People fear they will lose their job if they make a claim for an accident at work that could have been avoided if the right equipment and training had been provided to employees in the first instance.
As part of the new matters team I have come across several cases where someone has been injured as a result of an accident at work. It is clear that their employer was at fault for not implementing a safe system of work. In some cases having not been trained correctly they are most likely to have been asked to sign a document to confirm they have received training. This is not always a true fact and they have not had satisfactory training. I have come across claims whereby a claimant has avoided making contact with a solicitor for several months as they have been asked not to, or most commonly, they fear they will miss out on promotion or even worse lose their job.
Employers are likely to pay sick pay for a short time which can sometimes result in an injured person getting into financial trouble. These people feel pressurised into returning to work too soon having not made a full recovery, resulting in further health problems and problems within the workplace. Accidents should be reported straight away to an immediate supervisor, making sure it is recorded in an accident book. A Solicitor should be contacted as soon possible for advice and no one should have to worry what an employer will say. At Ralli Ltd we have trained solicitors who can provide advice before making a claim.
An employer should have the correct insurance to cover their employees when accidents occur in the workplace. Employees should be aware that employers are required by law to provide a duty of care and a safe system of working, a safe environment, the relevant training, protective clothing and equipment.
An example is the case Wilsons and Clyde Coal Co Ltd v English (1938), where Lord Wright said: “The whole course of authority consistently recognises a duty which rests on the employer, and which is personal to the employer, to take reasonable care for the safety of his workmen, whether the employer be an individual, a firm or a company, and whether or not the employer takes any share in the conduct of the operations.” This case also established the elements of what this duty means in practice.
The House of Lords held that the employer must provide:
- Proper and safe plant and equipment
- Safe systems of work, with adequate supervision and instruction
- Safe premises, including safe access and egress
- Safe and competent employees