Liabilty & Legal Protection
Making a claim starts with determining liability.
- Who is responsible for the cause of the injuries?
- Could this injury have been avoided if certain measures had been put in place by your employer?
- Or did you have the relevant tools needed to carry out the task that led to the injury?
In many cases, it is found that the employer is responsible for the accident due to a breach in their duty of care. In some cases, it can also be employees or customers/clients who may have led to the cause of the accident.
Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005
The Safety, Health and Welfare Act 2005 outlines certain duties which an employer and employee have in relation to ensuring health and safety at work.
Employer’s Duty of Care
All employers have a duty of care to their staff to ensure that their health and safety is guaranteed while they are at work. They have a responsibility to ensure that there are precautions and regulations in place in order to do this. Employers are required to carry out frequent risk assessments which will help to identify and eliminate potential hazards.
The duties of an employer include:
- Managing activities in a way which prioritises health and safety.
- Providing the correct training and protective equipment to employees.
- Ensuring that the working environment is suitable for the work that is to be carried out.
- Ensuring that any equipment needed is in a good working condition.
A breach of these duties by the employer can lead to accidents. If an employee has sustained an injury and it is found that it was caused by employer negligence then the employer is likely to be found liable.
Often a worry for an employee is that they will lose their job if they bring a claim against their employer. This is not the case as job security legislation protects employees against dismissal if a claim is brought (against their employer) after an injury in the workplace.
Most prudent employers have employer liability insurance in place. This effectively means that their insurance company take over and look after the work related claims* from an early stage. This can be good for all involved and takes the ‘personal’ element out of the process.
Don’t worry about being mistreated by an employer for making a workplace accident claim. These worries are normal. An accident at work is not the same as a road traffic accident between strangers. There is always a pre-existing employment relationship and this must be protected during the claims process.