I am a new employee - can I still make an injury claim?

New employee at work thinking about personal injury claim

Even as a new employee, if you've suffered an injury at work due to your employer's negligence or unsafe working conditions, you have the right to file a compensation claim.

Duty of care

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, all employers owe a legal duty of care to their employees. In most cases, your employer will be responsible (liable) if you are injured during your work.

An employee is able to make a work accident claim if their employer fails in their duty of care, regardless of whether they are a new employee or have worked there for several years.

An employer's duty of care is not only to ensure that the work area is safe and hazard free, but to ensure a new member of staff is fully trained and is aware of health and safety rules and regulations.

An employer must ensure that the new employee is trained on all safety aspects of the role including:

  • How to safely operate all machinery relevant to the job
  • Awareness of what safety equipment to use such as hard hats, gloves, hi-visibility jackets etc
  • Knowledge of stop buttons and/or how to isolate the machine from the power source in case of emergency

If an employer fails to provide a new employee with the correct training and supervision and the employee has an accident, then the injured employee may be able to make a claim.

See also:

Making a work accident claim

Making a claim as a new employee

If an employee is injured at work, they should seek medical attention immediately. The accident should be recorded in an accident book and the names and addresses of any witnesses should be gathered. This will act as evidence to support the case should you wish to make a claim, but will likely be company procedure regardless of your intention to claim compensation.

If possible, photographs should also be taken of the scene.

Some who have been involved in an accident at work may be reluctant to make a claim because they fear that they will be treated differently in the workplace or even fired. An employer may not dismiss a member of staff for making a compensation claim, regardless of whether they joined two years ago, or two weeks, and many employers would not consider doing so.

Employers take out insurance to cover the cost of such accident claims. This insurance means the company would be unlikely to pay your compensation itself, it would be paid by the insurer.

Employers' liability claims claims

Work accident claims, or employers' liability claims, differ from other types of claim. Click on the icons below to read more about claiming:

How we can help you with your work accident claim

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Kevin Walker secures £1.4 million for a seriously-injured motorcyclist

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Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor