Involved in an Accident at Work? Steps to Consider
As human beings, we’re prone to making mistakes, but it’s not unusual for employees to suffer from an accident at work that wasn’t their fault. However, many workers are uncomfortable with taking action, after such an incident occurs; perhaps they are afraid of career ramifications or they just don’t want to get the company in trouble.
Yet, failing to follow the correct personal injury protocol can lead to other employees suffering the same fate. So, not only is it important that you do this for yourself, but it’s crucial for your co-workers’ safety too.
Here’s what you should do, following an accident.
Report the incident to your line manager or supervisor. Your side of events should be recorded in the Accident Book. Specify clearly what happened and who you believe to be at fault. Your business is required by law to have an Accident Book on the premises, so request it when you’re able.
Before you sign the Accident Report, ensure that you believe it’s entirely factually correct. Don’t let your employer pressurise you into signing. If you think the incident hasn’t been accurately documented, ask for amendments to be made. Once you sign, you are legally agreeing to the content.
Write a journal and track any injuries you have sustained. It’s particularly important to record your side of the story, so you can remember crucial details, later down the line – do this soon after the accident, while the facts are fresh in your mind.
Keep any evidence that proves your version of events is correct. For example, witness contact details and photographs.
Seek medical attention as soon as you possibly can and get a professional diagnosis. Even if you think your injuries are minor, it’s crucial that you do the right thing and put your health first.
If you plan to make a claim, you need to have your medical condition on record, after the incident. There must be a link in the doctor’s notes with the accident at work, to show ‘causation.’
Your notes should also include your diagnosis and any treatments or medication you’ve been given. Follow the doctor’s orders to the t.
You must do what you can to keep your losses low. This means going back to work when you’re able and seeking all the treatment you possibly can; even if that means it’s being paid for by you. Normally, that expenditure will be recoverable.
Making a claim can be a big decision, so you should seek out legal advice – a lot of accident at work solicitors will offer up the first consultation at no charge. You do have three years to settle your claim, but it’s best to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.
Different rules do apply to minors (those under 18 years-old) – they have a three year time limit, which begins after their 18th birthday.