Accidents in Workplace – Who’s Fault Is It?

by Graham Turnbull

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Accidents in the workplace are not always the result of outright negligence of the employer, frequently these types of workplace accidents are the result of the employees directly. There can be a number of reasons why this is the case, for example should employees lack adequate training or poor supervision then a workplace based compensation claim relating to personal injury can be filed against either the employer or indeed the individual who caused the injury to you by qualified injury lawyers.

An example of an accident in the workplace

A good example of this I encountered only late last year when I heard of a victim whom suffered a workplace injury as a result of using faulty equipment. The victim, let’s call him Mr X, was injured at his workplace simply because the vehicle he was using as part of his day to day job was not adequately maintained.  The incident manifested itself when Mr X opened the side door of the vehicle, which because of poor maintenance detached from the door mountings and fell directly onto Mr X pushing him backwards to the floor which on impact severely banged his head, chest and shoulders.

Not just workplace injuries accident claims typically occur from injuries caused by whiplash suffered from car accidents along with trips or slips resulting from poorly maintained pavements there are a multitude of ways in which we can suffer as human beings.

The workplace ‘Accident Book’

It is a requirement of your employer to have and make available an injury at work log. This should include any ‘near misses’ as well as full blown accidents in the workplace. The vast majority of employers are obligated to maintain an accident book therefore if your employer does not have one available then you need to challenge this. The requirement to maintain an accident book is principally for the benefit of the employees, this is because it will serve as a clear record of the details of the accident helping to;

a)    Provide a documentary trail of the incident (which will also help any claim you may make)

b)    Helping to provide employers with valuable information with which to act upon ensuring that the workplace is a safer place to be as a result.

How do I go about Claiming for an accident at work?

In order to be a position whereby you can file a successful claim for personal injury compensation you will want to be in a position that you can validate the workplace accident was the fault of your employer or a negligent employee.  In addition to this you will also require a degree of proof in terms of the injuries you have sustained.  Remember though that any workplace accident claim is between you, lawyers and the employer and should not be communicated elsewhere.

It is worth remembering that any injury claims involving compensation arrangements are typically somewhat more difficult to pursue than forms of accident claims – the fallout of going down this route can be detrimental to your career (although it shouldn’t) and negatively disrupt your relationship with the employer.

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