Injured when an employer ignored a reported problem?
Employers have a duty of care to their staff. If an employee informs the employer of a potential hazard in the workplace, the employer is obliged to take steps to reduce the risks involved.
For example, a member of staff might notice a spillage on the floor, which could cause people to slip and potentially sustain injuries. If the spillage has been reported, and management have failed to take any action, the employers may well find themselves liable for a personal injury claim.
What are the potential hazards?
Whether you work in an office, a factory or a supermarket, there are many potential causes of accidents. It is important to inform a senior member of staff as soon as possible, giving them reasonable notice to minimise the risk of harm. These potential hazards can include:
- Broken glass - Staff or customers might cut themselves or fall because of broken glass
- Loose handrail - People could slip and fall if the handrail detaches from the wall
- Grease spill on the floor - People can easily slip and potentially sustain serious injuries
- Rubbish blocking emergency exits - If a fire was to break out, people would be unable to escape the building in a timely manner
- Flammable materials such as paper or plastic left lying near a heat source like a cooker - The safety of kitchen staff and customers would be at serious risk
- Dangerous chemicals labelled and stored incorrectly - This could put people at risk of injuries from poisoning
How do you prove that the employer is liable?
If a hazard or risky situation has been reported to a supervisor or manager, they have had the opportunity to resolve the problem. If you have spotted some loose, uneven flooring, for example, you might have informed your boss about the situation. As an employee, your duty is done. If your manager fails to have the flooring fixed, or even to erect a warning sign around the area, they are liable for any accidents that occur.
What should you do if an accident occurs despite a hazard report being made?
If an employer has failed to act on reasonable notice of a fault, and you have been in an accident as a result, you are likely to have a good case for claiming compensation. Quittance's panel of expert solicitors can guide you through the process step by step, and help you to secure the best possible outcome for your personal injury case.
The Quittance panel will seek to establish formally that the employer has had the opportunity to prevent the accident from happening. This could be in the form of employee contact, or even a customer complaint.
If you contact a solicitor as soon as possible after the accident, they will begin the process of proving that the employer is responsible for what has happened. This can involve getting details of where, when and to whom the risks were reported, including any records of conversations or emails. You will also need to provide evidence that you were injured, such as hospital records.
How can Quittance help?
If you have been involved in an accident at work because of a fault that was ignored by your employer, it is likely you will have a strong case for claiming personal injury compensation. Call us on 0800 612 7456 for a free consultation or complete an online callback form.