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Office Accident Claims

When we think of workplace injuries, we tend to think of accidents like window cleaners falling from ladders or unguarded machinery causing severe wounding.  You are unlikely to think of an office worker tripping and indeed, office work is not usually considered to be hazardous.

For a customer services operator in Stoke however, a simple walk across the reception area became a prolonged nightmare when her shoe caught on the carpet and she tripped, hurting her back against the wall.  She was in too much pain to return to work for three months and was unable even to brush her hair.  She was eventually awarded £6000 in compensation for pain and suffering – and this is not by any means an isolated incident.

Types of injury

Although serious accidents are rare in offices, there are still many injuries that could arise including:

  • Strains caused by inadequate seating arrangements or poorly designed workstations;
  • Shocks, burns or cuts caused by faulty equipment;
  • Trips caused by trailing cables, loose carpet or damaged flooring;
  • Slips caused by wet, greasy or icy floors;
  • Back injuries from attempts to move heavy items;
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries from typing or other repetitive work

Not every injury that occurs in the workplace will be the employer's fault.  For example, if you strain your back trying to lift a box despite having been instructed to wait for assistance or for the care-taking staff to move it you may not be able to make a claim.

What should employers do?

Employers have a duty of care to their employees.  Employers must have a health and safety policy, although if an employer employs fewer than five employees it does not need to be written down.  An employer should undertake a risk assessment and identify hazards that could cause harm to your employees and then actively minimise the risks identified.  For example, if you identify as a hazard a worn piece of carpet you should arrange to have it replaced as soon as possible.

Nevertheless, unforeseen circumstances do occur and all employers should have sufficient liability insurance to cover any potential office accident claims. 

Employers with more than ten employees must have an accident book to be completed every time an accident occurs, regardless of severity.  If an accident results in an employee being unable to work for more than seven days then the incident should be reported to the Health and Safety Executive.  Whenever the accident book is filled in an employer should also investigate the cause of the accident and take steps to prevent it happening again.

What to do if you think you have a claim

If your employer has an accident book then you should fill it in, or have it filled in on your behalf, as soon as possible after the accident.  If your employer does not have an accident book it is important to note down what happened whilst it is still fresh in your mind.  You can also take photos of where the accident took place (for example loose cables or wet floors) and of the injuries you sustained.

If your injury has been caused by poor ergonomics or repetitive work you will need to show that yOffice Accident Claims

When we think of workplace injuries, we tend to think of accidents like window cleaners falling from ladders or unguarded machinery causing severe wounding.  You are unlikely to think of an office worker tripping and indeed, office work is not usually considered to be hazardous.

For a customer services operator in Stoke however, a simple walk across the reception area became a prolonged nightmare when her shoe caught on the carpet and she tripped, hurting her back against the wall.  She was in too much pain to return to work for three months and was unable even to brush her hair.  She was eventually awarded £6000 in compensation for pain and suffering – and this is not by any means an isolated incident.

Types of Office Accident injury

Although serious accidents are rare in offices, there are still many injuries that could arise including:

  • Strains caused by inadequate seating arrangements or poorly designed workstations;
  • Shocks, burns or cuts caused by faulty equipment;
  • Trips caused by trailing cables, loose carpet or damaged flooring;
  • Slips caused by wet, greasy or icy floors;
  • Back injuries from attempts to move heavy items;
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries from typing or other repetitive work

Not every injury that occurs in the workplace will be the employer's fault.  For example, if you strain your back trying to lift a box despite having been instructed to wait for assistance or for the care-taking staff to move it you may not be able to make a claim.

What should employers do?

Employers have a duty of care to their employees.  Employers must have a health and safety policy, although if an employer employs fewer than five employees it does not need to be written down.  An employer should undertake a risk assessment and identify hazards that could cause harm to your employees and then actively minimise the risks identified.  For example, if you identify as a hazard a worn piece of carpet you should arrange to have it replaced as soon as possible.

Nevertheless, unforeseen circumstances do occur and all employers should have sufficient liability insurance to cover any potential office accident claims. 

Employers with more than ten employees must have an accident book to be completed every time an accident occurs, regardless of severity.  If an accident results in an employee being unable to work for more than seven days then the incident should be reported to the Health and Safety Executive.  Whenever the accident book is filled in an employer should also investigate the cause of the accident and take steps to prevent it happening again.

What to do if you think you have a claim

If your employer has an accident book then you should fill it in, or have it filled in on your behalf, as soon as possible after the accident.  If your employer does not have an accident book it is important to note down what happened whilst it is still fresh in your mind.  You can also take photos of where the accident took place (for example loose cables or wet floors) and of the injuries you sustained.

If your injury has been caused by poor ergonomics or repetitive work you will need to show that your employer could have prevented the injury – for example, by providing you with an adjustable chair.  For that reason it is important that you alert your employer to any issues with your workstation and keep a note of what action you have requested.  Even if it is now too late to keep such records, if you can remember when you discussed it, or if the ergonomics were so clearly inadequate that anyone would have risked injury, you may still be able to make a claim.

How we can help

If you think you have grounds for a claim against your employer you can contact our experienced solicitors to discuss it further.  We work on a no win, no fee basis and offer not only expert legal advice but also practical assistance, moral support and straight-talking guidance through the entire claims process.  Once we've started work on your claim you will have a dedicated solicitor who will be with you every step of the way, allowing you to feel fully supported throughout the process.

Contact your personal injury partner today and let use take the hassle out of your claim

01782 608 744
Start your claim today!