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Taking Responsibility for Workplace Accidents – Who is at Fault?

Personal injuries can occur within all professions, whether it is deemed a risk or not, such as construction in comparison to office work, but who is to blame if an accident was to happen?​

Taking Responsibility for Workplace Accidents – Who is at Fault?

When injured due to a workplace accident or poor working conditions the injured party is legally entitled to compensation which will aid recovery and reimburse financial losses. When such injuries occur, the impact can not only be physical but psychological and financial too and in some cases, can often be life changing.

Employers have a legal duty to protect their employees and to ensure that any work carried out in the workplace is done so in a safe manner.

When an employer has complied with health and safety regulations and has provided the employee with appropriate training but an injury still occurs due to the employee choosing not to follow instructions, the accident could be deemed as their own fault and they may not be entitled to compensation. Nonetheless, where an employer has not provided the employee with adequate training, facilities and equipment to allow the employee to carry out the job safely and an accident was to occur, the employer is liable and a claim can be made.

It is also possible to claim compensation where a co-worker is held responsible for the negligence as an employer is answerable for their employees’ actions. This is known as vicarious liability, which can also be argued when an employee has experienced negligence but is unable to identify the employee who was responsible. This allows the claimant to hold the company liable if they cannot prove which employees have acted negligently.

When an accident occurs in the workplace the employer should report such accidents and any injuries arising from them and when necessary allow the victim sick pay and time off. Both minor and major injuries should be recorded in the accident book and any fatal injuries must be reported. Such injuries may include broken bones, spinal injuries, dangerous injuries and brain injuries. Whilst it is the employer’s responsibility to report such incidents, when making a claim the claimant must ensure that the details of the accident have been reported correctly. If the employer does not have an accident book it is advised to record the details of the accident yourself and provide the employer with a copy. It is also recommended that when an accident occurs, the victim must visit the doctor no matter how minor or severe it may seem as this will prove useful if they wish to make a claim.

However, it is not to say that all accidents in the work place offer a claim for compensation. The purpose of compensation is to provide a solution to the victims’ losses whilst aiming to put them back into the position they would have otherwise been in, had the accident not occurred. While it is the employer’s duty to carry out regular risk assessments and to provide workers with the appropriate facilities they need to work safely, it is the employees’ obligation to take reasonable care over their personal health and safety.  

It is not uncommon for claimants to believe that if they file a claim against their employer, they will not have a job to return to. This is a common misconception and rarely occurs.

If you have been involved in an accident at work and you believe that your employer is at fault, you may have a claim for compensation. At Hodgkinsons Solicitors our specialist department of Personal Injury Lawyers represent individuals throughout Skegness, rural Lincolnshire and the UK. For a free case assessment on your claim, call the team on 01754 897150.