Do I Get Paid If I Get Injured at Work?
When you are at work, your employer is legally obliged to protect you and to inform you of any health and safety issues that affect you. They are also bound to report particular kinds of accidents and incidents in the workplace. They also have to pay you sick pay, as well as give you time off if you need it because of an accident at work.
The British government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said that during the period 2011 to 2012, 1.1 million employees were suffering from a work-related illness and that 27 million working days had been lost due to workplace injuries and work-related illnesses. In the 2010 – 2012 period, workplace ill health (excluding cancer) and workplace accidents cost the country an estimated £13.4 billion.
Report any accidents at work
Any injury that takes place at work, even minor ones, should be recorded in your employer’s ‘accident book.’ All employers should keep such a book unless they are very small companies. The accident book acts as a record of what happened in an accident for employees.
This will be useful if you need to take time off work or claim compensation in the future. From an employer’s point of view, they might be able to spot a trend or pin down a problem that can be solved to prevent future accidents.
An employer is also obliged to report work-related accidents, dangerous incidents and diseases to the local authority’s Health and Safety department. This obligation stems from RIDDOR, the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations.
Occurrences that must be recorded in the accident book vary from people being overcome by gas, or major injuries such as broken bones, as well as dangerous incidents like as a roof collapse or an accident while working on machines. It is important to ensure that any incident in which you are involved is accurately and completely recorded.
Who takes responsibility?
All employers must carry out risk assessments and take any action needed to ensure the safety of both employees and visitors. They should also ensure sufficient first-aiders, as well as first aid equipment and facilities. Employees are, in turn, required to take reasonable care of their health and safety.
If you have to take time off because of a work accident, you have the right to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). This is unless your employer has a scheme whereby more is paid for accident-related time off, or if they decide to pay extra for what happened.
You could, however, make a personal injury claim with a lawyer, which must be done within three years of the accident. Trade unions sometimes allow their members to use their legal services.
What should you do if you have an accident at work?
- Record the injury in the accident book.
- Ensure that your employer has reported it to the HSE.
- Check your contractual details of what accident or sick pay you might be entitled to.