'Reporting accidents to your boss shouldn’t affect your job or employer relations'

A construction worker holding a hard hat

Reporting an incident or an accident in your workplace shouldn't affect your job, says Prettys lawyer Louise Plant - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

According to the latest Health and Safety Executive statistics, almost 2.3 million working people suffered from a work-related illness or sustained an injury at work last year. 

In 2019/2020, 111 workers were killed at work and a further 693,000 sustained a physical injury, while 1.6 million people suffered from a work-related illness such as hearing loss, asbestosis, stress, anxiety, or depression.

The workplace should be a safe and comfortable environment but unfortunately accidents and incidents are all too common.

Claims for compensation, however, are perhaps not.

Employees fail to either report the accident itself or may not make a claim concerned that, by doing so, it will impact upon their job, the company they work for or their job security.

This is not the case at all.

Louise Plant of Prettys Solicitors in Ipswich

Louise Plant, senior associate at Prettys Solicitors in Ipswich, urges workers to report incidents or accidents - Credit: Prettys

All employers are legally required to take out an employer’s liability insurance policy so that if an accident or incident occurs in the workplace, employees can claim and receive compensation for their injuries under the terms of that policy.

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Initially you would make any claim for compensation directly to your employer, but after that any correspondence regarding the matter will take place with your employer’s insurance company.

This means the claim should not have any impact upon your job or relationship with your boss.

Injuries sustained at work often arise because of faulty equipment, through manual handling operations and lifting heavy objects and slips, trips and falls, including those from height.

Other things to be aware of are exposure to dangerous substances or chemicals and operating dangerous machinery.

There are also a rising number of complaints relating to psychiatric and associated injuries resulting from stress at work, and injury sustained as a result of an assault or harassment from a person at work.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have suffered an injury or accident at work, seek medical attention and then report the accident to the relevant person at your workplace.

Make sure the details are recorded correctly and take photographs of the accident location. You should also get the details of any witnesses and their account of what happened and keep records of all expenses that you have incurred as a result of the incident and injuries sustained.