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.
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
- 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.
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.