Accident at Work*

Work Footwear Injury Claims*

An accident in the workplace is an unfortunate event that has become quite common in recent years. A common cause of accidents at work is lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). By law, PPE is required by all employees who work in a potentially hazardous environment. PPE includes clothing, footwear, gloves, hard hats and protective masks for the face.

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Duty of Care

Appropriate footwear is required by all workers who are employed in a hazardous environment. A large number of injuries are caused by lack of footwear or incorrect protective equipment. Footwear is a basic item that will ensure the health and safety of employees in a number of different industries, such as warehouses, factories and kitchens. An employer who has not provided the correct footwear is likely to find themselves liable for any accidents or injuries sustained as a result of this.

An employer has a duty of care to ensure that an employee’s health and safety is looked after. This should be the number one priority in all industries. It is important that an employer carries out frequent risk assessments to identify and eliminate any potential hazards. This will also make them aware of the personal protective equipment that is required by their employees. Saying this, it is up to an employee to ensure that they are following regulations and wearing any equipment that is provided to them. If it is found that an employee has not followed health and safety procedures which are in place, then they will be found liable for injuries and accidents in the workplace.

PPE Regulations

There are certain regulations in place that provide for the health and safety of employees in the workplace. The first being the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Regulations 2007.  These regulations outline that protective equipment should be provided to employees in a hazardous environment. They also say that an assessment should be carried out to determine what equipment is needed and for how long it should be worn throughout the working day. It is also important that any equipment provided is maintained and kept in a good condition. It should then be replaced as soon as possible when this becomes necessary.

The European Communities PPE Regulations 1993 are in place to ensure that no PPE is placed on the market unless it complies with the health and safety standards and requirements. PPE is deemed to be satisfactory if it has the “CE Mark”. It is up to both the employer and employee to ensure that protective equipment, especially footwear, meets the standards in place, so as to reduce the risk of injury if an accident were to happen.

Common Injuries

Common injuries caused by work footwear include:

Common Causes

Lack of Correct Footwear

If you are not wearing the correct footwear it is likely that injuries will be sustained if an accident does happen. If you work in a potentially hazardous environment it is very important that you take the necessary precautions to ensure that your own health and safety is a priority.

Long Periods of Standing

Standing for an extended period of time in uncomfortable or unsuitable footwear can lead to a number of injuries. An employer who knows that their employees will be standing for a long time throughout the day should ensure that they are given frequent rest periods and should reduce the amount of time they are carrying out the same tasks.

Slips, Trips and Falls

Those who work in an environment where there are a lot of liquids or slippery surfaces should be provided with non-slip shoes. Studies have found that non-slip shoes had reduced the amount of slip and fall accidents in a manufacturing plant to zero.

Misuse of Equipment and Machinery

Incorrect use of machinery could cause a number of accidents. If a piece of equipment was dropped or something flew from the machinery as a result of negligence then it could cause a foot injury as a result of dangerous practice and procedures in the workplace.

Debris and Hazards on the Floor

Hazards should be identified in a risk assessment carried out by an employer. If these risks are not eliminated, they can lead to a foot injury if the correct footwear is not worn. Depending on the work being carried out, an employer should provide employees with the right equipment.

Falling Objects

If falling objects were to fall on the foot it could cause injury. It is important that if there is a risk of falling objects, such as in storerooms and warehouses, that steel cap boots are worn.

Hot Surfaces

Walking on a hot surface in the incorrect footwear can lead to burns. It is important that the correct footwear is worn if you are working around hot surfaces and materials. Cold surfaces can also cause chilblains in the feet.

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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