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Are Employers Responsible For Accidents In The Workplace?

As an employee it is important to be aware of your responsibilities, this will help you to be prepared for any eventuality and make sure you take the appropriate action; should something unexpected happen.

Work-Related Injury:

The first thing to note is that just because an injury happens at work it doesn’t mean that the injury is actually work-related. For this to be the case the injury must occur in the performance of normal duties.

This means going for a run at lunchtime and slipping over is not going to classify as a work injury. However, a slippery fall which causes an employee to slip and break their leg is the responsibility of the employer.

If you’ve got an employee that has experienced an accident, then you need to get employers assistance straight away.


The Complication:

Of course, it’s not actually that simple. The original onus is on the employer to provide a safe working place. But every workplace is full of hazards that could cause an injury to employees. An employer cannot possibly guarantee accidents won’t happen.

The emphasis, by law, is that everyone is responsible for health and safety in the workplace. As an employer, it is essential that you make all employees aware of safety risks. When doing this it is important that your employees are shown the risks and how to operate safely within these risks. You should also ensure that the employee’s sign to confirm they have received training regarding these risks.

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Without this training and the signature of the employee, it could be difficult to avoid being held responsible in the event of an accident

This is really the bottom line. An employer will be held responsible for an accident in the workplace if the risk is identifiable and the employees have not been trained in how to handle the risk.

To do this properly you’ll need to create a risk assessment for every process in the workplace. If a risk is discovered to be present then it will be essential to devise the safest possible way to work while bearing the risk in mind. It is not always possible to eliminate the risk but an employer must take steps to ensure that every employee is aware of the risk and how they should handle it; to reduce the risk of injury.

If an employer does all this, as proved by the signature of the employee; then there is no reason for the employer to be responsible for the accident.

However, this doesn’t mean that every accident shouldn’t be dealt with properly. An employer has the responsibility to report accidents properly and in a timely manner. You’ll also need to consider what benefits and pay will be provided for anyone suffering an injury at work. It is important to decide these before you have an incident as this will ensure you have a policy that can be applied to all staff; which will help to avoid any claims of favoritism.

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