Accident at Work*

Dangerous Practices and Procedures at Work Claims*

Dangerous practices and procedures at work should only be carried out in a controlled environment where all necessary safety measures are provided by the employer and followed by the employee. Health and safety should be a priority and activities should be managed in a way which prioritizes this. Dangerous practices and procedures in the workplace can lead to an accident and injuries if they are not managed correctly.

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Employer Responsibilities

Employers have a responsibility to minimize the risk of accidents and injury to employees. There are certain steps which should be followed by them to ensure this. The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 also provides for this and outlines certain duties of an employer to ensure the safety of staff. If an employer has acted in a negligent manner it is likely that they will be found liable for any accidents or injuries caused as a result.

Risk Assessments

Employers are expected to carry out frequent risk assessments so that they can identify hazards and eliminate them for the workplace. This should be done on a regular basis and there should be procedures put in place on how to deal with a hazard once it has been identified. Health and safety statements should be reviewed regularly to keep up with any changes in the industry in which they are working.

Training and Protective Equipment

All employees should be provided with the necessary training in order to carry out their work in a safe manner. It is important that training is provided before they being the job so as to avoid injury while waiting to be trained properly. Employers are also expected to provide personal protective equipment that is seen as necessary for the type of work that is being carried out. This includes clothing, footwear and face and head protection such as hardhats and masks. If this equipment is not provided the chance of an accident occurring becomes higher.

Safe Practices and Procedures

Employers need to ensure that there are safe practices and procedures in place which should be followed if something goes wrong throughout the course of the work. Employees should be made aware of these procedures as this will ensure that if an accident does happen that injuries may only be minor. Dangerous practices can become worse over time and cause regular accidents. It is important that there are standard operating procedures in place which can be followed by all in the case of an accident.

If an employer fails to comply with these regulations they can be found responsible for accident and injury to employees and visitors to the site. It is important to note that employees also have a duty of care for the health and safety of both themselves and their co-workers. If they act in a negligent manner during the course of their job, this will be taken into account if an accident occurs and they may be found liable.

Other employer duties include:

  • Ensuring the safe operation of machinery and equipment in the workplace
  • Provide safe routes to and from the workplace
  • Providing facilities for the welfare of staff
  • Discuss Health and Safety on a regular basis
  • Ensuring staff are competent and have the ability to carry out the work involved
  • Put procedures in place to allow for reporting of dangerous practices noticed by employees
  • Evaluating practices and procedures to determine if they are working and are not dangerous for employees
  • Investigate incidents to determine the cause so that procedures can be put in place to stop this from happening again in the future
  • Keep a record of accidents or injuries that have occurred in the workplace

Common Injuries Caused by Dangerous Practices and Procedures

  • Back Injuries
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Breaks and fractures
  • Neck Injuries
  • Brain Injuries
  • Fatalities
  • Burns and bruises

Practices and Procedures That Can Be Considered Dangerous

Practices and procedures are considered dangerous if they do not comply with the recommended regulations which are in place or if they put employees and members of the public at risk. It is important that if you notice a dangerous practice in a workplace that you notify your manager of this so as to avoid the risk of injury both to yourself and other people around you. Common dangerous practices and procedures include;

Using Tables and Chairs in Place of a Ladder

There are regulations in place which deal with the safety of employees who work at a height. It is important that ladders are provided for this work and tables and chairs should not be used for this purpose in any circumstance. It is important to ensure that ladders are secure in place for the safe use by employees.

Failing to Repair and Eliminate and Issues and Hazards

Any hazards which employers are made aware of should be eliminated as soon as possible so as to reduce the risk of injury.  Any employee who notices a potential hazard should also report this to their manager.

Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Lack of the correct protective equipment can lead to both injury and illness. Employees should be provided with adequate equipment which is seen as necessary for the work to be carried out. This can lead to exposure to hazardous chemicals and materials which can have long-term effects.

Using Tools Which Are Not Suitable for the Job

If employees are using tools which are not suitable for the job it is likely that an accident may occur. Correct tools should be provided and maintained by employers.

Inadequate Cleaning Procedures

In order to reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents there should be adequate cleaning procedures in place to deal with any spillages. It is not sufficient to place a warning or wet floor sign. These spillages should be cleaned up promptly to avoid the risk of injury caused by falls.

Failing to Separate Vehicle and Pedestrian Areas

In industries such as manufacturing there is a chance that there may be vehicles driving around warehouses and factories. If it is the case where these two areas are not clearly marked and separated there is the risk of an accident occurring. It is important that all employees are aware of the different areas within the workplace. For example, they should be aware of what areas are particularly for vehicles and which are marked out for pedestrians to make their way around.

What to do after an accident at work*?

Following an accident at work, there are a number of steps you should follow:

  1. Seek medical attention

    Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after an accident at work, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries and seek the relevant medical attention. If you have sustained a serious injury ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.

    For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to more serious injuries in the future. In this case it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.

  2. Report the accident

    It is critical to report the accident to your superior, i.e. a supervisor or manager on site. It doesn’t matter how small you think the accident may be. By law, accidents at work are required to be reported if the person is injured and can’t perform their daily work tasks for more than three days. Make sure to fill out an Accident Report Form. This can be used for reference in any medical examination and will also prevent any similar accidents from happening in the future.

  3. Identify any witnesses

    If possible, try to collect the contact details of anybody that witnessed your accident. This may be of use if you do decide to pursue a workplace accident claim. It is also useful to find out if there is any CCTV in the area where your accident happened.

  4. Document the incident

    It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:

    •  How the accident happened
    •  Details of any witnesses
    •  If there are any CCTV recordings of your accident
    • Take pictures of where the accident happened and what caused your accident
  5. Speak to a workplace accident solicitor

    If you are considering moving forward with a workplace accident claim for any personal injuries sustained, it is advisable that you speak with a workplace accident claims solicitor as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) for assessment. A workplace accident solicitor can help you in preparing your application to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.

    It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim.

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How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist workplace accident solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your workplace accident claim it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of who/what caused the accident
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Who did you report the accident to?
    • Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident?
    • Details of your injuries
    • Details of hospital or GP attended
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    Solicitors are aware of the workplace accident claim process and can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this process yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    One of the most important documents in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or hospital details so they can obtain a report on your injuries.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Personal Injuries Assessment Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your workplace accident claim will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. Your solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move the next step.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and your employer accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or your employer reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus on your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey’s we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your workplace accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email to tell us about your case.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a workplace accident claim you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a workplace accident.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the workplace accident, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages.

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors LLP

We draw on more than 35 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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