I Had An Accident At Work, What Are My Rights In The UK?

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“I had an accident at work, what are my rights in the UK?” This is the question that thousands of people find themselves asking after one of the shocking 441 000 incidents that happen in workplaces across the country every year.

If you have not experienced an accident in the workplace before, this can be a confusing time. What exactly should you do? What can you do?

Reach out to our friendly team today for FREE on 0800 0747 644 or make an online enquiry to tell us your story.

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Here are all of the essential rights you have in the UK following an accident at work:

I Had An Accident At Work – What Are My Rights?

1) The Right To Receive Medical Assistance

First of all, you should seek any medical assistance you require. This could be from a nearby first aider or involve calling an ambulance or going to hospital as the nature of your injuries requires.

This is something that most people in the UK would regard as being automatic rather than a right. But it is worth noting that it is set down in law that your employer cannot legally prevent you from seeking aid even in the hopefully unlikely event they would wish to do so.

2) The Right To Record The Accident

Every employer should have what is called an “accident book”. This is a log of all workplace accidents that can be referred to later.

It is your right to note your accident in your employer’s accident records. If they fail to let you do so, it is probably not a good sign.

If your incident was serious, your employer may also have to follow the RIDDOR process (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations). However, this is more of a requirement for your employer than one of your rights.

3) The Right To Sick Pay

A hard-fought-for right in UK employment law is the right to sick pay. If you are off sick because you had an accident at work, your employer may cover you by providing:

  1. Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) – this is the right of every employee in the UK. As of early 2024, if you are eligible (you must earn £123 per week and be off work for four consecutive days), this is worth £109.40 up to 28 weeks.
  2. Contractual sick pay – your contract may stipulate that you are entitled to a higher rate of sick pay, possibly your full wage in the case of the best contracts.
  3. Medical costs – your employer may cover the costs of any medical treatment or medication you need to recover from your accident. It is good practice to keep receipts from any medical expenses you incur, just in case this becomes possible.

4) The Right To Join A Trade Union To Get Support

Unions are one of the key kinds of organisations that have fought (and continue to fight) for employee rights like sick pay.

For this reason, many people who have been injured at work but have not been part of a union before choose to join one following their incident. Unions can be a good source of support and advice for workers at times like this.

It is illegal for your employer to treat you with any kind of prejudice (for example, threatening to fire you or giving you the worst tasks) because you have joined a trade union. Similar rules apply to convincing you to leave or if you refuse to join a union. Your employer can’t force you to.

5) The Right To Report Any Safety Concerns

As an employee, you can – and should – report any safety concerns to your employer at any time. This is particularly important following an accident if you think the circumstances that caused or contributed to it could have been avoided.

If you had previously reported the conditions around your accident to your employer and they did not act, this is likely to be a good basis for a claim that your employer was responsible for your accident.

6) The Right To Make A Workplace Accident Claim

Making a claim for compensation after an accident at work is your right. Good employers understand this and know they are covered by their insurance if you do so.
If you feel that your accident was at least partially the fault of your employer (perhaps they did not provide sufficient training) or a co-worker (your employer is legally responsible for their actions too), you may be due compensation.

Notifying your employer that you intend to make a claim is a good idea – there may be evidence that might not be retained otherwise. Again, a good employer will not (and legally cannot) hold this against you in any way.

However, it is smart to at least get some legal advice first. This should be from a specialist personal injury lawyer fully conversant with relevant law. Why not get FREE, straightforward legal advice today?

In the combined 76 years that Grieves Solicitors has been helping people get the compensation they deserve from workplace accident claims, we have won millions of pounds for UK workers. Reach out to us for free on 0800 0747 644 or fill in the form below today.

Here at Grieves Solicitors, Personal Injury Specialists, we offer a no win, no fee solution to funding your claim (a conditional fee agreement) which means that you do not have to worry about legal costs and expenses.  You can read about our no win, no fee agreement here.

To make a free no-obligation enquiry, call 0800 0747 644.

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