What Procedures Must Be Followed If You Have An Accident At Work?

Did you suffer an injury in an accident at work? Did the accident happen because your employer breached their duty of care towards you? If so, and you would like to claim compensation for your injuries, you may find our guide helpful. 

What Procedures Must Be Followed When An Accident Happens In The Workplace?

In this article, we’ll look at the steps you and your employer should take following a workplace accident. For instance, we’ll look at how you should report the incident to the relevant people and ensuring you get proper medical treatment. 

Accident at work

Accident at work guide

Additionally, we’ll look at how compensation may be calculated. We’ll also look at what your payout could be made up of, provided you have the correct evidence. 

We understand that navigating the personal injury claims process alone can be daunting. However, we’re here to help. So if you don’t find the information you’re looking for in this guide, you can contact our team instead. They can answer your queries 24/7 and provide further clarification on anything you’re unsure of. 

Additionally, they can assess whether you hold a valid claim. If they determine that your claim has a good chance of succeeding, they could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor to represent you. 

Get In Touch With Our Team 

Please speak with a member of our team on the following for further information:

  • Telephone – 020 3870 4868
  • Arrange a call-back for a time that suits you, and a member of our team will call you
  • Receive instant help using the live chat feature at the bottom of the page

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About What Procedures Must Be Followed If You Have An Accident At Work
  2. What Is An Accident At Work?
  3. Inform Your Supervisor Or Manager
  4. Recording An Accident At Work
  5. Does The Accident Need To Be Reported To RIDDOR?
  6. Calculating Payouts For An Accident At Work 
  7. Documenting Your Accident At Work
  8. Subject Access Requests
  9. Check The Injury Claim Limitation Period
  10. Where Can You Get Help?
  11. Contact A Solicitor
  12. Claiming For An Accident At Work On A No Win No Fee Basis 
  13. Other Information On What Procedures Must Be Followed If You Have An Accident At Work?
  14. FAQs About What Procedures Must Be Followed If You Have An Accident At Work?

Everything You Need To Know About What Procedures Must Be Followed If You Have An Accident At Work

There are various ways you could have been injured at work. For instance, you may have broken your leg in a fall or suffered an amputated thumb after using equipment that was faulty. 

However, in order for you to seek compensation in a personal injury claim, you need to be able to prove that negligence occurred. To do this, you need to show that:

  • An employer owed you a duty of care
  • The employer breached their duty of care
  • You suffered an injury as a result 

Every employer owes their employees a duty of care. In accordance with the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, they should do everything they reasonably can to keep employees safe from harm while working. Failing to do so could result in an accident leading to harm.

For example, you could break your leg in a fall because your employer failed to store equipment away safely. Or you could experience hearing loss if you weren’t provided with the correct Personal Protective Equipment that you needed to do your job safely. 

What Is An Accident At Work?

An accident at work could result in you suffering either physical or psychological harm caused by your employer’s failings. 

Examples of this might include:

  • Experiencing a severe head injury and damaged spinal cord after falling from a defective ladder that your employer failed to fix 
  • Poor housekeeping meant that you slipped and fell on a puddle of water, fracturing your wrist as you tried to break your fall
  • Contracting occupational diseases such as asbestos-related illnesses due to your employer failing to give you the PPE you need to reduce the risk of illness 

There are a number of different things that your employer is expected to do to reduce the risk of accidents at work that could cause injury. This duty of care is outlined in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

For example, an employer should:

  • Provide appropriate training and supervision for job roles
  • Supply any PPE that’s needed to do the role safely, for example, goggles and safety shoes 
  • Maintain good housekeeping, for example, by making sure that wires and cables are tidied away and walkways are clear

If you’ve been involved in an accident type that we haven’t mentioned, don’t worry; you may still be able to claim. You could be owed compensation if your employer’s negligence led to an accident that caused you to be injured.

Workplace accident statistics in Britain 

Employers reported 65,427 employee non-fatal injuries in 2019/20 through the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR)

The most common accident kinds reported through RIDDOR that resulted in non-fatal injuries were:

  • Slips, trips or falls on the same level 
  • Handling, lifting or carrying
  • Struck by a moving object
  • Acts of violence
  • Falls from height 

The graph below highlights the nature of some of the most common non-fatal injuries employees suffered. The Health and Safety Executive provided these figures.

Accident at work statistics graph

Accident at work statistics graph

Inform Your Supervisor Or Manager 

There are several reasons why you should report the accident to your supervisor or manager after an accident at work. Firstly, making them aware can provide them with the opportunity to ensure you receive first aid treatment. They can also assess whether you need further medical treatment. 

In addition, they can look at how the accident happened and put procedures in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This might be by providing additional training to employees carrying out a similar role or updating the systems or equipment used in the job role. 

The person who you inform about your accident might vary. In some cases, it could be your direct manager or supervisor. In others, it may be more appropriate to inform your line manager. Some organisations have a member of staff responsible for health and safety; if so, it may be best to inform them.

Recording An Accident At Work

According to RIDDOR, the accident book is classed as an essential document and all organisations that employ more than 10 people are legally required to have one. It’s good practice to record any accidents, incidents or injuries that take place at work in the book.  

It’s a way of detailing the series of events that led to you suffering an injury in the accident. For instance, did you fall? What part of the body did you hurt? How severe was the injury? Did you require a trip to the emergency room? Did anyone see the accident happen?

The details you provide can help an employer see where they went wrong and put preventative measures in place to stop the same accident from happening again. Additionally, it can help to create a detailed record of the accident, which could help to support your claim for compensation. 

The accident book should be filled out as soon as possible after an accident, as this means that the details will be noted down while they are still fresh in everyone’s minds. If you can’t fill out an accident book report at the time, for example, because you’re incapacitated or need emergency medical treatment, a colleague could do this for you. 

Does The Accident Need To Be Reported To RIDDOR?

In addition to recording the accident in the accident book, certain injuries or incidents need to be reported through RIDDOR. In this section, we’ll look at what RIDDOR is, what accidents and injuries need to be reported to them. 

What is RIDDOR?

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) is a piece of legislation surrounding the reporting of work-related illness and injury. It stipulates that employers and anyone else in control of work premises need to report and keep a record of certain accidents and injuries. 

The reason for this legal requirement is to ensure enforcing authorities such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities are made aware of any risk. For instance, if a certain industry is seeing a big rise in reportable incidents, this could indicate that action needs to be taken to stop this from continuing. 

What accidents does RIDDOR record?

There are only certain kinds of injuries that are reportable under RIDDOR. These are: 

  • Fatal accidents
  • Specified injuries to workers. These include fractures that aren’t to the fingers, thumbs or toes, serious burn injuries, loss of consciousness caused by a head injury and amputations. 
  • Cases where an employee has been diagnosed with certain industrial diseases
  • Any injury that has caused an employee to be away from work for more than 7 consecutive days after the accident.
  • Any injury to a non-worker (for example, a member of the public) where they’ve been taken straight from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment for their injuries.

If an employee has been incapacitated for more than 3 but less than 7 consecutive days following an accident at work, then this doesn’t need to be reported under RIDDOR. However, it must be recorded.

An incident is “work-related” if it was caused, or significantly contributed to, by:

  • The way the work was carried out 
  • Machinery, substances or equipment used for the work
  • The condition of the site or premises where the accident took place

Types of reportable injuries

There are certain injuries, industrial diseases and occurrences that an employer must report through RIDDOR. This might include:

  • All fractures, excluding those to the fingers, thumbs and toes
  • Amputations to the arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe
  • Complete loss of sight or reduced vision
  • Carpal-tunnel syndrome
  • Occupational dermatitis
  • Hand-arm vibration syndrome

If you would like to know more about suing your employer for injuries you sustained due to their negligence, speak to our team today. They will be happy to offer you free legal advice.

Calculating Payouts For An Accident At Work 

For personal injury claims, you may be able to seek compensation for the physical or psychological injuries you’ve suffered. You could claim for this under general damages, which take into account the pain and suffering caused by your injuries. They also take into account whether the injuries have left a long term impact on you, such as a permanent disability. 

General damages may often form the bulk of your compensation. However, you may also be able to claim any financial losses you’ve suffered under special damages. These might include:

  • Loss of income caused by your inability to work 
  • Care costs 
  • Travel costs such as getting taxis or buses to and from medical appointments 
  • Loss of pension for serious injuries that result in you being unable to return to work
  • Loss of attendance bonus 

Some websites offer a personal injury calculator that you can use to assess how much compensation you could be owed. Instead, we have created a table detailing estimated figures of the compensation you could receive for certain injuries under general damages.

The figures in the table come from the Judicial College Guidelines. These are guideline compensation brackets that legal professionals can use to help value compensation claims.

InjuryDetailsAward
KneeSevere: (i) Injuries that have resulted in a lengthy treatment and symptoms such as severe pain, loss of function and led to the development of osteoarthritis.£65,440 to £90,290
KneeModerate: (ii) Knee injuries such as lacerations, twisting or bruising that led to persistent discomfort.Up to £12,900
AnkleModerate: Injuries such as fractures or teared ligaments that cause difficulty walking or standing.£12,900 to £24,950
AnkleModest: Minor fractures or sprains.Up to £12,900
WristA Colles' fracture that is uncomplicated In the region of £6,970
WristMinor fracture or soft tissue injuries that require a plaster or bandage but result in a complete recovery within 12 months.£3,310 to £4,450
FootAmputation of one foot£78,800 to £102,890
Post-traumatic stress disorderModerate: The person's symptoms such as problems sleeping or flashbacks will have eased substantially.£7,680 to £21,730
Psychiatric damageLess severe: Consideration will be given to how long the person suffered an impact on their ability to carry out daily activities.£1,440 to £5,500

For more information on how much compensation you could be owed, speak to a member of our team using the number above. 

Will I need to provide evidence when seeking compensation?

In order to seek compensation for your injuries, you will need to provide medical evidence. This might include records of doctor appointments, diagnoses or treatments given. 

Furthermore, an independent medical report may be used alongside other medical evidence to show the state of your injuries and to prove that you sustained them in the accident in question. This may be obtained through an independent medical assessment you may be invited to attend as part of your claim.

Additionally, you will need to provide evidence of any financial losses. This might include:

  • Payslips that show any loss of earnings, attendance bonuses or pension
  • Receipts that show any travel or care expenses incurred

Documenting Your Accident At Work

Evidence will be required to support your claim that you suffered an accident at work. For instance, you may acquire the following to build a strong case:

  • CCTV footage of the accident happening
  • Pictures of the accident scene 
  • Pictures of your injury
  • Copies of the accident book report
  • Witness details 

For more information on the evidence you may need to obtain in support of your claim, get in touch with our team. They’ll be happy to give you free legal advice about what kind of evidence could help you get more money from your claim.  

Subject Access Requests

According to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), you are entitled to make a right of access or subject access request (SAR) to your personal data. With regards to an accident at work, employees could use a SAR as a way to request information an employer may have about their accident or injury. 

For instance, this might include:

  • Correspondence that mentions the employee or the accident, such as emails or accident book records
  • Documents or files with an employees details such as information on their employment or occupational health records

You can make a SAR in writing via letter or email, or verbally in person or over the phone. However, the ICO recommend that you put it in writing if you can. This means that you have a record of the request. If you do make a subject access request verbally, you should follow this up with an email or letter.

Call our team if you have any questions about your right to access your personal data. They can help you collect the evidence you need to strengthen your claim. 

Check The Injury Claim Limitation Period

The general time limit as per the Limitation Act 1980 is three years. This might start from the date of the accident or the date you became aware that your employers’ failings caused the accident in which you were injured. There are some exceptions to this time limit, however. 

If you’re under 18 at the time you’re injured, the three years will start from the date you turn 18. Before this, a litigation friend may be able to make a claim on their behalf. A litigation friend can be anyone with the claimant’s best interests at heart who can represent them in the claims process. 

If the injured person lacks the mental capacity to pursue their own claim, the time limit will be suspended unless they recover. They will then have three years from the recovery date. If they don’t regain their mental capacity, the three years will continue to be suspended.  In the meantime, a litigation friend can claim on their behalf. 

You may not be sure how long you have to start a personal injury claim. We would always recommend starting a claim as soon as possible after an accident. However, if you’re not sure whether you’re within the time limit to start a claim, our team can help; give us a call today. 

Where Can You Get Help?

We understand it can be daunting collecting evidence for a personal injury claim after an accident at work. However, there are enforcing bodies that can help. 

For instance, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a government agency that provides guidance on preventing accidents that lead to injuries in the workplace. 

They can carry out investigations based on reports of workplaces failing to uphold their duty of care to staff. If they find employers have failed to prevent harm, they can take enforcement action. 

Additionally, the ICO is an independent regulatory body that enforces organisations to follow data protection laws. They can provide help and information on accessing your personal data in relation to your workplace accident. 

Contact A Solicitor

Although there is no requirement for you to hire a solicitor in order to pursue a claim, there are a number of benefits to doing so. 

For instance, all the solicitors from our panel can provide expert advice, having handled similar claims in the past. They are able to advise you on the evidence you’ll need and can accurately assess how much your claim is worth.

Additionally, they can keep you updated on the progress of your claim every step of the way. This can be especially helpful if you are dealing with other things such as work, looking after children or another person who may be dependent on you. 

Furthermore, every solicitor from our panel works on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay upfront costs. Our next section gives some more insight into what this means.

Claiming For An Accident At Work On A No Win No Fee Basis 

A No Win No Fee agreement means you can avoid upfront costs and any ongoing costs that incur over the course of your claim. Additionally, you won’t be asked to pay solicitor fees provided your solicitor fails to win your case. 

If your claim is successful, you’ll be asked to pay a small success fee that will be deducted from your overall compensation package. However, your solicitor will make you aware of this before your claim goes ahead, and you will always be guaranteed the majority of the compensation you’re awarded. 

If this is something you’d like to consider, our team of advisors can assess whether you hold a valid claim. If you do, they can connect you with a solicitor from our panel who could represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. 

For more information, get in touch using the following details:

  • Telephone – 020 3870 4868
  • Arrange for an advisor to call you back at a time that suits you 
  • Get instant advice by chatting with an advisor on live chat at the bottom of the page

Other Information On What Procedures Must Be Followed If You Have An Accident At Work

For more information on accident at work statistics, see the HSE website.

If you’re not sure whether your injury requires a trip to A&E, visit the NHS website.

For more information on preventative measures that could be taken in the workplace, see the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

If you suffered an injury in a slip and fall on the ice at work, see our guide for further help.

Was your injury caused by inadequate training in the workplace? If so, our guide could help.

For more information on whether you could claim on behalf of someone else, see our guide. 

FAQs About What Procedures Must Be Followed If You Have An Accident At Work?

In this section, we have provided further information on reportable incidents in the workplace.

What must be reported after an accident at work?

Employers should report any specified injury, disease or dangerous occurrence through RIDDOR. For instance, deaths, occupational asthma or an incident where structures have fallen down. 

Do all accidents at work have to be reported?

No, your employer only needs to report certain accidents and injuries through RIDDOR. However, it’s good practice to keep a record of all accidents that occur. 

Whose responsibility is it to report an accident at work?

It is your employer’s responsibility or the person in control of the work premises to report the accidents. Members of the public and employees cannot make RIDDOR reports. 

Do I get paid if I have an accident at work?

You may receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you have to take time off work because of an injury. This government guide could let you know if you are eligible. 

Thank you for taking the time to read our guide on the procedures you should take following an accident at work. We hope you found it helpful. 

Writer AC

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