Everyone has a right to go to work every day with the expectation that they will return home again in one piece. Although the concept of health and safety legislation, and of rights for workers, is relatively new, great strides have been made since the introduction of the first legislation and we have now greatly reduced the number of serious accidents which occur in the workplace.
Unfortunately, these incidents still do occur now and then, and when they do it is important that workers are able to hold businesses to account. Whenever you suffer any kind of physical or psychological injury in the workplace, then you should ask yourself whether you think that your employer could reasonably have foreseen the incident occurring and whether they had adequate safety procedures in place to keep you from harm.
Accidents at Work
Your workplace should have some kind of accident book, a log in which all accidents, no matter how minor or serious, are recorded, along with the time and date. If your business does not maintain such a book, then you should still aim to record an accident diary yourself. Try and encourage your co-workers to do the same so that you can have a comprehensive accident book, even if your employer isn’t instituting such a thing.
Many of biggest chains and brands will already have comprehensive procedures in place for health and safety. Whether these procedures are adhered to in stores will depend upon the management team. It is often smaller and independent businesses that fail in their health and safety obligations, but this is an area where no business should be complacent. Part of their incentive for ensuring that they meet all their obligations is the threat of litigation should they fail in their duty.
Physical injuries can often be debilitating, either temporarily or permanently, and they are the most obvious type of personal injury. Physical injuries are injuries to the person. They can range from knocks and bangs which might have no external symptoms and may only be debilitating for a very brief period of time, to severe injuries and amputations that can be fatal or disfiguring.
The potential for physical injuries exists in any workplace. All it takes is a coat or bag left carelessly to cause someone to trip and sprain an ankle. But clearly, there are some workplaces which are more hazardous than others. Industries such as construction tend to contain the most hazards for workers as they go about their routine work.
If you sustain a physical injury at work, and you believe that the injury resulted from someone else’s negligence, then you should speak with a personal injury solicitor. Some law firms such as Roper James are focussed on workspace claims specifically, and therefore have more experienced injury lawyers in that niche – so ensure you choose a firm like this to help guarantee you get the right person working on your case.
These types of injury are usually less obvious than their physical counterparts. Psychological injuries can take time to manifest and can be harder even for sufferers to identify. Examples of psychological injury include mental illness arising from undue stress in the workplace. Employers have a duty to their workers emotional and psychological health, as well as their physical health.
Psychological illness in the workplace can often result from harassment or discriminatory behaviour towards an individual. This is an example where the psychological injury usually develops over time. Workers who are repeatedly discriminated against may develop depression or anxiety as a result, but this often takes time to appear.
Making a Complaint
If you suffer a personal injury while at work and you think that the injury arose because of either negligence or malice, then you should make a complaint to your employer. Making a complaint does not obligate you to pursue litigation, but it will ensure that your employer has an accurate record of events and will give them the opportunity to rectify their health and safety procedures. If you are intending to take the matter further and claim compensation, then it will help you to get your employer’s side of events.
How Much Compensation Can I Expect?
The amount of compensation that you receive will vary depending on the circumstances. Big sums of money are rare in personal injury cases. The biggest payouts will only be warranted by the most severe types of injury. Often, these payouts occur when the victim suffers serious and debilitating injuries that require long-term medical care. In such cases, the liable party will be required to pay an amount which reflects these ongoing costs.
Whenever an individual sustains a personal injury due to the negligence or malice of a third party, they may be able to claim for personal injury compensation. If you think that an injury you have suffered entitles you to compensation, then you should approach a personal injury lawyer immediately.