Some accidents are unavoidable; they are just simply ‘accidents’. Other accidents are more complex than that. If you have an accident at work, it is quite likely that your employer’s negligence is to blame.
Every employee has a right to a safe working environment and every employer has a duty to provide that. This means making health and safety a top priority. The sad fact is that many employers don’t and the Guardian revealed in 2006 that workplace accidents take the life of one young person each month.
It may not be intentional, but often health and safety can be neglected. Employers can keep putting it off and it only becomes a priority when an accident has already happened.
You can’t put a stop to accidents forever but you should be aware of the steps you could take to avoid accident and what to do if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in one.
One of the best ways to prevent accidents is to provide comprehensive safety training to all new employees with regular refresher sessions for employees that have been at the company a while.
If you feel you have not received adequate training for your job, speak to your employer about your concerns- you could be saving yourself and many others from injury.
Stress can be Dangerous
A large proportion of workplace accidents are believed to occur because stress levels at work are too high. If the working environment isn’t happy, then the chances are it isn’t safe either.
To tackle this, employers should be encouraged to introduce a flexi-time approach to working hours, to fit around any problems the employee might have.
If workers are performing potentially risky procedures, the employer should not put stress on getting it done quickly. If you think you are under so much pressure to work quickly that it is putting you in danger, you need to speak to your employer.
Your employer should carry out regular risk assessments. This should examine both the working environment and the way in which tasks are carried out.
The aim is to eliminate risky procedures wherever possible and take every step necessary to ensure the safety of employees. Your employer should be regularly updating procedures at work to eliminate risks.
What Kinds of Work Put You Most at Risk?
You are most likely to have an accident if you work in: construction, factory environment or catering. However, anything from office work to shop work can lead to slips and trips, if the environment is poorly maintained.
In construction work, there is a risk of falling from scaffolding, or injuring yourself using tools. Factory work poses a threat because of the large and heavy machinery involved. Catering may seem less obvious in terms of risks, but a large number of people are seriously scalded as a result of hot water spills in the kitchen each year.
What To Do if There is An Accident
In order to get compensation for an accident at work, you need to prove that your injury was sustained as a result of negligence on the part of your employer.
You should try to follow these steps:
- Seek medical attention if needed.
- Look for witnesses – make a note of anyone that saw the accident.
- Take photographs of where the accident took place.
- Report the accident to your employer. They should keep a log of all accidents. If it is a serious accident, your employer has a legal obligation to report it to the authorities.
If you feel that the accident was due to negligence, you should consider making a workplace accident claim. This is to compensate you for the effects of your injury, your loss of earnings and any travel or medical costs incurred as a result.
Hopefully this gives you an idea of what you can do to eliminate the risks in your workplace and how you should approach the aftermath of an accident to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.