It can be highly distressing to suffer an accident at work, particularly if you’re severely injured. You may find yourself out of work for a prolonged time or even suffering injuries with lifelong consequences for you and for your family.
There are a few simple steps you should take if you suffer an accident at work, making sure that everything is recorded both for a potential negligence claim and so that what caused your accident is addressed at work.
Report your accident
Make sure to follow your employer’s procedures on how to report an accident work, alongside letting your colleagues and your manager know about what happened should you have been by yourself. Should you have suffered a serious accident, your employer may be legally obligated to report it to the Health and Safety Executive.
Injuries need to be recorded in an accident book, particularly if you have been left incapacitated for more than seven days due to your workplace accident. These accident books are mandatory for all organisations so that accidents at work are appropriately logged.
Go to the hospital or to your GP
Even if you think your accident wasn’t serious or you feel fine, you should always visit a doctor or your GP. Certain injuries can take some type to show symptoms, potentially leading to a life threatening situation. Additionally, you will have a medical record detailing any symptom and injury that resulted from your accident at work.
This medical record is vital for making a claim. Make sure to listen to your body and visit a hospital or a GP as often as needed – it might be the difference between proving how severely you were affected with long-standing issues and not being able to properly explain how you were affected.
Keep a record of any expenses
Accidents at work can affect your income by being serious enough that you can’t be at work for a long period of time or you are permanently incapable of working. You may also have high expenses with physiotherapy or making home adjustments to make your life easier.
Injuries can last years, if not a lifetime, and you may incur severe financial losses that need to be recorded. Your compensation claim will be more accurate the more information you can gather and provide.
Gather relevant information
Should you be thinking about making a claim, it’s important that you gather all relevant information about your accident. This can be photos or video evidence, a medical report, a document stating how your employer may have neglected your work conditions, or any other document regarding your injury.
When in doubt, it’s considered best to gather all information, should you need it. Collect any statements from all parties involved with your accident, to ensure that all details of the situation are available.
Analyse all of your information
Piece together all the information you’ve gathered so you can easily establish the reason for the accident happening. This is vital to classify the cause of your accident as an underlying, immediate, or deeper one.
Make sure to also catalogue your symptoms in an up-to-date document, guaranteeing that you have an accurate and thorough record of all of your symptoms. The hospital or the GP may not write down every symptom you have, preferring to focus on the more serious ones. A claim may take longer than expected to be resolved, and your symptoms can affect you long-term or your memory fade.
Consider making a claim
Even if there has been an accident investigation, you might want to consider making a claim. This is particularly important if your injury has resulted from improper training, defective equipment, or a work surface that was slippery or cluttered.
Your employer may be liable for negligence if you haven’t been provided with adequate training or your work environment wasn’t safe. At work, you can reasonably expect protection from accidents and dangerous equipment that may be harmful to you.
You may feel pressured to sign a document stating that the accident’s blame fall on you, however, don’t agree to sign anything before consulting with an expert.