Published On: Thu, Jan 12th, 2017

Making a Claim against Your Employer in the UK

It is an unfortunate reality that each year many workers are involved in an accident at work. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that in the last year 1.2 million British workers have suffered from a work-related illness and 27.3 million working days have been lost due to workplace accidents and injuries.

We have prepared this helpful guide to give anyone who has suffered an accident at work some information about their legal position and how to make a claim for their injury.

What Responsibilities Does an Employer Have?

In general, an employer has a duty to provide a safe workplace for his or her employees. The particular responsibilities will depend upon the duties that the employee is expected to complete. For instance, if an employee is expected to retrieve items from height in a stockroom, they should be provided with equipment to do this safely. Any equipment they are provided with, e.g. a ladder, should be in good working order and should be well maintained. Employees should be trained to use this equipment safely.

Photo/Nodar Kherkheulidze via wikimedia commons

Along with the general duty to provide a safe working environment, there may be sector or industry specific standards that an employer must meet. This could be the oil and gas, construction or ship building industries. There may be a duty for employers to provide specific equipment to protect their employees from hazardous substances.

Making a Claim

To make a claim against your employer, you must be able to prove that your employer failed to meet the required standard of care that was expected of them. You must also be able to demonstrate that your injuries were a result of your employer’s negligence.

In cases where an employee was to blame for their own injuries, they will not be able to make a claim against their employer. For example, if a ladder was provided and the employee was trained to use it, yet they instead decided to climb on a table or chair to reach something at height and they were injured, the employee would be at fault.

However, sometimes both the employer and the employee can be a fault. This is called contributory negligence and the employee’s role in the injury would likely be reflected in any compensation award that is made and would reduce the final settlement.

Claims for accidents at work must be made within three years of the injury, so you should take action fast if you are thinking about making a claim. An exception to this would be a claim for an illness that takes many years to develop, such as mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer.

Employers have a duty to protect their employees from harm. If you have been injured due to your employer’s negligence, you can start your claim by getting in touch with an experienced personal injury solicitor.

Click here to find out more about making a claim in the UK.

Author: Molly McGrady

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