Is An Employer Responsible For An Employee’s Injury?

What Are My Employer’s Responsibilities If I Am Injured At Work?

Injured in accident at work

Injured in accident at work

Have you suffered an injury within the workplace? Did you fall from scaffolding that was not properly set up or did you receive burns from not having gloves when handling chemicals, for example? If so, then there may be a possibility that your employer could be deemed responsible for your injury. If they are, then you could potentially make a personal injury claim for compensation for any losses sustained as a consequence of your injury as well as the pain/suffering you have experienced from the injury itself. In this guide, we explain all about employer responsibilities in terms of the health and safety of staff. We will outline how employer liability affects compensation claims and offer information on the personal injury claims time limit too.

Here at Accident Claims UK, we could help you with questions about injury at work rights, employer responsibilities and making claims for compensation We could provide you with a no win no fee solicitor to help you if employer liability exists in your case, and they could help build a case for compensation on your behalf, allowing you to concentrate on your recovery. If you would like to speak to us about anything contained in this guide, then please do call us on 0800 073 8801, and we’ll be delighted to help you. Otherwise, why not read on to see if we’ve already answered your question.

Select A Section

A Guide To Employers Responsibilities For Accidents At Work

Whether you have suffered a trip over a trailing computer wire, a fall from an improperly secured ladder, or sustained a crush injury because a safety guide failed or was not fitted to machinery you were using, you could consider making a compensation claim with the help of a personal injury lawyer. This is because, in the examples above, employer responsibilities with regards to health and safety may not have been up to scratch. Within this guide, we’ll explain more about what those employer responsibilities are, along with giving some examples of the kind of negligence that could lead to an accident at work claim. We’ll also explain what may be needed to prove a claim, what kind of damages you might expect to receive and how we could provide a personal injury solicitor that could help you claim after a personal injury at work. We’ll also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about making a work accident claim, such as:

  • What should an employer do when an employee is injured on the job?
  • Who has responsibility for recording injuries at work?
  • Can you get fired for an accident at work?
  • Does an employee have injury at work rights?
  • And more…

We do hope you find the information contained in this guide useful. There are also some further reading links at the bottom of this page.

When Is An Employer Responsible For An Employee’s Injury?

Is an employer responsible for an employee’s injury? This rather depends on the circumstances of your accident at work. If you are injured in a work accident, it might be your own fault. If you act dangerously or negligently at work, and you injure yourself as a result, then you would not be able to hold your employer liable. However, if employer responsibilities have been breached with regards to their health and safety provision, you might be able to make a claim if you are injured at work as a result of this.

No matter who is at fault for an accident at work, your employer should report the accident in the accident book, as well as reporting relevant injuries to the relevant authorities. They should also be able to provide evidence that they worked to prevent such an accident taking place. This is because employer responsibility towards health and safety is required by law. According to the Health and Safety at Work Act, anyone working for an employer should have their health and safety taken care of by their employer. Steps that an employer may take to adhere to the accident at work employer’s responsibilities in the UK would likely differ between industries but could include:

  • Taking risk assessments and acting on these to reduce specific risks
  • Removing hazards in the workplace or notifying employees of any hazards that cannot be removed
  • Providing training to avoid known risks of their job, which could include manual handling training and more…
  • Providing protective equipment to employees when risks cannot be removed (According to the PPE Regulations)
  • Ensuring such equipment, as well as workplace machinery is checked and maintained, repaired or replaced when required
  • Ensuring you are trained to use the PPE you are provided with
  • And more…

You also have some responsibilities for yourself with regards to your own health and safety. According to the Health and Safety at Work Act, you should not put yourself at risk, and you should also act with responsibility towards others who could be injured if you act irresponsibly. You also are required to comply with your employer’s health and safety requirements.

In order to make a claim, you would have to prove employer liability, and your claim should be submitted within the personal injury claims time limit. This limit is normally 3 years from the date of an accident, or the date of the discovery that your injury was due to a breach of employer responsibilities. There are a few exceptions to this 3-year limit, however, so you may wish to call us to make sure you are within the required limit for your claim.

Statistics Highlighting Accidents In The Workplace

  • Statistics released by the HSE for 2018 reveal that in 2017/18, 144 workers died due to workplace injury, with 555,000 non-fatal injuries reported to the Labour Force Survey 2017/18.
  • Some specific injuries and work-related illness statistics include:
  • 71,062 non-fatal injuries were reported to RIDDOR for this period
  • 9 million working days were lost to employee injury
  • 135,000 injuries led to over a 7-day absence from work
  • 420,000 injuries led to absences of less than 7 days
  • 31% of non-fatal injuries reported were due to slips and falls
  • 21% were due to manual handling injuries

These may serve as a reminder that despite some employers doing all that they can to avoid accidents taking place, employee accidents and injuries do happen. It would be prudent to note, however, that the statistics above do not differentiate between those that may have been caused by the negligence of employer responsibilities and those caused by employee error or unforeseen factors.

What Accident At Work Claims Could Our Team Handle?

As there are a huge variety of workplaces and jobs available in the UK, so too are there a multitude of different types of compensation claim that could arise from a failure in employer responsibilities towards health and safety. If you suffer an injury at work and employer responsibilities were breached, you could look into making a claim for any number of different employee injury cases. Whether you have suffered a back injury at work in the UK due to improper training or instruction in regards to manual handling, or have had a work accident that is the result of the failure to provide PPE, if you can prove employer liability then you could claim compensation. In the below sections, we look at some scenarios in more detail, but if yours is not listed below, then do not hesitate to call our team so we can assess your claim to see if we could provide a solicitor to help you.

Claims For Accidents Involving Faulty Equipment

While you are at work, it could be expected that equipment that you needed to use as part of your role would be safe for you to use and kept in good condition. If the equipment is faulty or fails because it has not been well-maintained, an employer may be deemed liable for failing to look after your health and safety in this manner. There are regulations to cover the provision of equipment to employees, and these regulations stipulate that your employer should safeguard employees against any accidents resulting from faulty equipment. Your employer should regularly check, service, maintain, repair or replace equipment where necessary. Failure to do so could be a breach of employer responsibilities and if you are injured as a result, and a solicitor could prove employer liability then you could be eligible for compensation.

Claims For Assaults In The Workplace

If there is some risk of violence in the workplace, your employer should ensure that they do all that they can to try and keep you safe. While some workplaces and roles carry more of a risk of an employee being a victim of assault, any risk of violence should be considered when looking at employer responsibilities towards health and safety. In fact, the HSE has produced a guide for employers on what they should do to protect employees from such harm. If an employer fails to protect you as much as could be deemed reasonable, and you are injured, then you could make a claim for compensation.

Claims For Accidents Caused By A Lack Of Proper Training

As we have previously mentioned, some workplaces are riskier than others and some have specific risks that could be reduced by training an employee to perform their job in a safe manner. For example,

If your job involved lifting or carrying, your employer should ensure that you are correctly trained in manual handling. If you use specific machinery, you should receive training on that machinery, with specific guidance on the operation of any safety features. If you are required to use protective equipment for your work, then you should receive training on how to use that PPE.

If you feel that your accident at work could have been avoided had you received the proper training on how to do your job safety, then why not speak to us to see if employer liability could be proved, and whether you could be eligible for compensation.

Claims For Injuries Caused By A Lack Of Personal Protective Equipment

We touched upon the use of PPE within the workplace earlier on, but this is another of the employer responsibilities that, if ignored could cause you to suffer injury. As part of the risk assessments an employer must undertake, if the use of PPE is identified as an appropriate way to reduce risk, it should be provided to the employee by the employer. The PPE they provide to employees should be well-maintained and regularly checked as being fit for use. You should also receive training on how to use it correctly. If this does not happen, your employer may be liable and if you are injured as a result, you could claim for compensation.

Claims For Driving Accidents At Work

It is also true that employer responsibilities extend to taking care of the health and safety of those who drive for work. Commuting to and from the workplace from home would not be covered under this, but where you are required to drive as part of your job, ie delivering, driving to sales appointments etc, this could be covered. If your employer has not risk assessed this part of your job or has not taken necessary steps to avoid/reduce foreseeable risks, and you are injured as a result, a claim for compensation could be made.

Claims For Slip Or Fall Accidents At Work

As we previously highlighted in the statistics section of this guide, slips, trips and falls are the largest cause of employee injury at work. Your employer should risk assess the workplace for such hazards and work to reduce the risks of this type of accident as much as reasonably possible. This may include:

  • Putting in place spill management procedures (ensuring spills are cleared quickly and signposted until they are cleared)
  • Putting in place procedures for wet/cold weather risks of slips and falls (e.g. putting down grit in winter, providing any lip mats at entrances etc)
  • Ensuring the workplace is free of trip hazards
  • Ensuring work at height is compliant with HSE regulations for working at height
  • And more…

If you employer has failed to protect you from a foreseeable risk of a trip, slip or fall and you become injured, a personal injury solicitor could help to prove employer liability, which could make you eligible for compensation.

Could I Be Dismissed Or Sacked If My Employer Is Liable For My Accident?

Are you worried you could be dismissed after an accident at work? Then let us put your mind at rest.

You should not be treated differently by your employer if you are injured due to their negligence and are making a claim. In fact, if your employer has been negligent in their employer responsibilities towards you, then they may have already broken their legal obligations, and if they were to try and sack you because you highlighted this negligence to them and asked for compensation, then they could also be breaching the Employment Rights Act of 1996. They are also required under the act to take out insurance to pay for compensation in such cases, and your claim could be paid for from this insurance.

Employee Injury Personal Injury Claims Calculator

As there are so many different injuries that could happen in the workplace, it would be impossible for us to list guidelines compensation amounts for all injuries on one page. Instead, we have taken a snapshot of some injuries that could occur because of an accident at work and presented the guideline compensation amounts from the Judicial College so that you could get an idea of how much your injury could be worth. This works as a quick alternative to a personal injury claims calculator but do please remember that these are guideline amounts and may differ from the amounts below depending on the result of the medical assessment you would be required to undertake as a part of your claim.

Type of injuryBracketNotes
Forearm Fracture£6,190 to £18,020Simple fractures
Elbow injuries (less severe)£14,690 to £30,050No significant disability, and no surgery required, but some impairment of function
Hand injury (less serious)£13,570 to £27,220Crushing injuries with a significant impairment to functionality, with or without surgery
Loss of a Thumb£33,330 to £51460
Knee injury (Moderate)£13,920 to £24,580Tears to the cartilage, meniscus tears etc that cause minor instability. Could cause weakness, or another mild disability in the future.
Toe injuries (Severe)£12,900 to £29,770Crushing injuries deemed to be severe. Amputation of 1-2 toes that do not include the great toe, bursting injuries or other injuries that leave the claimant with continuing symptoms.
Work Relating Upper Limb Disorders£20,560 to £21,700Surgery required with loss of employment.
Work Relating Upper Limb Disorders£13,970 to £15,330Unilateral fluctuating continuing symptoms.

What Could I Claim If An Employer Is Responsible For My Workplace Accident?

On top of the amount above that could be paid out in order to compensate you for the suffering and pain you may have borne as a part of your injury (General Damages), you may also be able to claim monetary costs (Special Damages) that have arisen as a consequence of your accident at work. These costs could include but may not be limited to:

  • Loss of pay (actual)
  • Loss of pay (perceived future costs)
  • Medical costs
  • Travel-related costs
  • Child care
  • Home care
  • And more…

If you have paid out for any such costs, it may be a good idea to retain proof, so you could see if you could make a claim for these as part of your compensation case.

When Could I Be Entitled To Sick Pay If Injured At Work?

Depending on your employee contract, your employer may pay you full or part payment for some or all of the time you are off work recovering from an injury. The minimum they should pay you is statutory sick pay. The current amount for sick pay can be found on the government website. There is a qualification period for SSP. You must have been off for 4 or more days, must be classed as an employee, be earning on average a minimum of £118/week, and adhere to your employer’s sickness reporting deadline, or report within 7 days if they don’t have one. You can be an agency worker, but you may not be eligible if you are on SMP (statutory maternity pay) or have exceeded the maximum payout of SSP (28 weeks).

Will I Still Be Paid By My Employer If They Are Responsible For My Accident?

As per the above section, you should still be paid either contractual or statutory sick pay whether you could prove employer liability for your accident at work or not. Your employment contract may, however, reduce your sick pay from contractual sick pay to statutory sick pay if you are deemed to be at fault for your accident. You cannot be paid less than SSP if you meet the criteria for SSP. If you’re wondering if you could claim the difference between full pay and SSP if your employer responsibilities towards your health and safety were not met and you suffer injury, then you could claim this as loss of earnings if you have a valid claim for compensation.

No Win No Fee Claims For Accidents When An Employer Is Responsible

If employer responsibilities were not met and you wanted to make a claim for compensation, then it may surprise you to know that you would not have to pay money to a solicitor until your claim was successfully completed. These are known as no win no fee claims, and here at Accident Claims UK, we could provide you with a solicitor who could help with your claim. Before your claim starts, you’d receive a document to sign called a conditional fee agreement which would set out the amount you’d pay the solicitor from your compensation. This would usually be detailed as a percentage, which could not be more than 25% of the total value of your claim. This would be paid in the event of a successful claim out of the payout by the liable party. If your lawyer said you had a valid claim yet didn’t manage to get you a payout, this ‘success fee’ would not be payable.

For more information on the benefits of making claims in this manner, why not call our advisors?

How Accident Claims UK Could Help You Claim Compensation

Whether you call us to ask us ‘I had an accident at work, what are my rights in the UK’ or you want to know what to do after an accident at work to help give you a good chance of claiming, we could help. Call us for free advice and support. We don’t put any pressure on claimants to use our service but if, after going through the details of your case to see if you could be eligible, we deem it appropriate, we could offer to provide a solicitor working on a no win no fee basis to assist with your claim.

However, you don’t have to take us up on this offer. All advice comes with no-obligation to use our services. The decision on whether to make a claim is always entirely yours.

Talk To Us To Start Your Claim

Ready to begin? Or feel you need more information? It’s easy to get hold of an Accident Claims UK advisor.

Call: 0800 073 8801


Use our Live Chat feature

Or fill out the contact form.

Whichever way you choose to contact us, we’ll offer advice you could count on.

Essential Resources

What About If I’m Self-Employed? – We offer specific guidance for those who are self-employed and have suffered an accident at work.

Workplace Assaults – A specific guide covering assault at work claims.

Were You Injured On A Building Site – Here is some specific guidance relating to these kinds of claims.

HSE General Guidance On Health and Safety – There are plenty of resources on the HSE site, including this page from which you can navigate to more specific information.

A Guide For Employers On SSP – The government’s guidance for employers regarding sick pay.

Preventing Slips – Here’s a publication from the HSE on prevention of slips.

Article by Jo