An Employer’s Responsibilities Following a Workplace Accident

By Marianne Parrish. Last Updated 25th March 2022. Welcome to this guide which explains accident at work employer’s responsibilities in the UK. Do you know your employer’s responsibilities after a workplace accident? Would you know if you had an accident at work, an employer has a responsibility to report it in certain instances?

employers responsibilities accident at work employers responsibilities uk accident at work employer responsibility workplace accident

Accident At Work Employer’s Responsibilities In The UK

This guide aims to help you understand your employer’s responsibilities in regards to protecting your health, safety and wellbeing in the workplace. Some of the boundaries surrounding what your employer should and shouldn’t do following a workplace injury can be confusing. We could clear them up for you and aid you in comprehending them more clearly.

If you’ve suffered an accident at work that was the fault of your employer, then call us today. Read on for our contact information and for more information about whether you could receive compensation following an accident in the workplace.

Get In Touch With Our Team After A Workplace Accident

There are a number of ways you can get in touch with us. Here are the main three:

  • Call us on 020 3870 4868.
  • Chat to us using the live chat feature in the bottom right corner.
  • You can also fill out our claim online form.

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About An Employer’s Responsibilities When Staff Are Injured At Work
  2. What Are Accidents In The Workplace?
  3. What Accidents In The Workplace Can You Claim For?
  4. Calculating Compensation For An Accident In The Workplace
  5. Your Employer’s Duty Of Care To Keep You Safe At Work
  6. Your Employer’s Duty Of Care To Properly Train You For Your Job
  7. Employer’s Duty To Record And Report Accidents In The Workplace
  8. Do Employers Have To Give You Sick Pay?
  9. How Much Time Do I Have To Claim For A Workplace Accident?
  10. I Suffered An Accident At Work, What Should I Do?
  11. Do You Handle Workplace Injury Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?
  12. Other Information Related To To Accident At Work Employer’s Responsibilities For UK Workers
  13. FAQs About Your Employer’s Duty Of Care And Accident At Work Employer’s Responsibilities For UK Workers

Everything You Need To Know About An Employer’s Responsibilities When Staff Are Injured At Work

An accident in the workplace can happen in almost any working environment. For the people responsible for the safety of the working environment, which is usually the employers, the responsibilities can be quite an exhaustive list. If a workplace injury occurs and is caused by an employer’s negligence, then a personal injury claim could be made.

This is just one reason why all employers have responsibilities to protect employees’ health and safety in the workplace. Knowing what these responsibilities are could help you to recognise when your employer may not have fulfilled them properly, or at all. 

This guide aims to help you understand the responsibilities your employer has in order to make sure your safety is protected. It also looks at what steps you can take should that responsibility be breached and you suffer an injury.

What are the accident at work employer’s responsibilities in the UK for temporary workers?

If you are a temporary or agency worker, you may be under the impression that you would not be able to claim compensation. After all, you would not have the same status as an employed worker. When it comes to accidents in the workplace, you would have the same rights to claim compensation.

You would need to be able to prove that your employer had breached their duty of care towards you. The injuries you have received must have resulted from the breach of this duty of care.

If you’d like to discuss your case with an advisor, call the number at the top of the page. They offer free legal advice and you’re under no obligation to proceed with the services of our panel of lawyers after chatting.

What Are Accidents In The Workplace?

Accidents in the workplace can occur through your own or someone else’s negligence. If the accident occurs because your employer breached their duty to protect your safety and you’re injured, you could make a claim. Such accidents could include:

  • A fall down stairs, resulting in a broken ankle because an employer was aware of it but didn’t take the opportunity to fix a broken handrail.
  • An ice slipping incident resulting in a broken wrist because an employer didn’t properly risk assess a hazardous walkway or lay down grit.

There are many ways in which you could be injured in the workplace. Your employer should report certain workplace accidents and injuries through RIDDOR. Additionally, you could report the incident yourself to the Labour Force Survey.

Below is a graph containing figures from both RIDDOR and the LFS on non-fatal injuries in the workplace. Cross-referenced, you can see the differences between the figures of self-reported workplace accidents and incidents that employers have reported. (The graph contains self-reported injuries that resulted in over-7-day absence. The RIDDOR percentages are for employer-reported non-fatal injuries to employees.) 

What Accidents In The Workplace Can You Claim For?

Employers’ responsibilities are rarely limited to one specific aspect of the workplace. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 outlines the ways that the safety of the workplace can generally be achieved.

Employers in various industries will often have different injuries and accidents to safeguard against. Some jobs may have greater inherent risks involved, whilst some will be much safer by comparison.

Slips, Trips and Falls 

This is a common way to be injured in the workplace, as you can see from the HSE’s 2020-21 figures below.

accident at work employers responsibilities uk accident at work employer responsibility workplace accident

Falls on the same level can occur due to a number of reasons. They could take place due to poor or unsafe flooring conditions. For example, if a floor has been mopped then a wet floor sign should be put in place to warn passersby. If there is not clear and present signage, someone could walk over the wet area and fall. 

Falls such as this can cause injuries like:

  • Bruising
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Sprains
  • Fractures

Suffering an injury following a slip and fall accident at work could often be avoidable. It is the responsibility of your employer to ensure the safety conditions of all walking areas in the workplace.

Faulty Workplace Equipment 

Many employees require specialist equipment to properly perform their job. Industries that use heavy machinery can be particularly hazardous. For employers, their responsibilities include the supply and adequate maintenance of such equipment.

If your employer has not maintained or risk assessed equipment appropriately, this could lead to a workplace accident that you could hold them liable for. To find out more, why not get in touch today?

What are the accident at work employer’s responsibilities in the UK for providing PPE?

A breach of employers’ responsibility may involve the failure to supply employees with necessary equipment altogether. If there has been a recognised need for PPE  to make a job less risky, this is something an employer should do. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) needs to be given to those working in roles that require it.

Medical professionals will need appropriate PPE when dealing with things such as infectious diseases, for example. Hospitals not taking reasonable steps to supply this could be in breach of their responsibility to keep their staff safe.

The PPE that is provided should be maintained correctly and should fit the person that is using it. The person that is using it should also be trained in how to use PPE appropriately.

If you are injured in a workplace accident due to the lack of provision of PPE, you could make a claim for compensation against your employer.

Work Road Traffic/Vehicle Accidents 

For employers, their responsibilities when staff are injured at work can extend to ensuring they have the appropriate requirements to operate the vehicle they require them to use for work purposes. This could include an industrial vehicle like a forklift truck, or even just a car.

If an employee is injured at work due to a fault with a vehicle, this too could also be the responsibility of the employer. That is, providing the employer failed to ensure adequate risk assessments were carried out. Any responsibilities being neglected could lead to a personal injury compensation claim.

Accident At Work Employer’s Responsibilities For UK Workers – Repetitive Strain Injuries

Some working roles can involve tasks that require repetitive actions. In some instances, it is the responsibility of the employer to make sure workers are being properly rested to avoid repetitive strain injuries.

Accident At Work Employer’s Responsibilities For UK Workers – Manual Handling Injuries

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 contains detailed procedures that must be followed when engaging in manual handling. Manual handling and lifting heavy loads cannot always be avoided in certain roles. If an employee needs to engage in strenuous activities such as these, they should receive the proper training.

An employee could be injured due to inadequate training. As a result, it could lead to a claim being filed.

Calculating Compensation For An Accident In The Workplace

One of your employer’s responsibilities should be to have employer’s liability insurance to cover claims for accidents they’re liable for. Whether or not you could be owed compensation for a workplace accident can be a grey area for some. 

When your claim is being calculated, there are two main figures to consider. One is general damages. These compensate you for the physical and mental suffering caused by the injuries.

Solicitors may value general damages with the help of the Judicial College Guidelines. The JCG lists various sums you could stand to be awarded for injuries. There are different figures for injuries to individual parts of the body. The severity of the injury and the length of recovery can affect the payout amount. 

Below, we have included a table that lists some examples of general damages. These are potential sums that can be claimed for. 

InjuryCommentsAmount
Achilles TendonMinor injury resulting in some damage to the tendon.£6,820 to £11,820
Wrist InjuriesResulting in complete loss of function.£44,690 to £56,180
Neck InjuryMinor neck injury where a full recovery is made within three months.Up to £2,300
Foot InjuriesAmputation of one foot.£78,800 to £102,890
Injuries to the ElbowLess severe elbow injuries causing impairment of function but not involving major surgery or substantial disability.£14,690 to £30,050
Fractures of Nose or Nasal ComplexSimple undisplaced nose fracture with full recovery.£1,600 to £2,370
Fractures of JawsSimple fracture and complete recovery.£6,060 to £8,200
Fractures of CheekbonesSerious fractures requiring surgery and having long-term consequences.£9,570 to £14,810
Psychiatric Damage GenerallySevere problems with ability to cope with life and a very poor prognosis. £51,460 to £108,620

Special damages can also form part of your claim. This bespoke figure can differ greatly from case to case. Special damages are designed to cover any financial losses you may have incurred as a result of your injuries including loss of earnings. This can cover a variety of expenses, and there is no real upper limit to the amount. You should, however, be able to prove your costs by keeping evidence such as receipts, invoices or bills.

You may also potentially be able to claim compensation for future losses your accident at work may cause. For example, if you will continue to need costly medical treatment for your injuries, you could potentially claim these costs before they have occurred.

Your Employer’s Duty Of Care To Keep You Safe At Work

As outlined in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, your employer has a duty of care to keep you safe at work. By not taking reasonable steps to ensure your working environment is as safe as possible while you perform your role, they could be seen to be acting negligently. 

However, it is not entirely down to your employer to make sure that you don’t get hurt at work. Part of the responsibility rests with you, the employee, as well. For a lot of employers, their responsibilities when staff are injured at work may have already been fulfilled. In other words, just because you have been injured in the workplace does not necessarily mean that your employer was the one at fault. 

If an employer has taken every reasonable step to make your working environment as safe as possible, they could suggest that your negligence caused your injuries. In some cases, your actions may have contributed to the injuries, though your employer could still be liable. If this is determined to be the case, then any compensation you receive could be reduced to account for your share of responsibility.

If you’re unsure as to whether your injury was caused by a breach of duty of care, then get in touch with us today. Our advisors are ready and waiting to help clarify the situation for you and discuss your employer’s responsibilities.

Your Employer’s Duty Of Care To Properly Train You For Your Job

Part of your employer’s duty of care involves providing the proper training for your job. Without proper training, you could risk the chances of sustaining an injury at work. This is especially true, but not limited to, industries that involve a lot of manual labour.

Not only does training staff help to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, but it can also help to create a safer workplace environment on a larger scale. After training, employees should know more about the risks to look out for, and what hazards could occur while carrying out their role.

Employer’s Duty To Record And Report Accidents In The Workplace

Employers should have an accident book at their place of work. Your employer has a responsibility to record injuries in the workplace. Details of how the accident occurred, including any signs of injury, are just some of the pieces of information that should be recorded in the accident book.

The accidents that lead to certain injuries must be reported through RIDDOR by the employer too. The list of reportable injuries includes:

  • Fractures other than fingers, thumbs and toes (that are diagnosed by a doctor)
  • Amputations
  • Serious burns
  • Loss of consciousness following a head injury or asphyxia
  • Fatal accidents
  • Injuries that have led to sight loss
  • Crush injuries to the head or torso that cause internal organ damage
  • Scalping that requires hospital treatment

If you’ve suffered a workplace injury that wasn’t your fault and are concerned that your employer’s responsibilities haven’t appeared to include logging your injury, get in touch today.

What is an accident report book?

According to the HSE, the accident book is an essential document for workplaces with ten or more employees where the details of workplace accidents and injuries should be recorded.

Any reports in this book could also be used as key evidence for your claim.

What should be recorded in an accident book?

While only certain accidents and injuries need to be reported under RIDDOR, it’s good practice for all workplace incidents to be recorded in the accident book.

Is it illegal to not have an accident book at work?

Only workplaces that have 10 or more employees on site are legally required to keep an accident log book.

Do Employers Have To Give You Sick Pay?

“I had an accident at work does my employer have a responsibility to give me full pay?”

If you are injured in an accident at work, you might have to take time off work to recover. If you do, you may not receive the full amount of pay. If you could prove that your accident and injuries were due to your employer’s breach of duty of care, you could claim loss of earnings.

Your employer must pay you statutory sick pay (SSP) if you’re too injured or ill to work and you’re eligible for it. At the time of writing, it reaches a maximum of £96.35 per week and is only payable for up to 28 weeks. There are certain factors that must be met to qualify for this payment, such as your average weekly earnings.

Employers may offer contractual or occupational sick pay. This could provide you with longer-term, full sick pay. However, this is not lawfully required. You can check your contract or ask your employer to see if they supply this.

How Much Time Do I Have To Claim For A Workplace Accident?

Claiming for an injury sustained in a workplace accident is a time-sensitive affair. In some circumstances, the time window to file your claim can function slightly differently.

General Accident Claims

There is a 3-year time limit for many personal injury claims. This means that you could have 3 years from the date of the injury to file a claim.

In some cases, you may not be aware of an injury or illness sustained through no fault of your own in a workplace. You may only become aware of the injury at a later date. In this case, you have 3 years from the date your symptoms are diagnosed as work-related or are given enough information to make the connection between your employment and your condition. This is known as the date of knowledge.

This can be difficult to prove. Therefore, it’s important to gather medical information to back up your claims.

Child Accident Claims

The 3-year window works a little differently when claiming for a child injury. Anybody under 18 cannot pursue their own claim. Because of this, the 3-year time limit does not apply until their 18th birthday. Prior to this date, the claim could be made on their behalf by someone known as a litigation friend. A litigation friend can be a parent, guardian, friend or even a legal representative.

Alternatively, the victim themselves can pursue the claim after they turn 18. 

Claiming For Those Mentally Unable to Do So For Themselves

If the workplace accident has left the claimant in a reduced mental state (such as in a coma), then the 3-year window is frozen until they return to the mental state they were in before the injury. A litigation friend, however, could claim on their behalf.

If you need any help understanding your employer’s responsibilities and how this could affect your claim, get in touch.

I Suffered An Accident At Work, What Should I Do?

There are a number of steps that could be vital to increase your chances of success further down the line. 

  • Seek medical careMaking sure you receive medical treatment should take priority initially. Treatment may lead you to have access to medical records for evidence during your case.
  • Gather other evidence: Photographs of the hazards that caused your injury can also be important. Written witness statements and visual records of your wounds are also examples of relevant evidence.
  • Seek legal advice: This isn’t necessary but is highly recommended. A specialist personal injury solicitor should be able to help you take your next steps. Speaking to our advisors may result in you being put in touch with our panel of lawyers.

Do You Handle Workplace Injury Claims On A No Win No Fee Basis?

Our panel of solicitors have helped many people pursue a personal injury claim under a No Win No Fee agreement. If you have a valid claim, they may be able to help you too.

A No Win No Fee agreement means that, following the end of a losing case, you won’t be responsible for paying your solicitor fee. Following a winning case, your solicitor would take a legally capped percentage as a success fee from your compensation amount.

Personal injury cases can be a draining experience, both mentally and physically. By working with us under a No Win No Fee arrangement, you can avoid the concern of being landed with unaffordable legal bills.

Call us today and we can begin the process together:

  • Call us on 020 3870 4868.
  • Chat to us using the live chat feature in the bottom right corner.
  • You can also contact us through our claim online page.

Other Information Related To Accident At Work Employer’s Responsibilities For UK Workers

Here are some additional resources regarding this subject.

  1. A detailed list of injuries that must be reported to RIDDOR.
  2. How to claim if you’re injured at work.
  3. Claiming for slips, trips and falls on ice at work.
  4. Bruised Rib Injury Claim
  5. How Do You Prove Employer Liability?

FAQs About Your Employer’s Duty Of Care And Accident At Work Employer’s Responsibilities For UK Workers

Accident at work employer’s responsibilities for UK workers – Do all employers have a duty of care?

Employers have a legal duty to ensure the safety of their employees as stated in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This includes agency, casual, and part-time workers.

This is not an absolute responsibility. An employee can still injure themselves at work without the employer being at fault. If the employer has taken reasonable steps to make the working environment as safe as possible, then they may not be liable.

Accident at work employer’s responsibilities for UK workers – Can I sue my employer for lack of duty of care?

If you think that your employer’s action or inaction led to your workplace accident in any way, you may be able to claim compensation for any injuries sustained. Even if you believe you were partly accountable for how the incident occurred then you may still be eligible for a partial payout.

This is known as a split liability agreement, where both parties accept some part of the responsibility for the workplace accident. When this occurs, your compensation is adjusted accordingly. For example, if you accept 70% of the responsibility, you would likely only receive 30% of the compensation you would have otherwise.

Final words on accident at work employer’s responsibilities for UK workers

Thank you for reading this guide to an employer’s responsibilities in terms of health and safety. Hopefully, you now understand the accident at work employer’s responsibilities under UK law. If you believe your accident at work was due to duty of care being breached, please call us. We could tell you if you could claim for your workplace accident.