Accidents Do Happen – What to do when they do

Accidents At Work 

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Acts 2005 and 2010 set out the rights and obligations of both employers and employees and provides for substantial fines and penalties for breaches of the health and safety legislation but it’s some of the practical what to do on the spot information that follows.  

1.Types of Injury 

Accidents can happen at work some examples are falls from a heights such as scaffolding, stairs or ladders or on surfaces where slippery/wet surfaces are not seen or expected or where exposed to dangerous or chemical substances without proper protective equipment and clothing. Machinery which was faulty or inadequately serviced. Or an injury involving lifting heavy objects and general manual handling, especially where training was poor or non-existent.

2. Seek medical attention

Attending to the injured is the priority . Whether its reaching for the first aid box , calling the onsite medical team or calling 112 for accident and emergency. Care is the first action to take at the scene. Try to remain calm and get the medical assistance needed on site or at another location 

3. Report the accident formally 

Report the accident immediately to your employer and do your best to ensure that an accident report form is completed. The obligation is on the employer to record the accident but for the injured its important to record the detail as soon as possible afterwards at work or remotely at some stage if you must be removed from the scene to hospital due to injuries. If it is appropriate or you think it may be helpful take a picture at the location of the accident. It may assist your explanation and description of the accident to the employer or solicitor as to what happened . A faulty machine may be obvious but slips, trips and falls or injuries arising from repetitive injury arising from stress on joints may be more challenging to describe so the work process or the location of the accident or faulty machine in pictures may assist.

4. Record Loss of Earnings

If you are out of work and remain unpaid for the duration of your recovery from an injury at work you may be entitled to a full reimbursement of immediate lost earnings and earnings into the future in circumstances where the injury has damaged your future opportunities and future loss of earnings.

5. State Support or Payment 

You may be entitled to a state support. Injury Benefit is a weekly payment if you are unfit for work due to the accident. If you are still unfit for work after 26 weeks you may apply for Illness Benefit or Disability Allowance. Disablement Benefit is paid if you have a loss of physical or mental faculty after the accident or disease.

6. Get your solicitor involved early on

We can advise you in early course of your rights and obligations . Often the first conversation may be to record the event , describe what happened and outline the serious injuries when they become more apparent . We can outline in early course the way the damages for injuries sustained is paid to the injured and how the out of pocket expenses can be recovered by you the injured party . You may not be seeking to take a claim until you see the full extent of the injury , the personal cost to you and how it may come against you later on in life . Sometimes the onset of post traumatic affects is not immediate .Understanding the simple procedure by which compensation is paid when work injuries arising happen and  where the liability is accepted and uncontested is important . The process can seem daunting but clarity as to the simple procedure assists at a time when work place injuries can also cause overwhelming personal and financial stress.

7. Keep a Diary 

Mae West once said ‘’ Keep a diary, and someday it’ll keep you’’ and its true. Detail the date of the accident, who was there ,what happened next, your ongoing injuries , medical appointments, recovery of injuries as they occur, out of pocket expenses & receipts. The mind cannot hold all the information that will be asked of you so note it, jot it down and diary it.

8. Get & keep witness details

Another person’s recollection and record of the event can be helpful in collecting details but it can also support your version of events. So if there are witnesses ask them to give a statement to explain what they saw too.

9. Take photographic evidence at scene or later on 

Taking a picture or asking a work mate to take a picture at the scene may be helpful in assisting show the location of the accident and what was involved . It will aid your description of the incident that happened. A picture may be better than a thousand words in showing who or what was where at the time of the incident. 

Contact us – Cahir and Co Solicitors, 36 Abbey Street, Ennis –     

* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

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Cahir & Co., solicitors was established over forty years ago and we are focused on delivering a personal and professional service at all times. We place our clients at the heart of our firm. We are a second generation family business and an award winning legal firm. We strive to deliver successful results to our clients. The combined skill and experience of our solicitors and administrative staff ensures that we provide the highest quality of legal services to a broad range of clients on a local, regional and national basis. We have an established client base in the commercial and private sector both in Ireland and overseas. Our law firm continues to grow as a result of regular referrals from satisfied clients who recommend us to their friends, family and colleagues.


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