August 24, 2021
This blog is the first part of our 3-part series for ‘Preparing The Ground’ with personal injury matters. In this article, we offer advice for what you need to know before an accident at work occurs.
Maybe surprisingly, it's sometimes the things that you do before an accident even happens that help you make the strongest case.
It's not always about the injury itself, the pain that you’re in or the fallout in the aftermath, it’s about being able to prove your employer was negligent.
Proving negligence starts way before a personal injury occurs.
If you have concerns that your employer isn't doing everything that they can to make sure that risks are managed safely and that it’s just a matter of time before a personal injury is inflicted, it’s time to start implementing these 5 things.
Here’s what to do before an accident at work:
- Get to know the risks
In the majority of workplaces, there will be some kind of risk. Whether it's working with power tools in a workshop, being around dangerous substances in a laboratory or even as simple as sitting below some suspended lights in an office, risk is inevitable but it’s how it's managed which is important.
An accident caused by a workplace risk should not be ‘just one of those things.’ By getting to know the risks around you before an accident happens, you can check with your health and safety team to make sure that precautions have been taken. If it hasn’t, you’ve got cause to complain.
- Complaints matter
That leads us nicely on to the second thing you need to know before an accident, complaints really do matter. And the more complaints about a similar issue, the better!
Often we find that people don’t complain because they think it’s part and parcel of doing that job. They think "what’s the point? Nothing will get done."
Complaining is far from a waste of your time. By making a complaint before an accident happens, you are making a strong case that your employer knew about the problem but didn’t do anything about it. This makes proving negligence on their behalf far easier.
- Keep a record of complaints
Far from us to be cynical, but we have heard of numerous cases where employers have forgotten that complaints have been made and there’s no proof to back this up.
We’ve just told you about how much complaints matter before an accident, so it is absolutely crucial that you make your complaint in a way that can be recorded.
Ideally, complaints should be made in writing and made through a formal process, but having a record of email communications (for all complaints) will do the job.
- Report and record near misses
When you come to us with a Personal Injury case, we have to prove that your employer has been negligent in order to be successful.
By reporting near misses of injury at work, you are helping us to build an evidence base against your employer in the event that one of your colleagues isn't so lucky!
This evidence base is perfect to prove negligence as it shows it’s that even though it’s frequent occurrence, your employer hasn’t done anything about it.
- Have a solicitor who understands the case
Make sure the solicitor knows the type and frequency of records that you hold prior to a personal injury. Brief your Union Rep and your solicitor on the risks and the accidents that are waiting to happen.
By doing this, your solicitor and Union Rep will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take, the evidence that you will need to present in the event of a personal injury and have surmounted an infallible claim in the event it is needed.
To find out more information about Personal Injury Claims at Spencers, please send us an enquiry.
Read our other ‘Preparing The Ground’ accident at work advice articles: