How to avoid work related claim
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21 May 2010
In this article I will explore the duties an Employer owes to an
Employee, the relevant regulations that the Employer needs to adhere to and the
procedure that needs to be followed when an accident does occur at work place.
Employer's duty to Employees
All employers owe a duty of care to their workforce to protect
them from reasonably foreseeable injuries, under the law of negligence. The
reality is that accidents at work can, and do, occur for various reasons, some
that the employers may have been able to avoid, others that they could not.
I have listed below some examples of how an accident may occur
at workplace, (this not an exhaustive list):
1.workplace accidents occurring through unsuitable or defective
2.lack of training or protective clothing,
3.hazards in the workplace
4.even mistakes made by other employees.
Employers are expected to adhere to a number of regulations in
order to avoid the risk of injury to their staff. Most of these are laws passed
through the UK Parliament but increasingly there are working directives from the
European Union which are being enacted by the UK law makers.
The main areas they cover are Health and Safety and Working
Practice; which would include the working environment, risk assessment, manual
handling, equipment, training and procedures.
Some of the laws will be relevant to one industry more than
another but the general rules will apply to all industry.
Safe workplace and Risk assessments
One of the most important elements that need to be satisfied by
employers when defending an accident related claim is whether they can satisfy
that they have provided their employees with a safe working environment.
In order to provide a safe workplace for employees and reduce
the risk of accidents 'as far as is reasonably practicable', an employer has to
carry out risk assessment.
The purpose of a risk assessment is to identify potential
hazards in the workplace and allow the employer to decide upon, and put into
practice, reasonable safety precautions.
An employer is expected to make sure the issues that risk
assessment identifies should always be recorded and employees kept informed of
any health and safety procedures.
A correctly done risk assessment should look at the safety of
individual task, equipment, and should take into account any particular risks
that relate to individual employees.
All Employers are expected to carry this out but the size and
business of the employer would dictate how rigours the risk assessment is
For example a corner shop is not expected to carry out risk
assessments as often as one would expect Tesco to do so.
Recording accidents that occur at work place
Employers must ensure that they have an 'accident book' where
details of any workplace accidents and injuries can be recorded.
One of the benefits of an accident book is that it provides a
record of what has happened, in case an employee needs to make an accident at
work claim for compensation at a later point. It is also useful for an employer
to see details of what has happened so that they may try to prevent future
It is not expected that a small sized company would need to have
accident book to record incidents, however it may be best practice to get in the
The above article considers basic duties an employer owes to an
employee in relation to accident at work. It is advised that the reader seeks
expert advice before putting in place their Health and Safety policies at work.
Rashidul Islam is a Trainee Solicitor with Lawdit solicitors and
can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
Lawdit Solicitors offer services and
advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal
agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on
Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the
International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court
Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign
association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-05-31 15:49:55 in Employee Articles