Many employees around Ireland are involved in workplace accidents which has caused them to sustain injuries. Under health and safety laws in Ireland, your employer has a legal duty to ensure that you are not injured or exposed to potential danger during the course of your work, and that you are provided with a safe work environment in which to carry out your duties. By failing to do so, employers are liable for substantial fines and penalties if found to be in breach of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, and you may be entitled to compensation. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you have been injured while at work, below is a general outline of the most important steps you will need to take in the first instance if any such incidents occur.
1. Seek Medical Attention If the injury you have sustained at work requires medical attention, visit your local hospital or GP for an assessment of your injuries. For more serious incidents, it may necessary to call an ambulance and/or visit your nearest accident and emergency department.
2. Report the Accident to your Employer Following a workplace accident or injury, your employer is legally obligated to report certain instances to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) if it has caused you to miss three consecutive days of work. This does not include the day on which you were injured.
3. Record your Loss of Earnings Although your employer is not legally obliged to pay you while on sick leave, even in the case of a workplace accident, it is nevertheless crucial to record your loss of earnings. By keeping accurate records, you may be eligible to recover this money through an insurance claim for compensation at a later stage. You may also check if you are entitled to any benefits while you are out sick under the Occupational Injuries Scheme.
4. Photographic Evidence and a List of Witnesses If it is possible for you to do so, attempt to take photographs of the location where in the accident occurred, as well as of the injury itself. In addition to taking photographs, try to gather the details of witnesses who may have seen the accident when it happened. Having this list will be advantageous if statements are required at a later date for legal proceedings.
5. Speak to a Solicitor In the case of a workplace accident, having a legal expert on your side is of enormous benefit when seeking compensation. As with injury claims, speaking to a solicitor who specialises in such cases and can provide you with the best advice before launching legal proceedings is strongly advised.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*