after the incident occurrence as possible. This can be done through the RIDDOR website. However, this initial report must be followed up with a written report of the incident within ten days following the initial report that was sent to the authority.

What is the Time Limit To Filing an Accident at Work Claim?

Accident at work claims for compensation must be filed within 3 years of an incident occurring. With this said, the 3 years can begin at different times which is explained below:

  • Three years from when you were injured while carrying out your job at work
  • Three years from when you turn 18 should the workplace accident have happened before this date
  • Three years from when you are diagnosed as suffering from a health condition linked to the injuries you sustained in the accident at work

If you wait for too long, you may find that your claim against an employer could end up being “time barred”. In short, this means that even if you have plenty of evidence proving employer negligence, you would not be able to file an accident at work claim against them. However, should your employer have been fined by either a magistrate or in the Crown Court for not having reportable injury to RIDDOR, a lawyer may be able to provide crucial legal advice on whether you could still seek compensation from your employer.

Can I File an Accident at Work Claim If There is No Record of the Incident?

Although it would be not such a straightforward case, you can still file an accident at work claim if there is no record of the incident. You should always seek medical attention when injured while carrying out a job whether you believe your injuries are slight or more severe. Having a medical report of the workplace injuries you sustained would add weight to your case. Other evidence you would need to provide to prove an accident at work that has not be reported, would include the following:

  • Witness statements
  • Witness contact details
  • Photos of the injury you suffered
  • Photos of where the incident occurred
  • CCTV footage of the accident if available
  • Records of previous workplace accidents

If the accident at work that left you injured was “reportable” to RIDDOR, you should ask your employer or the person in charge if this has been done. If not, your employer would be liable to receive a hefty fine from the enforcing authority which could be up to £20,000 if the case goes before a magistrate. However, should the case be heard in a Crown Court, the fine would be unlimited.

Would a Personal Injury Lawyer Work on My Case on No Win No Fee Basis?

Once a personal injury lawyer has assessed your claim and they believe you have a very good chance of winning whether your case goes to court or your employer’s insurers decide that an out of court settlement would be the best route to take, the solicitor would work on your claim having signed a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win No Fee agreement). This takes all the stress of finding the money to pay the solicitor and the only time that you would have to pay, is when you win your case. On top of this, the amount that would be due to the solicitor would be taken out of the accident at work compensation you are awarded. Should your case not win, you would have no legal fees to pay for the legal advice and representation you received from a personal injury lawyer.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Informative Links

If you were injured in the workplace and would like more information relating the law on employees keeping an Accident Book, the following link provides more in-depth information on the topic:

More about keeping an Accident Book in the workplace

If you sustained a serious injury in the workplace and would like to know if a report needed to be sent to RIDDOR, the link provided below lists all the incidents and injuries that must by law be reported to the authority:

Incidents and injuries that must be reported to RIDDOR

Injured at Work, What Benefits Can I Claim?

If you are injured at work, you can check to see what benefits you may be entitled to claim. First, however, you should go through your contract of employment to see whether your employer pays “contractual sick pay” if you are injured in an accident at work and as a consequence need time off to recover from the injuries you sustained.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

To find out more about getting paid and receiving benefits you may be entitled to receive if you are unable to work, please read on.

Check Your Employment Contract if Injured at Work?

If you are injured at work and want to know if you would be paid even you are off recovering from the injuries you sustained, one of the first things you should do is check the terms of your contract of employment to see if any of the following applies to you:

  • Whether you would receive “contractual sick pay”
  • Whether you would have access to medical care or if there is a support helpline for injured employees

Should you not have a contract of employment or there is no mention of sick pay in the terms of your employment, you can ask the person in charge or your employer if you are or are not entitled to contractual sick pay. You could also check whether it is written into a staff handbook or intranet.

If you are classed as an “employee” or as an “agency worker”, you could be entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay – SSP – but this would only be for up to 28 weeks and the amount you would get would be £94.25 a week.

How To Check if You Are Entitled to Sick Pay When Injured at Work

Providing you are not self-employed and you work, you would be entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay – SSP as long as the following applies to you:

  • You are working for an employer at the time
  • You are off sick for four full days or more in a row which includes non-working days
  • Your average earning are a minimum of £118 a week (gross – before tax)
  • You are not classed in one of the “ineligible categories
  • You abide by your employer’s guidelines for receiving sick pay

It is worth noting that if you are injured at work and you work part-time or you work on a fixed-term contract, you could still be entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay.

Should you be classed as a casual or agency worker carrying out a job on an assignment when you are injured at work, you may be entitled to receive SSP right up until the end of the assignment. Should you have already agreed to work on another assignment, you may be entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay until the end of that assignment if you are injured during the second assignment you have undertaken for an employer.

If you are on a “zero hours contract”, you may still receive sick pay and should ask your employer to pay it. Should they refuse, you have the right to ask them why and if you are not happy with the answer you are given, you should seek advice from a personal injury lawyer.

Your employer must provide you with a written explanation if they say you do not qualify and they should provide the information a form known as “Statutory Sick Pay and an Employee’s Claim for Benefit – SSP1″. An employer should provide the form within seven days which begins from the time you are off sick. You would need this form in order to claim any benefits you may be entitled to receive if you are injured at work and need time off to recover. Your employer is obliged to give back the doctor’s notes that you provided too.

Should your employer refuse to provide you with the form SSP1, you should do the following:

  • Ask your employer for a written statement explaining the reasons why you would not receive SSP. You have the right to give your employer a copy of the SSP1 form for them to fill in.
  • You should contact HMRC if your employer does not give you the form SSP1 or a written statement. HMRC would then request that you employer provides a reason why they deem that you would not be entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay

When you contact HMRC, you would need to provide the following information:

  • Name, address and your national insurance number
  • The name of your employer together with their contact details
  • Your payroll number
  • The details of what your employer said when you requested an SSP1 form and sick pay and when you were off work

Should you not be working when injured, you would not be entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay – SSP.

Why Would I Not Be Entitled to Receive Statutory Sick Pay?

You would not qualify to receive Statutory Sick Pay if the following applies to you:

  • You are self-employed
  • You have already received Statutory Sick Pay for 28 weeks which ended with the last eight weeks
  • You have received Employment and Support Allowance – ESA – in the last twelve weeks
  • You are receiving Maternity Allowance or statutory maternity pay
  • You are pregnant and your child is due in four weeks or less with your illness being pregnancy-related
  • You gave birth in the last fourteen weeks – or in the last eighteen weeks should your bay have been born four weeks prematurely
  • You are part of the armed forces
  • You are in custody which includes being in prison or detained by the Police
  • You are an agricultural worker

What If I Am Not Entitled to Statutory Sick Pay When Injured at Work?

If you do not qualify for Statutory Sick Pay, you may be entitled to receive Universal Credit or some other type of benefit should you not be able to work having been injured in an accident while carrying out your job.

What Other Benefits Could I Receive When Injured at Work?

If you are injured at work and need time off to recover from your injuries, as previously mentioned you may be able to claim Universal Credit. You can also check on the Citizen’s Advice website to see if there any other benefits you may be entitled to receive. This could be Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which you could qualify for should you require long-term assistance in doing everyday chores or to get around.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

What If I Already Receive Benefits, Can I Still Claim if Injured at Work?

You would still be entitled to receive tax credits when you are off work and you are receiving sick pay. You may find that some of your existing benefits may increase whereas your normal salary would be less than when you are working. You should inform the department of your situation so they can tell you whether you may be entitled to other benefits while you are recovering from your workplace injuries.

Can I Claim a Tax Refund if Injured at Work and Need Time to Recover?

If you are injured at work and need time off to recover, you may be entitled to receive a tax refund. Even when you are off work, you would still have to pay National Insurance and tax which in short, means you may be able to get some of the money refunded.

What Happens When My Sick Pay Ends When Injured at Work?

You may be entitled to receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you as a result of being injured at work leads to you suffering from a long-term medical condition. You would be entitled to begin a claim for ESA, three months prior to your sick pay ending. It is worth noting that an application can take some time to process which in short, means the sooner you send in an application, the sooner you would receive a reply.

Consider Claiming Accident at Work Compensation From Your Employer?

If you are injured at work and the incident occurred through no fault of your own but rather through the error on the part of a work colleague or through employer negligence, you may be entitled to seek compensation by filing an accident at work claim against your employer. Your boss is liable for the actions of all people who under their control in the workplace so if a fellow worker causes an accident in the workplace in which you got injured, you could still seek compensation for the pain and distress you suffered.

What Time Limit Do I Have to Make an Accident at Work Claim?

It would depend on several things as to when the statutory 3 year time limit linked to personal injury claims which are as follows:

  • 3 years from when you were injured at work
  • 3 years from when you are diagnosed as suffering from some sort of medical condition that a specialist has linked to the workplace injury you sustained
  • 3 years from your 18th birthday if you were injured at work before this date

What Damages and Losses Can I Include in an Accident at Work Claim?

Personal injury compensation is divided into two parts which are general damages for the pain and suffering as well as any loss of amenity you endured that can be linked to the injuries you sustained in the workplace and special damages which are awarded to compensate you for all your out-of-pocket expenses. This would include travel and medical costs you had to pay as a direct result of the workplace injuries you suffered and any other expenses that can be linked to your injuries.

Who Pays Accident at Work Compensation?

Employers must by law hold liability insurance with a minimum cover of £5 million. The insurance provider must be a recognised company and employer should displace the certificate in a prominent place so that all employees and other workers can clearly see it. The amount of accident at work compensation you receive would be paid out by your employer’s insurer who would handle the case from start to finish whether they decide to settle out of court or should your case be disputed, before a judge in court.

It is worth noting that the majority of personal injury cases are settled prior to going to court because should a judge rule that you should be compensated, your employer’s insurers would not only have to pay their own court costs but yours too.

Are There Any Benefits to Working With a Solicitor on a Claim?

There are many benefits to working with a personal injury solicitor when you are injured at work and would like to seek compensation for the distress, pain and loss of income you had to endure even though you were not at fault. A solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims would provide a free, initial consultation so they can assess your case and to seek whether they can prove employer negligence. You would be under no obligation to proceed with an accident at work claim against an employer should you wish not to.

If the solicitor you contact feels that your employer could be held liable for the workplace injuries you suffered and you have strong evidence to prove your claim, they would typically work on your case without requesting that you pay them to do so. This would involve signing a Conditional Fee Agreement and once you enter into the contract, the solicitor would begin their investigations. Other benefits and advantages of being legally represented when filing an accident at work claim includes the following:

  • Personal injury lawyers can access “legal libraries” which they reference when researching precedents and to determine how much accident at work compensation you may receive
  • They have the legal expertise required when communicating with insurance companies and their lawyers
  • Solicitors understand the pre-action protocols that have to be followed and are respectful of the statutory 3 year time limit associated with personal injury claims. In short, you would not run the risk of your claim being “time barred” if you contact a lawyer sooner rather than later
  • A solicitor would let you know how much accident at work compensation you may receive at the earliest opportunity
  • They would arrange for you to be examined by a private medical expert and the report they provide would be used to calculate the level of general damages you could be entitled to receive
  • Should your employer deny liability for the workplace injuries you suffered, the solicitor working on your behalf would investigate their claim thoroughly, bearing mind that if often only takes a first official solicitors letter for an employer and their liability insurance providers to accept responsibility for a workplace accident
  • Should you require long-term, ongoing treatment and/or therapy, a personal injury lawyer would ensure that the cost is included in the accident at work compensation you receive

Would a Personal Injury Lawyer Represent Me on a No Win No Fee Basis?

As previously mentioned, if a personal injury solicitor feels that you have enough evidence to prove employer negligence, they would represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. As such, you would not have to pay for the legal services they provide. The only time you would pay is when you receive your accident at work compensation and the agreed percentage would be taken directly from the money you receive rather than you having to pay the solicitor out of your own pocket.

Should your lose your accident at work claim against your employer, there would be no fees to pay the solicitor because these would be waived due to you having signed a No Win No Fee agreement with them.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Informative Links

If you were injured at work and would like more information regarding your eligibility to receive Statutory Sick Pay, the following link takes you to the Government website that sets out the criteria necessary and provides essential reading on the SSP1 form:

SSP eligibility and the SSP1 form

To read more about the law regarding employer’s liability insurance, please follow the link provided below:

Employer’s liability insurance – the law

The link provided below takes you to the Health and Safety Executive website that provides in-depth information on reportable incidents:

Reportable injuries in the workplace