Accidents at work can be very serious. Some workplaces involve the use of machinery or tools that can cause serious injury if not used safely. In other apparently safer environments such as offices or shops, injuries can happen where employers fail to take the lead in ensuring someone has thought about how work can be done as safely as it should. Allowing people to lift things that are too heavy or to fall off wobbly step ladders is often because an employer has not been proactive, and has tolerated unsafe practices.
The responsibility for safety at work rests first and foremost with employers. Employers control what goes on at work. They are the ones in a position to tell people what to do, and to find out how to do things more safely.
Good employers take the lead. They think about risks at work and how they can be made safer. Sometimes, despite all care having been taken, someone will suffer an injury anyway. No workplace can be risk-free, and not all accidents are the employer’s fault.
Is my employer to blame for my accident at work?
To show that an employer has broken the law in some way, it is necessary to show that they have been negligent. One of the factors to be taken into account is whether they have complied with the various health and safety regulations.
In addition, sometimes employers can be responsible for accidents suffered by people who are not their employees, for example people working for other employers at the same location. These situations are common in places where several different employers may be working together, such as building sites.
Employers will be negligent if they don’t take sufficient care to:
- Ensure your fellow employees are safe, competent and properly trained and instructed. Employers are usually liable for careless acts committed by their employees;
- Ensure equipment, tools and vehicles are safe and suitable for the purpose for which they are used;
- Ensure the workplace is reasonably safe, for example that the temperature is reasonable, that the floor is not slippery or dangerous, that there is adequate ventilation etc; and
- That you have sufficient training, instruction and supervision to allow you to work safely.
Specific regulations govern health & safety at work, and an employer is likely to be negligent for failing to comply with them.
For further information regarding Health & Safety Regulations please download our guide here
At Hunt & Coombs our lawyers have many years’ experience dealing with workplace accidents, and can advise on what laws may have been broken and what you can do to put things right.
Do you need help with a potential workplace accident claim?
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