According to data from the Labour Force Survey, more than half a million of us suffer from accidents at work every year. Cumulatively, workplace injury and illness impose a heavy cost on the broader economy – but it’s the individual that bears the greatest burden.
If you should suffer an accident at work, then there are a number of steps you might take to help yourself. These will help to ensure a positive recovery and to give you and your employer the best chance of finding an appropriate way to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
Your first priority having had an accident, even if it hasn’t caused an injury, is to ask for help. First responders should aim to stabilise your condition and to ensure that the area is safe for other people. But obviously, they might not have the expertise to declare that you’re okay. For this reason, a trip to the hospital is warranted.
You need to get medical attention, even if you feel perfectly fine. It might be that there are consequences of the accident that you haven’t foreseen. If you’ve suffered a head injury, then don’t be tempted to persevere. In fact, if you’ve suffered any kind of injury, it’s a good idea to get it looked at. Better to be safe than sorry.
If your employer doesn’t have any knowledge of your accident and what caused it, then they won’t be able to take any steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Therefore, you should notify your employer, not just as a courtesy, but as a favour to all of your colleagues, who might plausibly find themselves in the same position.
Once your accident has been officially logged, you should have the documents you need to demonstrate that it’s been recorded. The paperwork will serve you if you need to evidence a claim. You might also take a few photos of the accident site, too.
If you feel that your employer was to blame for the accident, then you might decide to pursue damages. This is where it’s worth seeking guidance from an outside legal professional. They’ll help you to establish whether your claim has any merit, and help you to take it further.
In cases like this, the courts may decide to award a monetary remedy. This will be a sum that covers you for any financial losses, as well as pain and suffering. You might be awarded time off work while you recover from your injuries. The workplace itself might also be altered so that similar accidents can be avoided in the future.