It's your employer's duty to keep you safe
Employers have a legal duty to make sure your working environment is as safe as possible. As part of this, they're bound by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which sets out rules and regulations put in place to avoid injuries in every workplace.
To make sure you're safe at work, all businesses should:
- Keep up-to-date health and safety files
- Carry out risk assessments in your working area to avoid injuries
- Give you the training and safety equipment you need to do your job safely
Employers also have a responsibility to report any work-related injuries or diseases using ‘RIDDOR' - Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulation (1995).
If you've been injured because your employer hasn't followed these rules, you may be feeling frustrated and let down.
You can get in touch with us for free, impartial advice on . Calls to us are always confidential and you're never under any pressure to start a claim. We're simply here to answer your questions and help you understand whether you could make a claim.
Keep your own safety in mind
Although your employer has a duty of care to you, you also have a responsibility to yourself and your colleagues to help keep your working environment safe. This means following the training given to you and, if applicable, wearing the right protective equipment.
It's very important for you and your colleagues to co-operate with health and safety regulations put in place by your employer.
Common workplace safety hazards
Some jobs and workplaces carry more risks than others, but if safety rules are followed then the chances of injuries happening are lower. Because of this, your place of work should have an updated risk assessment and your employer should be able to show it to you if you ask to see it.
Below, we've listed some common causes of accidents at work, and steps you and your employer can take to stay safe:
Working at height
Working at height can be very dangerous - that's why both you and your employer should take steps to prevent accidents from occurring.
If you're working on ladders or scaffolding, safety checks should be carried out before use. Employers need to identify and use ‘fall protection' if necessary and should provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
This includes anything that's likely to cause slips, trips or falls such as wet floors or items being left in walkways.
Regular PAT testing should be carried out on all electrical items within your immediate working area (although there is no law on how often or who by). Certain types of equipment such as power tools and kitchen appliances should be tested regularly.
As an employee, you have the right to view what are known as ‘COSHH sheets'. These give instructions on how to use industrial chemicals and set out the risks involved.
Chemical warning symbols should be used to warn employees of hazards. Where applicable, you should always have the right safety equipment and washing facilities to avoid harmful contact or burns.
No matter what your industry is, all employers in non-domestic premises are required to keep and update workplace fire safety plans.
This includes carrying out regular fire drills and making sure staff receive fire training. They should allocate fire safety marshals who are identified to you when you first start your job.
During a fire drill, your employer should make sure there are specific routes and meeting points, and that employees know where these are. Emergency exits should be clear and well-lit to prevent trips along the exit route.
Was your employer negligent?
Understanding whether your employer acted negligently, or whether you have a claim, can be tough. While in some cases it might be clear that your employer was at fault for your accident, in many cases it isn't - and that's where we can help.
With 26 years' experience helping people like you make a compensation claim, it's likely we can help you too. Whether that's by listening to your experience and offering free, impartial advice, or by putting you in contact with one of our experienced and specialist solicitors.
The compensation you receive could help to pay for the costs of taking time off work, as well as the effect your injury has had on your life and family. It can provide the support you need to start getting things back to how they were.
So, if you're ready to speak to somebody, please call us on for free, or fill in our online form to arrange a call back.
What is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974?
What is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974?
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the law which compels employers to make sure that workplaces across the UK are safe.
It is enforced by local councils and The Health and Safety Executive, who work together to make sure that workplaces adhere to the standards set out in the Act.
The Act includes specific measures to ensure safety for workers who are required to work at height, dive underwater or deal with exposure to asbestos. Standards which employers must uphold in these working environments are set out in orders known as ‘Statutory Instruments' that apply to each type of health and safety risk in a variety of workplaces.
As an employer or a self-employed person, you are responsible for all health and safety factors for both your business and staff - these laws are there to protect you, the public and your employees from potential workplace accidents.
Companies with smaller workforces and lower risk still need to adhere to the Act, but the steps to properly train staff and make workspaces safe are often slightly easier to take than they are for larger companies that employ thousands of people in multiple high-risk locations. An independent coffee shop, for instance, doesn't have to undertake the same steps as a construction site to be compliant, but it is still required to adhere to the law to keep its employees safe.
Accidents at work unfortunately can't always be avoided, even if a workplace is fully compliant with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. If you have suffered an injury from an accident at work that wasn't your fault, you may be able to claim for compensation to make it right.
Contact us today for free and impartial advice on if you believe you have a claim.