Accident at Work victims have a duty to claim

Published: 02/12/2011

There is never a good place to have an accident but having an accident at work could be one of the worst as it places the injury victim in a difficult situation with their employer. Employees are fearful that by claiming for compensation against their employer, they may be treated differently or unfairly, face alienation, or potentially run the risk of losing their job.

However, in order to ensure the safety of colleagues, it is vital for the victim of an accident at work to report the incident and claim for compensation if appropriate.

Every employer has a duty of care and responsibility to provide a safe and secure working environment for all its employees. This includes ensuring employees are fully trained on all equipment they are required to use which brings us to a recent case against Rochdale engineering firm, Adelaide Engineering Company Ltd, after an employee lost three fingers.

The 21-year-old was operating an industrial saw at the firm’s factory when suffering this horrendous injury. Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard how not only he had received no training on the piece of equipment but there was also no adjustable guard in place around the part of the blade not being used. He had also been left unsupervised.

Last week, Adelaide Engineering Company Ltd was fined £8000 and ordered to pay £2514 in prosecution costs for failing to adequately assess the risks workers faced and failing to take action to ensure the safety of employees.

Laura Moran was the investigating inspector at Health and Safety Executive (HSE):

“Engineering firms must treat the safety of workers as their top priority. It’s vital they properly assess the risks posed by machines to make sure employees aren’t put in danger.”¹

As this case demonstrates, if an employer fails to provide a safe working environment and adequate training, they have not done their job properly and it is only right that they are suitably reprimanded, just as if an employee falls short of their objectives, they would receive a warning.

¹HSE (Nov 2011)

Content correct at time of publication

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