If you have been injured in an accident at work, there will be a lot to think about. Should you get treatment for your injury, and should you report your accident, perhaps even make a claim for work accident compensation? Whatever your injury, these dos and don’ts for accidents at work should help you make the right decisions on your path to recovery.
DO: Get the best treatment for your injury
When you’ve been injured in an accident at work, it’s vital to be treated as quickly as possible and not to suffer in silence or soldier on. Continuing to work when you have been injured could delay your recovery or even make your injury worse. If there are costs associated with your treatment, for example for physiotherapy, you may be able to claim these back later by making a work accident claim, so take notes of any expenses you are incurring as a result of your injury.
DON’T: Return to work until you are ready
Many people feel they ought to return to work before they have fully recovered from their work accident. Whether it is due to a fear of losing your job, of concern over what your co-workers may think of you taking time off, or just because you are fed up of being at home, returning too early can be a big mistake. Your doctor should be able to give you an idea of how much time you will need to properly recover after an accident at work and it’s a good idea to make use of this time. If you work while you are still in the early stages of recovery then this may do further damage to your body.
DO: Report your injury to your supervisor
Reporting your injury to your supervisor is a necessary step following an accident at work. Employers have a legal duty to report work-related deaths, major injuries or over-three-day injuries, work related diseases, and dangerous occurrences to the ICC (Incident Contact Centre) at the Health and Safety Executive. They cannot do this unless they are alerted to the accident. When you report an accident at work, your employer may need to make changes to working practices, equipment or health and safety precautions in order to prevent the same accident happening again. So, by reporting your accident, you could be safeguarding your colleagues from a similar accident at work.
DON’T: Be afraid to make a claim
Accidents at work can have serious financial implications to those who suffer injuries because of them. For example, recovery and treatment costs, lost earnings due to time off work and any other inconveniences can all add up. Recovery is only made more difficult when there are money problems to worry about as well, and making a claim for compensation can alleviate this added stress. If your accident was caused wholly or partly by your employer then they have failed in their duty of care towards you, and you are legally entitled to compensation. Some people are afraid to claim against their employer, in case they lose their job, but this would be unfair dismissal and so should not be a concern.
The National Accident Helpline specialise in compensation claims following accidents at work. National Accident Helpline have been helping members of the public make successful compensation claims for over 17 years.