According to the Labour Force Survey, just over half a million people sustain an injury at work every year. The combined cost of injury and ill-health was estimated at £15 billion for 2017/18 (expect it to be far higher for 2019/20). But some of the costs of workplace accidents and injuries are more difficult to quantify, and not reflected in the statistics. An injury can cause feelings of helplessness and inadequacy; it can drive family members apart; it can head to further adverse health complications.
Getting the best possible outcome requires following a few steps. Let’s take a look at them.
Reporting the Accident
Workplace accidents should be recorded in a formal way. If the company in question has more than ten employees, this means recording the accident in an accident book. Employees, really, should know about this book prior to any accident actually being suffered.
Recording accidents is worthwhile for several reasons. It will allow patterns to be identified which will ultimately make the workplace safer. It’ll also provide evidence to back up any future claim.
The exact process through which you record an accident will vary from workplace to workplace (and country to country). It’ll also depend on your employment status. If you’re a freelance contractor working on a site, for example, the way you report your accident may be different to that followed by a salaried employee.
Making a report promptly will allow you to get the details across. If possible, you can document the cause, and any injuries, using photographs. Takedown the name of any witnesses, and ask them to contribute their testimony.
Seeing a GP
Some workplace injuries will require immediate emergency treatment. In other cases, you’ll want to see your GP as soon as you can. They will be able to document the extent of your injury in more exacting detail.
Getting Sick Pay
If your employee doesn’t provide sick pay, then you might be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, which will cover you for up to twenty-eight weeks. Alternatively, you might look into claiming Universal Credit.
Making a Claim
You may be entitled to legal compensation if the accident wasn’t your fault. Most claims for an accident at work are made a no-win, no-fee basis. This will ensure that you aren’t exposed to any risk and that you’ll get the expert to advise you need to get the best possible outcome.