In the UK, the rate of non-fatal injury to employees has shown a flat or downward trend over recent years.
However, as good as this may sound, the number of work-related injuries and diseases is still much higher than you might expect.
In fact, over 1.6 million British workers suffered from a work-related illness in 2019/2020. As a result, around 38.8 million working days were lost.
Additionally, 693,000 workers sustained non-fatal accidents at work that year; 29% of those injuries were slips, trips, and falls, and a further 19% were due to handling, lifting, and carrying. Other types of accidents included falling from a height, acts of violence, and being struck by a moving object.
To clear a few things up, we’re giving you answers to some common questions about workplace injuries.
Does My Employer Need To Have Employers’ Liability Insurance?
The answer is YES, 100%!
In the UK, it is compulsory under the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 for your employer to have employers’ liability insurance. There are some exemptions, however, such as public organisations like government departments, local authorities, and the National Health Service, etc. But it’s important to know that if you work for an exempt organisation, you can still make a claim.
Employers who are required to have insurance cover, must have cover of a minimum of £5 million. In most workplaces, employers will have insurance of up to £10 million.
And did you know that if your employer does not have employers’ liability insurance, they may be fined by the Health and Safety Executive? This fine can reach up to £2,500 for every day they are uninsured!
If I Am Successful In A Claim Against My Employer, Does My Compensation Come Directly Out Of My Employer’s Pocket?
In most cases, the answer is no.
If your employer has acted lawfully and has employers’ liability insurance, then insurers will deal with your claim. This means if you’re successful, the insurers will pay your compensation.
Under The Rules Surrounding Health And Safety At Work, When Does My Employer Have To Report My Accident?
If you have had a serious accident at work, your employer must report your accident under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).
In 2019/2020, over 65,000 non-fatal injuries were reported to RIDDOR, along with a further 111 fatal injuries. Serious injuries could include fractures, broken ribs, severe burns due to a lack of fireproofing, and work-related deaths.
In cases of fatality, the Health and Safety Executive will carry out an investigation. A criminal prosecution may then be brought against an employer.
Did you know: if you have had 7 or more consecutive days off work because of an accident/injury you sustained in the workplace, your employer must report the accident under RIDDOR.
Can I Make A Claim If I Have A Pre-Existing Condition, Such As A Back Injury?
If you have a pre-existing condition and you’ve had an accident at work that has made the condition worse, you may be able to make a claim against your employer.
You would need to show that your condition has been made worse by your accident. To do this, we would recommend you are assessed by an independent medical expert.
Is My Employer Allowed To Dismiss Me If I Make A Claim Against Them For My Personal Injury?
Your employer shouldn’t dismiss you from your employment simply because you’re making – or thinking of making – a claim against them. If your employer does do this, you may also have a claim for unfair or constructive dismissal.
If this is the case, we would recommend getting in touch with an employment lawyer to discuss your rights.
I’m Thinking Of Making A Personal Injury Claim Against My Employer. What Should I Do Next?
Your health and safety at work is a right. It’s not something that your employer can opt-in or out of.
Here at Nash & Co. Solicitors, we’ve got a team of fully qualified personal injury lawyers. They all have a wealth of experience and they’ll always act in your best interests.
We are always happy to help!