Office accident claims
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Most people who work in an office don't realise how dangerous they can be, especially compared with other workplaces more associated with accidents such as factories and construction sites.
However, office accidents are very common in the UK and can result in severe and long-lasting injuries.
Those who work in an office will feel quite and sage and comfortable in their surroundings, and come to see it almost as a second home. This can make suffering a serious injury even more unsettling and difficult to cope with.
It's also common for many office workers to think their injury was their own fault (i.e. being clumsy or not paying attention) but just like in a factory or on a building site, the employer has a duty of care to make sure all employees in the office are safe. The employer should therefore follow health and safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment, provide the correct training and work equipment to help avoid injuries like repetitive strain injury and take action to remove potential slip, trip and fall hazards.
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Types of office accidents
It may seem unlikely that you would have an accident in the office, but there are a lot of hazards that have the potential to cause serious injury that can have long lasting effects on your quality of life.
Below we have outlined some of the most common types of office accidents that cause injury...
Slips, trips and falls
There are a lot of slip, trip and fall hazards in offices, from loose carpets and untidy cables to files and other obstacles being left on the floor.
Employers have a duty of care to keep the office floor clear from tripping hazards, and should have practices in place to identify and rectify any potential problem e.g. warning signs for wet floors.
If they fail in this duty and you suffer an injury as a result, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
This is caused by making repetitive movements over a period of time, which can cause pain in the muscles, nerves and tendons.
RSI is a common office injury due to the length of time many office workers spend typing or doing other repetitive admin tasks.
The employer should take steps to ensure workstations are correctly set up to reduce the likelihood of repetitive strain injury e.g. adjustable monitor, ergonomic keyboard and mouse, comfortable chair and so on.
Electric shocks from office equipment such as photocopiers, printers and computers are more common than you would probably imagine.
All office equipment should be well maintained and have regular PAT testing to make sure it is safe to use.
How to claim against your employer
It's common to feel uncomfortable at the thought of making a compensation claim against your employer, but don't worry - they will not be required to pay your compensation personally so they won't be left with a huge bill they can't afford.
All employers are required to take out employer's liability insurance which is designed to cover the costs of any personal injury claims made against them by their employees, so if you have a claim your compensation will be paid by the insurance company.
Also, it's worth remembering that it is illegal for your employer to sack you or treat you any differently if you make a compensation claim against them. If you were to lose your job because you made an office accident claim, then this would be seen as "unfair dismissal".
It's also important to make a claim as this can help highlight the safety issues in the office which may not have been taken seriously before, meaning the office safety will be improved for your colleagues.
Compensation payouts can help with your recovery
It is likely that an office injury will cause you to take time off work while you get better, which could mean you lose earnings or receive reduced pay during this time.
Your compensation payout will take into account any loss of earnings, as well as other expenses you may have incurred as a result of your injury such as treatment costs, rehabilitation, medication, travel and accomodation.
The payout will also take into account the pain and suffering caused by the injury, and the effect it has had on your day-to-day life, social life etc.
Making a claim for compensation after an office accident can help you pay for your recovery and remove any financial pressure so you can concentrate on getting better and getting back to normal.
Making an office accident claim
You could be entitled to make a claim for compensation if your office accident:
- happened in the last three years
- was someone else's fault
- resulted in an injury
Some office injuries like repetitive strain injury can occur over a long period of time, so in that case the three years time limit will begin from when you first noticed the symptoms.
To start your claim, or to find out more information, get in touch with the personal injury specialists at CL Legal...
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