Accidents in the Workplace
Have you had an accident at work? It’s possible that your employer or another worker has been negligent, and you may be entitled to a claim.
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Accidents in the Workplace Practice Areas
Some common Accidents in the Workplace Claims
Our team of experienced Workplace Injury Claim Solicitors at Coleman Legal continuously educates themselves on all aspects of personal injury.
No matter how unusual or rare your case is, we can offer sound advice and support to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Factory Accidents Claims
- Asbestosis Claim
- Mesothelioma Claim
- Warehouse Accident Claim
- Industrial Accident Claim
Construction Accidents Claims
- Machinery Handling Accidents Claim
- Defective Machinery Accidents Claim
- Moving Vehicle Accidents Claim
- Welding and Chemical Burns Claim
- Electric Shock Injuries Claim
- Electrical Injury at Work Claim
Accidents in the workplace
Employer Liability / Employer Responsibility
Employers’ responsibilities to workers have evolved over the years in the civil courts, and the employer’s duty of care to each of his employees can be reduced to five headings.
Put simply the employer must provide:
- Safe systems of work,
- A safe place of work,
- Plant and machinery that is safe to use,
- Competent supervision and/or suitable training and,
- Care in the selection of fellow employees.
All claims involving accidents in the workplace (employer liability cases) must be submitted to Personal Injuries Assessment Board before starting legal proceedings.
Employers must ensure the minimum health and safety standards in order to prevent (as much as possible) their employees from being injured due to an accident at work.
Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005, employers have a duty to ensure their employee’s safety, health, and welfare at work as far as is reasonably practicable.
In order to prevent workplace injuries and ill health you are required, among other things, to
- Provide and maintain a safe workplace, machinery, and equipment
- Prevent risks from use of any article or substance and from exposure to physical agents, noise, and vibration
- Prevent any improper conduct or behavior likely to put the safety, health, and welfare of employees at risk (“horseplay” and bullying at work come within these categories)
- Provide instruction and training to employees on health and safety
- Provide protective clothing and equipment to employees (at no cost to employees)
- Appoint a competent person as the organisation’s Safety Officer
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Accidents in the workplace Compensation
There are four main components to an injury compensation settlement.
Compensation for General pain and damages is calculated using the Book of Quantum (a publication that lists a variety of injuries and assigns them a financial value depending on the severity of the injury)
Compensation for the non-financial changes you had to make in your life as a result of the injury – e.g unable to complete domestic tasks, unable to participate in leisure pursuits or enjoy social events that would be a part of your normal routine, loss of amenity – such as being unable to care for your young children or elderly, or if you’re depressed due to incapacitation.
Compensation for any emotional trauma that you may have been diagnosed with due to the nature of the accident, how the accident had occurred, or development while you were in recovery. These are known as psychological injuries. It typically takes time to manifest and the consequences can be debilitating.
Compensation of special damages to recover any expenses you may have incurred, or may incur in the future as a result of your injury – such as loss of income, medical fees therapy costs, pharmacy costs, using other forms of transport due to being unable to drive, and even restructuring your home if your accident has left you confined to a wheelchair.
These are generally the main examples of compensation under the four main components of an injury compensation settlement. It is advisable to speak to a solicitor to determine which type of expenses can be recovered and it is highly recommended to keep all receipts for anything you spend on (such as medical fees, pharmacy costs, transport costs, etc.) during the recovery of your injury at work. Having the receipts will smoothen the process of your solicitor negotiating the best and fairest possible settlement for you in all the circumstances.
Liability for Injuries at Work
After establishing that a physical or psychological injury has been sustained at or from work, then the liability of the injury must be determined. Liability refers to the state of being responsible for something. Injuries at work do not always have to be a result of direct or indirect action from the employer. It can also be sustained through an unsafe working environment which would be a breach of duty by the employer under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.
For a personal injury claim to be successful, the injury sustained must result from the negligence of someone who had a duty of care to the injured party.
A breach of the act includes not providing or maintaining a safe workplace, machinery, and equipment, inadequate prevention of risks that could cause harm to the employee’s health such as exposure to physical agents, loud noises, vibration and unsafe use of any article or substance, not preventing any improper conduct or behaviour that could cause harm to employees such as bullying and sexual harassment, inadequate training and instruction for employees to do their job safely and failure to provide personal protective equipment to the employee, amongst many.
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 strictly provides the guidelines in protecting employees. In all of the cases above, there is a lack of reasonably practicable care for the employee’s health, safety and welfare from the employer’s end. If the negligent employer fails to take necessary precautions to prevent employees from possible injury, the liability hence falls on the employer.
In the case where the employee themselves have partially contributed to the risk of their injury, then it is known as Contributory Negligence and the liability will also fall on the employee.
Claims Advice for Accidents at Work
If you decide to pursue a workplace injury claim, it is important to note that no two work compensation claims are likely to be the same, even when the injury sustained is identical. This is because of other factors such as your employment status, direct approaches from insurance companies and sometimes, even your profession.
Therefore, it is advisable for you to speak to an experienced solicitor and seek legal advice regarding workplace injuries as soon as possible, after receiving the medical attention and treatment you need from sustaining your injury. Most solicitors will offer a free initial evaluation of your personal situation and advise you whether you have potential legal action and whether you qualify for a successful workplace injury compensation.
After you decide that you would like to pursue a workplace injury claims with a solicitor acting on your behalf, your solicitor will advise you on the procedures you should take to support your claims, typically act on your behalf to gather relevant documents and witnesses to ensure you get the best and fairest settlement for your workplace injury while you recover.
What is Employers Liability Insurance?
Employers Liability Insurance provides cover in case an employee is injured or killed at work or develops an illness associated from their job. For instance, if an employee is injured in your warehouse and your business is found to be negligent, Employers Liability would protect your business. The standard level of cover is €13 million, again this figure can be increased if required.
The definition of an employee within insurance typically covers any individual that is hired under a contract or apprenticeship scheme once this work falls within the business description.
Is my Employer Covered with Insurance ?
An employer is legally required to provide yo with a safe place of work and a safe system of work. Historically agency workers were treated in an entirely different manner to those workers who were hired directly into the workforce. Whilst the employment agency is the employer, the company is also respomsoble for breaches of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005.
Your right to being protected under Health and Safety Regulations are the responsibility of both the company company where you are doing the temporary work and the agency.
Contributory Negligence and Claims for Injuries
Sometimes, there can be disagreement between the employer and employee in regards to who is responsible for the accident that caused the injury (when there is doubt as to who is responsible). In this case, the court may decide or the parties may ultimately agree that both the employer and employee are liable for the employee’s injury and hence the principle of contributory negligence will apply.
Contributory negligence is the legal principle where the injured party (employee) may have possibly contributed to their own injury by acting in a negligent manner, whether through conducting work when there are obvious and known risks, improper behaviour that will endanger themselves or others, failure to report any defects in equipment or place of work that may be a danger to health and safety to themselves or others, working under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and failure to seek the appropriate medical attention within a reasonable time frame, which can exacerbate the severity of the injury.
If you have concerns regarding whether you qualify for compensation for a work injury, or whether you may have contributed to either the cause of the accident or the severity of the injury, it is advisable to speak to a solicitor.
How we can help ?
If you have experienced injury or illness in the workplace and have questions surrounding the incident, please contact our workplace injury solicitors at Coleman Legal to find out if you have a potential legal action against your employer.
Our dedicated team has a collective experience of over 30 years, and we are ready to advise and assist you with your claim.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.