Over one million people are affected by a workplace-related illness each year. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) also estimates that some 27 million working days were lost as a result of workplace injury or work related injury. If you have been unfortunate enough to have been injured at work or your health has been affected by your working environment you may be able to claim compensation from your employer. But what does this mean and how do you go about it?

Workplace injuries

There are many different circumstances that can give rise to a claim against your employer for injury or illness. Some of the more common include:

• Slips trips and falls in the workplace
• Injury due to defective equipment
• Injury as a result of a lack of training
• Illness arising from exposure to harmful substances
• Injury as a result of dangerous working practices

Your employer is not automatically responsible if you have been injured at work. They do, however, have a legal responsibility to comply with all relevant health and safety legislation and provide you with a safe place of work. They may be considered liable if they have failed to comply with their legal obligations or have been negligent, that is not done something they reasonably should have or done something that a reasonable person would not.

Making a claim

People can be reluctant to make a claim against their employer. However, if you have been injured and it was not your fault then you are entitled to do so and to seek redress for the injury and inconvenience you have suffered as a result. Making a claim can highlight safety issues or unsafe practices at work and help prevent the same thing happening to someone else. Most employers are required to take out and maintain Employers Liability Insurance and this covers their legal liabilities to their employers for injury.

If you have been injured at work and it was not your fault then you may wish to take legal advice about whether you have a valid claim. Many solicitors offer a free initial consultation so it is simply to start the ball rolling. If you appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf then they will contact your employer and their insurer and set out the grounds for your claim and arrange evidence to support it.

What you can claim for

If your claim is successful there are a number of different areas that you can receive compensation for. First and foremost is compensation for the injury itself. The amount you will receive depends upon the type of injury you have suffered and how long it will take to recover. You can also claim for any direct financial losses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. For example, travel costs to hospital appointments and any loss of income.

Finding out if you have a valid claim and how much you are likely to receive could not be easier. And, by choosing a friendly and approachable firm such as Lees Solicitors it needn’t be daunting either.