Accidents in the workplace are an unfortunate reality, often leading to unforeseen challenges. The aftermath of such incidents can leave you facing health issues and potential loss of income, especially if the impact is significant.
If you’ve experienced a workplace accident, you may feel overwhelmed about what to do next. This guide simplifies the reporting process, helping you take the right steps quickly.
What Is Considered An Accident at Work
The simplest way to describe an injury at work is an unforeseen and sudden incident that takes place in the workplace and results in a mental or physical injury (in the worst cases, even in death). This unpredictability factor means that not all actions resulting in harm will necessarily be considered work accidents.
For example, while some people develop health conditions due to exposure to harmful substances or activities, these can’t be classified as workplace accidents but as occupational diseases. Whereas, if an unplanned event occurs due to unsafe behaviour or conditions within the workspace, this will potentially be classified as a workplace accident.
What To Do After Having a Workplace Accident
After the occurrence of an accident at work, the first thing you should do is ensure you do not have any fatal injuries. Seek medical attention from first aid responders within your reach if you need immediate medical help.
If you do not sustain any injuries, you should record the events leading to the occurrence in the accident book to avoid losing significant details. You must also inform your employer about the accident and take steps towards reporting the accident to the health and safety executive.
Who Needs to Report a Workplace Accident?
Employees are entitled to compensation when they are involved in a work accident. However, this can’t happen if you do not report it. The key is to be quick when reporting an accident to the employer and recording the events in the accident book. This should be done within the first three days after the accident.
On the other hand, the employer should report these incidents to the Health and Safety Department nearest them within the shortest time possible after the accident, with a timeline of a maximum of ten days after the incident.
The government provides two channels for reporting such incidents: online and by phone. The employer should visit the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website, fill out the appropriate form depending on the accident’s nature, and submit the report.
Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) under the health and safety executive is responsible for handling such cases. The department encourages employers to report all cases online, but they provide a telephone number that can only be used to notify of fatal issues within working hours.
Nevertheless, you can report particular cases after work hours if there is physical evidence that may be lost with time, there’s a strong likelihood of death, or the severity of the incident requires a public statement from the HSE department. Ensure you stay abreast with contract particulars regarding sick and accident pay.
How Long Does Your Claim Take To Be Processed?
After reporting, it takes varying times to complete employee claims, thanks to the difference in circumstances.
Documentation Needed To Report a Workplace Accident
When filling out the report, you must include particular details which will be used to process the request. These include:
- Your personal details (Name, job position, contact details)
- Company details
- Date, time, and location the accident took place
- Details of other people involved
- Description of the injury or illness
- The date of the recording
Can You Get Access to Any Pensions While You Can’t Work?
Pension is money set aside to use after you retire, so the circumstances allowing you to access your potluck may vary. If you are under the state pension scheme, you may only manage to access your retirement benefits once you reach the state retirement age. However, the government will give you other benefits to help you cope with the injury until you get better.
On the other hand, if you’d saved with other private companies, you may be able to start benefiting from that pot depending on the severity of the condition. Persons with a short life expectancy caused by the injury could withdraw from their pool without restrictions if they invested in private pension companies.
Compensation for a workplace injury is vital in ensuring employees don’t suffer the brunt of mistakes that are out of their control. Visit the HSE official website for more information on how to go about reporting these cases once they happen. You can also check the citizens advice website.