Good afternoon and hello again.
We often receive calls from people who have been hurt at work because of something a work colleague has done, or has done badly. These injured people are sometimes worried by the fact that their workmate caused it. It might have been a total accident, a stupid act, sheer incompetence, lack of training or whatever.
They wonder, will it be possible to claim compensation for the injuries and losses suffered and, if so, who will meet the claim and will it get my workmate into trouble?
The short answer is yes, you can make a personal injury compensation claim and almost every time the claim would be against the employer and not the workmate.
Whether the workmate will be in trouble with the employer isn’t always so easy to predict, but if they are in trouble then that is probably the case whether or not a compensation claim is made. Employment contracts and the general law of employment will govern whether the workmate is in trouble, but if any action is taken against them then the employer would need to follow a fair and transparent process, like a formal disciplinary code.
The injured person themselves shouldn’t feel that they have dropped a colleague in it and can have some comfort from the fact that the law does protect them pretty well in the workplace.
The employer, in whatever field of work, always has loads of duties and responsibilities to protect and safeguard their staff. There are wide general rules and laws that protect every kind of employee in any job and there are also many job specific ones that are aimed at particular industries and pursuits.
You will appreciate that the safety concerns of an employer who employs people on, say, an oil rig will have very different concerns to someone employing people in a warehouse. Both employers will have to follow a raft of general safe employment rules and a load of industry specific ones too.
Another factor that helps to safeguard employees is that, like driving on the roads, insurance is compulsory for anyone or any company who employs anyone. This means first of all that employers are paying a premium for this insurance and so it is in their interests to be a good and safe employer, and also the insurer will to a certain extent help to “force” a safe working culture on the employer either by “carrot or stick”. The “carrot” approach is represented by reduced, or at least modest premiums for caring and safety conscious employers, and the “stick” is represented by big excesses to pay and large premium hikes for employers with poor safety records and culture.
Injury claims arising from accidents in the work place can seem very complicated, but you can see that individuals have a lot of protections and rights, so claims will very often succeed. Because it is the employer who has and accepts those responsibilities you don’t need to feel bad about getting a colleague into trouble either.
If you’ve had an accident at work, or anywhere, give me or Lorraine a call or email, or use the free case evaluation button below. We’ll talk it through with you for free.
Bye for now,