Accidents At Work; When Can Employee Take A Claim?

If you are injured at work, you may be entitled to take a claim for compensation. Work injuries can frequently be serious as work frequently involves working with heavy machinery. Indeed, even where it does not, for example where you are doing reasonably light repetitive work, quite severe repetitive strain type injury can result.

If you are injured in an accident at work, you would normally take a case against your employer, as the employer is usually in control of the workplace.


When can I succeed?

Generally that you must show that the employer is negligent, i.e. that the employer did not take reasonable care for your safety.

To succeed in your claim, you must show that the employer has not taken reasonable care as regards your safety and that your accident resulted from this lack of care. Usually, you would show that the employer was aware of a particular risk/danger (or should have been aware of it) and did not remove this risk. So, for example, if you have complained to your employer of soreness/illness from using a particular type of machine and your employer does not take reasonable case so as to eliminate this real danger, then you might be in a good position to take a case. In these type of situations, employers can have tests carried out so as to show that particular work practices are safe. Another example is where a practice has developed allowing spillages to be omitted onto the floor (thus causing a slippery/dangerous floor). If an employer is aware of this tendency and does not eliminate it, then you are likely to have a good claim against your employer if your injury results from such a spillage.

In certain situations, you are entitled to sue your employer even if the employer has taken reasonable care. You can do this where you can show that a particular statute has been breached (for example, if you are injured to defective equipment supplied by an employer, you are likely to have a good case).

It might also be appropriate for a case to be taken against another party, for example, the supplier/manufacturer of the defective equipment (in any event, the employer would probably try to pass liability to this third party). In these situations, it is important to discuss what exactly occurred, why it occurred and what exactly was the defect to ensure that you sue all relevant parties in time.