Whenever you sustain an injury at work, you should make sure that the incident is correctly reported to either the person in charge or your employer directly. You should follow the work’s procedure following an accident at work no matter how minor or severe the workplace injuries you suffered happens to be. If there is an Accident Book, make sure the details and the extent of your injuries are correctly recorded. If there is no book, you could opt to send a personal email or a registered letter to your employer as soon as possible following an accident at work.
To find out more about the consequences of not reporting an accident at work that leaves you suffering from an injury whether minor or more severe, please read on.
- What Accidents at Work are Reportable to the RIDDOR?
- What Problems Could I Face For Not Recording or Reporting an Accident at Work?
- What are the Health and Safety at Work Regulations When Reporting a Workplace Accident?
- What Should I Do After an Accident at Work?
- What are My Rights After Being Injured in a Workplace Accident?
- Does an Employer Have a Duty of Care Towards Me if I am Injured in a Workplace Accident?
- What Should I Not Do After Being Injured in a Workplace Accident?
- Could My Employer Sack Me If I Insist on Reporting an Accident at Work and Seeking Compensation?
- How Long Do I Have to Reporting a Workplace Accident in Which I Was Injured?
- What Can I Include in an Accident at Work Claim?
- Can I Still Claim Accident at Work Compensation if the Incident Was Not Reported or Recorded?
- Would a No Win No Fee Lawyer Represent Me if I Did Not Report a Workplace Accident?
- Informative Links
There are specific workplace incidents, injuries and health issues that must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive through the RIDDOR. Should your employer fail to send a report to the authority they run the risk of receiving an hefty fine. The reason being that it is a legal requirement that reportable incidents and near-misses are sent to the authority and by law the following must be reported:
- All work-related accidents that result in fatalities
- All work-related incidents that result in serious injuries that prevent employees and other workers from working for more than seven consecutive days
- All industrial diseases
- Specific incidents that involve “near-misses” that are deemed to be dangerous
- Incidents that involve members of the public who are injured in a workplace
An employer or the person in charge of a work environment must by law report any of the above immediately to the RIDDOR and other enforcing authorities. If it is not possible to report an incident straight away, a report must be sent as soon as it is feasibly possible to do so and a written report must be sent to the authority within ten days of having reported an incident.
It is worth noting that for “over-seven-day” injuries, a report has to be sent to the RIDDOR with fifteen days of a reportable incident happening. All other workplace incidents that have to be “recorded” are as follows:
- All “over-3-day injuries” – employees who are unable to work for over three consecutive days must have the incident recorded and the record must be kept for 3 years. With this said, the incident would not have to be reported to the RIDDOR because if an employer has an Accident Book in the workplace, this is deemed enough because it adheres to the Social Security (Claim and Payments) Regulations 1979 Act
The 3-day as well as the 7-day injury rule does not include days off or weekends and the definition of an “incapacitated person/employee” is as follows:
- Someone who is not able to do normal activities they carry out during a normal working period
Employers are legally required to report certain workplace incidents, near-misses and work-related health issues to the Health and Safety Executive via the RIDDOR and if a report is not sent, employers would face a receiving hefty fine. In short, your employer is required by law to respect the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 – RIDDOR. The penalty for not doing so could be £20,000.
When it comes to filing for compensation from an employer who could be deemed in breach of their duty to keep you safe from injury at work, not having a record or report of the incident could make the process more challenging. However, if you have other evidence to support a claim which includes the following, this may be enough to pursue a claim for accident at work compensation:
- A detailed medical report of the injuries you sustained when you were at work that was provided when you suffered your injuries
- Photos of your injuries
- Photos of where the workplace accident happened
- If available, CCTV footage which an employer must give you in a timely manner once you have made a request
- Statements from witnesses together with their contact details
- Any records of similar workplace accidents that occurred in the past which can be found in the workplace Accident Book if there is one
- Any previous reports that were sent to the Health and Safety Executive
If you suffered a workplace injury and find that the incident was not reported or recorded, you should contact a lawyer who would provide essential advice on how best to pursue a claim against your employer and what evidence you would need to gather in support of your case.
Your employer is duty bound to carry out routine risk assessments of a work environment so that any hazards and danger can be identified. Once this has been achieved, an employer must set in place all “reasonable” measures to reduce the risk of harm or injury coming to their staff whether permanent or temporary. If you are injured at work because your employer failed to make the work environment safe and they failed to report the incident or to record it, they run the risk of being fined by the enforcing authority.
Although not having a record of the workplace accident that left you injured would make the process of seeking compensation harder, it is does not mean that it would be impossible to do so. As such, you should seek legal advice sooner rather than later so that a lawyer can determine whether your employer was in breach of their duty to ensure you were kept safe at work and whether the fact they failed to report to a relevant authority or record an incident meant they acted unlawfully.
Your employer should also organise designated first aid officers in the workplace so that any initial treatment may be given when an employee or visitor to a place of work suffers any sort of injury.
You should always follow the procedure as laid out by your employer following a workplace accident in which you suffered any sort of injury whether minor or more severe. The first thing you must do is seek medical attention whether this is initially with a designated first aid officer or at the A&E of a hospital. If your injuries are very serious, you should be taken straight to the Accident and Emergency department whether by ambulance or by other means making sure that someone accompanies you.
As soon as you are able, the steps as indicated below must be followed whether you are intending to seek compensation from an employer or not:
- Make sure that the incident was reported to the person in charge of the workplace or directly to your employer. If you sustained extremely severe injuries, you should request that someone you trust reports the workplace accident on your behalf
- Make sure that the accident was correctly recorded in the work’s Accident Book. If the place where you work does not have an Accident Book, you have two options which is to either send your employer a personal email detailing the incident or you can send them a registered letter remembering to retain a copy of the letter in your own records
- Gather photos of where the workplace accident happened and if applicable what tools, machinery or equipment you were using at the time
- Gather photos of your injuries preferably taken before you were treated
- Gather statements from witnesses together with details of how they can be contacted
- Get a medical report that provides details of the workplace injuries you suffered which must include even the minor symptoms you may be experiencing because they could turn into something more serious at a later date
The key to filing a successful work-related personal injury claim against an employer if the incident was not recorded or reported, is to gather as much evidence as possible to support your case. Without the required proof and relevant information leading up to when the accident at work occurred could make seeking compensation a lot more challenging. A personal injury lawyer would offer essential assistance when it comes to knowing what evidence would strengthen your claim and if it is found that your employer did not report an incident to the relevant authorities, the solicitor would act on your behalf in pursuing your case.
You have specific rights following an accident at work that leaves you injured which would include the following:
- The right to seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer
- The right to seek compensation for workplace injuries you sustained through no fault of your own or because you were partly responsible (contributory negligence)
- The right not to be discriminated against, treated unfairly or fired because an accident at work claim has been filed against an employer because they failed to protect you from harm and injury in the workplace
Employers must ensure that a work environment is kept clean, tidy and safe for all employees whether permanent or temporary is safe to work in. Your employer is duty bound to make sure that the risk of injury is kept to the minimum which is part of their “duty of care” towards you and your fellow workers. Should an employer be deemed in breach of their duty, and you are injured in a workplace accident as a direct result, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation from them. If the incident is not reported or recorded, it could prove more challenging but it does not mean that your case against your employer would not be upheld and therefore successful.
As such, the personal injury lawyer you contact would determine whether your case against your employer is strong enough even if there is no record or report of the incident. They would then recommend which route to pursue whether this is through the courts or by negotiating a settlement with your employer’s liability insurer.
If you suffer an injury at work there are things you must do and things you must not do which is to sign anything that could be deemed to be an admission of liability. This applies even if you believe you could be held partly responsible for any injuries you sustained whilst at work. Things you must avoid doing are:
- Do not sign anything even if your employer pressures you to do so. Should your employer insist that you sign a document admitting liability for the workplace injuries you sustained, a court or tribunal may not accept that you did admit responsibility because your employer forced you to sign
- Do not hesitate when it comes to getting a medical report on the injuries you sustained even if the symptoms you experience are minor
- Do not fail to report the incident to the person in charge of a work environment or your employer
- Do not fail to ensure that an incident or near-miss has been reported to the relevant authority
You cannot lose your job following an accident at work in which you were injured and you decide to seek compensation from your employer. If your boss threatens you with the sack, redundancy or they treat you unfairly or detrimentally, before doing anything else, you should seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor at www.accidentclaims.co.uk. You may find that because your employer acts in this way towards you, they may be in breach of your worker’s rights and as such, it could entitle you to pursue further claims against your employer. This could include filing an unfair dismissal claim.
If the incident was reportable to the RIDDOR, and your employer failed in their legal duty to send the authority a report, this could strengthen your claim against them as they risk being fined £20,000 for failing to notify the relevant authority that an accident occurred in the workplace.
You must try to report a workplace accident in which you were injured as soon as you are able to and if you are not, you should make sure that someone you trust does this for you. You should also check to see if the injuries you suffered and the incident was reportable to the RIDDOR which is the responsibility of an employer or person in charge of a work environment.
When it comes to the time-frame you would have to seek compensation from an employer whether the incident and your injuries were reported or not, the statutory time limit to seeking compensation by making a personal injury claim, stands at 3 years. However, the time limit would begin at different times depending on specific things which are explained below:
- 3 years from the date you suffered an injury at work
- 3 years from the date of your 8th birthday – this means you would have up until you turn 21 to file a personal injury claim against an employer if the incident that left you injured occurred before you were 18 years old
- 3 years from when a doctor or other medical professional diagnoses you as having developed some kind of health issue they can link the workplace injury you suffered
It is best to begin a personal injury claim as soon as possible when things are still fresh in your mind and in the minds of any people who witnessed the workplace accident that left you suffering from an injury. If the incident was not reported or recorded, having witness statements is essential as they would strengthen and support your claim against an employer who may be in breach of their duty to keep you safe at work.
You can include both damages and losses in an accident at work claim. The damages you suffered would be awarded by way of “general damages” and would compensate you for the suffering, pain and loss of amenity you had to endure. The losses you incurred would be awarded by way of “special damages” and are much easier to calculate because the amount would be based on “actual” expenses and costs that you paid out as a direct result of having been injured in the workplace.
As previously mentioned, the fact that the workplace accident in which you were injured was not reported or recorded does not mean you would not be able to seek compensation from an employer by making a work-related personal injury claim against them although it may be a little more challenging to prove their liability. However, with the necessary witness statements, medical report or reports and photos of the injuries you sustained with any other evidence you can provide to support your case, you may still be able to seek compensation by filing a successful personal injury claim against your employer. It is worth noting that if your employer failed to report an accident in the workplace to RIDDOR, the authority could levy a fine of £20,000 against them. This alone would add strength to your case against them.
When you contact a personal injury solicitor to find out whether you could still file a claim for compensation from your employer even though the incident was not reported or recorded, they would offer you a no obligation, free, initial consultation and it is during this first discussion which can typically be done over the phone, that a solicitor would decide whether your case would be valid.
Once this has been determined, the solicitor would offer to act on your behalf when you file an accident at work claim against your employer on a No Win No Fee basis. In short, you can seek compensation without placing yourself in any financial risk. The reason being that you would not have to pay an upfront or ongoing fees to the personal injury solicitor who acts on your behalf. When you sign a Conditional Fee Agreement with a lawyer, they undertake to represent you and agree to only be paid for their services when you win your claim.
The money that you would have to pay for the services a personal injury lawyer provided is referred to as a “success fee”, is deducted from the money you receive. Should you not win your case, there would be not fees to pay a No Win No Fee lawyer because they signed the CFA with you.
For more information regarding Accident Books in the workplace and an employer’s obligation to record incidents in which employees and other people suffered injuries, please follow the link provided below:
If you were injured in an accident at work and would like more in-depth information on what incidents and dangerous occurrences as well as work-related diseases must be reported to the RIDDOR, please follow the link below: