A Guide To Office Accident At Work Compensation Claims

By Stephen Bishop. Last updated 14th July 2023. Welcome to our office accident at work compensation guide. When we think of a hazardous working environment, we usually think of a construction site or industrial plant where heavy machinery is used. However, accidents at work can also take place if the premises are not properly maintained.

If you have been injured or made ill because of an office accident at work that was caused by negligence on the part of your employer, you may be able to claim compensation. If your accident at work claim is successful, you will be compensated for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity and will also receive funds to pay for any expenses you have in relation to your accident, such as medical bills.

To claim compensation for injuries or an illness brought on by an office workplace accident, Legal Helpline can advise you for free. Call us today on 0161 696 9685 for free accident at work claims advice. Alternatively, use our online claims form to reach us. If you were injured in an office accident which was not your fault, our team could help you to begin a compensation claim for your office injury or illness. Read our guide, to find our more.

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A Guide To Office Workplace Accident Claims

office accident at work compensation

Office workplace accident claim

In the United Kingdom, there is a wealth of health and safety legislation to protect office workers. This includes the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, which states that employers are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of employees, whilst using their premises, or an environment that the employer controls.

The employer is legally responsible for providing their employees with a safe and hygienic work environment. If the employer fails to maintain the premises to proper standards of health and safety and a worker is injured or made ill as a result, the employer could be held liable for the worker’s injuries and have to pay them compensation.

Legal Helpline has created this guide for people who have been injured or made ill because of accidents in the office caused by negligence on the part of the employer and want to claim compensation. We will look at office injury statistics for recent years and explain why your employer is legally obliged to protect you from workplace injuries.

We will also look at the most common causes of office injuries. And we have included a personal injury claims calculator, to help you estimate how much office accident at work compensation you could be owed. If you want to claim compensation for an office accident that was not your fault, call Legal Helpline today to speak to an advisor.

What Is An Office Workplace Accident Claim?

What are work-related accidents and office workplace accident claims? An office workplace accident is when an unwanted occurrence takes place, leading to an office worker, or a stakeholder visiting the office, suffering an injury or illness. Employers owe their staff and other stakeholders that might visit or use the workspace a duty of care. This means that they are legally required to provide them with a safe and hygienic environment in which to work.

They must conduct regular risk assessments to look for workplace hazards and apply control measures to remove the risk or reduce the risk that the hazard poses. If they fail to do so and a member of staff or another person using the premises is injured as a result, they could be held legally liable for the person’s injuries. As a result, the injured person could make an office accident at work claim for compensation against their employer.

Duty Of Care And Office Health And Safety

Who is responsible for workplace injuries? In the United Kingdom, there is legislation to protect workers from workplace accidents. This includes industry-specific regulations. The Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, states that workplaces must take all reasonable steps to ensure the health, safety and general welfare of their employees when they are working on their premises, or in an environment that the employer has control of. What does this mean in practice?

To effectively safeguard employees against accidents at work, workplaces should:

  • Carrying out risk assessments to identify health and safety hazards (things that pose a risk of causing accidents). This could include a loose floor tile, which could cause trip and fall accidents, or broken handrail which could cause an employee to fall down the stairs.
  • Taking all reasonable precautions to eliminate the hazard, i.e. fix or remove a hazardous item. Where the hazard cannot be removed, the business should take all reasonable steps to protect workers from the hazard and minimise the risk. For example, if workers have to carry out manual handling tasks employers should provide them with training on how to accomplish these tasks safely.
  • Appoint office workers to be first aid trained. Conduct regular fire drills and provide staff with regular health and safety training.
  • Employers should keep an accident log-book where they keep an accurate record of any accidents at work that take place on their premises. Accidents which are considered to be dangerous incidents, cause serious injury or illness, or near misses, should be reported to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) under the RIDDOR Regulations (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013). You can read about what is defined as a reportable incident.

Steps to Seeking Office Accident at Work Compensation After an Accident

What happens when you file an accident report at work? Your employer should accurately record the date, time, and place of the accident. They should also record accurate details about what the cause of the accident was, what happened and what injuries were suffered. If the person goes to a doctor’s surgery or hospital for a diagnosis, the log-book can be updated with accurate details of their injuries or illness at a later stage.

To make a claim for an injury or illness suffered because of an accident in the office, your personal injury solicitor will have to prove that your employer acted negligently and therefore, caused your accident.

Is The Owner Or Occupier Of The Office Liable For Accidents And Injuries?

In the past, an office building, or office unit would have only been managed by the occupying business or organisation. Now, many businesses contract out the management of their premises to a facilities management company, or FM for short. This means that the cleaners, maintenance staff, security guards and receptionists may be supplied by an FM company or outside agency.

Therefore the question of “Who is responsible for workplace injuries?” can become more difficult to determine. Your employer may be liable, it may be the FM or an outside agency, or your employer and the agency may have combined liability. Your personal injury lawyer can conduct a full investigation to determine the results.

Causes Of Accidents And Injuries In The Office

What are the major causes of work-related accidents?

According to workplace injury statistics for 2020 published by the HSE, the most common types of non-fatal workplace accidents are slip, trip and fall accidents.

The following workplace hazards can cause slip, trip and fall accidents:

  • Hazardous flooring, such as broken floor tiles, nails sticking out of floorboards or loose carpeting, causing office workers to trip.
  • Wet flooring can cause office slipping accidents. This can happen if a faulty toilet leak and the water has not been mopped up, a freshly mopped floor has not been signposted, or a drink is spilt and not cleaned up and signposted, to warn colleagues that the floor is wet.
  • Stock, equipment or clutter being left on the floor, which office workers can trip over.

Manual handling accidents are another form of workplace accidents. These are accidents caused by lifting, pushing, loading, carrying heavy objects or handling loads that are too heavy. Manual handling injuries can cause musculoskeletal injuries or repetitive strain injuries. The Health and Safety Executive explain that manual handling injuries account for over one-third of workplace injuries. Workplaces can protect workers from injuries caused by manual handling accidents by providing adequate training, not requiring workers to lift objects that are too heavy for them and providing lifting equipment where necessary. These can also happen when you are understaffed at work which means things like this become more common.

Office accidents include; electric shocks caused by faulty electrical goods, repetitive strain injury and broken chair accidents. If you were injured in an accident in an office that was not your fault, you may be eligible to make an office accident compensation claim. Call us today, to see if you are entitled to office accident at work compensation.

Office Accident Claims – Injury Examples

Your employer may be found liable for an office injury if you could prove it was caused by them breaching their duty of care.

Employers are responsible for looking for and dealing with hazards. This section provides a few examples of what an office injury could be, and ways that an employer could be found liable for it. For example:

  • Strains and back pain: Your employer may not have provided you with appropriate seating, which could lead to lumbar pain.
  • Ankle injury: Your office may have slipping or tripping hazards such as wires placed in walkways.
  • Head injury: If your office is not laid out sensibly, or well lit, you could potentially fall and knock your head on a desk.

The listed examples of injuries could potentially lead to an office accident claim. If you would like to learn more about office accident claims, please reach out to one of our advisers.

Could Members Of The Public Claim Compensation For An Accident?

Businesses have a duty of care to maintain office safety for their employees and visiting members of the public. If you visited an office space where you were not employed for another purpose, such as a job interview, or to fix an electrical item and were injured as a result of negligence on the part of the business, you could be entitled to claim compensation. If you were injured in an accident in an office that was not your fault, as a member of the public, contact Legal Helpline to enquire about making a public liability claim for compensation.

Compensation For Injuries At Work

If you successfully claim compensation for injuries at work, your settlement could be made up of general and special damages. In this section, we want to focus on what you might receive for general damages, which relate to any pain or suffering your injuries have caused. For example, you might break your leg in an accident at work.

A work accident claim calculator is a tool advertised by some sites. However, they may not be able to give you an accurate estimate of the value of your personal injury claim. Calculator tools cannot always take special damages into account.

Instead, we’ve taken compensation amounts from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to create the table below. The publication features figures based on previous personal injury award settlements. Legal professionals use the JCG to value claims.

What Injury Was Sustained?What Happened To The Claimant?Settlement including 10% uplift
Less Severe Arm InjuryA substantial degree of recovery will either have taken place or is expected, though there will have been significant disabilities. £19,200 to £39,170
Moderate Leg InjuriesThis is a wide bracket of injuries. It could include crush fractures or multiple fractures to a single limb.£27,760 to £39,200
Partial hearing loss and/ or tinnitus (d) (ii)The claimant could have suffered a moderate degree of tinnitus moderate hearing loss, or both.£14,900 to £29,710
Chest injury - (D)Chest injuries could include those which are more simple. They affect the whole of the chest area and might include penetrating wounds.£12,590 to £17,960
Traumatic Injuries To The Digestive System (i)Traumatic injuries to the digestive system could leave the claimant with severe pain or discomfort. It could also leave the person with future complications.£43,010 to £61,910
Moderate (3) Level Of Neck InjuryModerate injuries to the neck could exacerbate pre existing conditions and related soft tissue injuries.£7,890 to £13,740
Moderate (1) Level Of Back injuryThe claimant could have sustained a crush fracture or other similar injury. They may require surgeries to correct their injury.£27,760 to £38,780
Serious Levels Of Shoulder InjuriesSerious forms of shoulder injuries could cause dislocations or other forms of injury to the shoulder joint.£12,770 to £19,200
Simple Fractures Of The ForearmSimple forearm fracture.£6,610 to £19,200

It’s important to note that the figures above act as guidelines only. One of our advisors could more accurately estimate your injury claim value if you get in touch.

Special Damages Which You Could Claim If Injured In An Office Accident

These are some examples of the types of special damages that you could be able to claim if you are made ill or injured in an office accident caused by negligence on the part of your employer;

  • Loss of income reimbursement.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Travel expenses.
  • At home care expenses.
  • Home and car adaptation expenses.
  • Mobility equipment expenses.

Steps To Take If Injured In An Office Workplace Accident

If you are injured in an accident in an office, there are steps you can take at the scene of the accident to collect evidence to support your office accident at work compensation claim. This includes evidence to determine who is responsible for your workplace injuries.

How to collect evidence to support your accident at work claim?

  • Take photos of the hazard that caused your injury, including a date stamp if possible.
  • Take photos of your injuries, including a date stamp if possible.
  • Report your accident to your employer and make sure it is recorded accurately in the company’s accident log book.
  • Speak to colleagues who saw the accident and get their contact details so they can provide an eyewitness account to support your claim.
  • Keep the receipts relating to any purchases you make as a result of the accident, such as a taxi ride to the hospital or medication. You may be able to claim these expenses back as special damages and the receipts may also be taken as evidence to support your claim.

Office Accident – Time Limits

If you would like to claim compensation for an injury at work, you must start your claim within the personal injury claims time limit. The Limitation Act 1980 sets this as typically three years, either from the date of the office accident or the date your suffering could be connected to negligence. However, certain circumstances suspend the time limit when making a work accident claim. These include:

  • Claimants who suffered an office accident while under the age of 18 cannot start a work accident claim until their 18th From the date of their 18th birthday, they will have three years to start their claim. However, a litigation friend can start their claim at any point while the time limit is suspended.
  • Should someone lack the mental capacity to start a claim for compensation for an injury at work, the time limit is suspended indefinitely. A litigation friend can start their work accident claim on their behalf. However, should the injured party regain their capacity, they will have three years from the date it was determined that capacity had been regained.

Call our advisors to start your office accident claim before the time limit runs out.

Making An Office Accident Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor

If you have valid grounds to make an office accident claim, then you could look at getting help from a solicitor. If you contact our advisors about your case, then they may connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.

One of the No Win No Fee solicitors from our panel may offer to support your personal injury claim under what’s called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under such an agreement, you won’t have to pay upfront or ongoing fees for your solicitor’s services. You also won’t need to pay your solicitor if your claim is unsuccessful.

If your claim succeeds, then your solicitor can take a legally capped percentage from the compensation that’s awarded to you. This is commonly referred to as a success fee.

For more advice on making a work accident compensation claim with a No Win No Fee solicitor, you can contact our advisors for free. To reach them, you can:

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Office Accident at Work Compensation Guide FAQs

Do I get paid if I have an accident at work?

If you have an accident at work, you could be entitled to Company Sick Pay. Otherwise, you could be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. Did your workplace cause the accident? If so, you could claim compensation to recover any salary you’ve lost as a consequence.

What are my rights if I am injured at work?

If you’re injured at work, you should log the accident and report it to the appropriate person. You could also be entitled to sick pay, depending on your contract. Moreover, if the accident was the fault of your employer you could claim compensation. Your employer shouldn’t discriminate against you for being injured. 

What happens if an accident at work is not reported?

Not every accident has to be reported through RIDDOR. However, if an employer doesn’t report those that do, they could face a heavy fine. If your office accident wasn’t reported and you’d like to make a personal injury claim, tell your solicitor. It could affect your office accident at work compensation. 

Guide by HE

Editor MA