Black workers often have jobs with a higher risk of injury, which increases the prevalence of occupational disabilities. Disparities in economic opportunities force them to take on more hazardous jobs that raise the risk of injury (and illness). Incidents include but aren’t limited to slips, trips, and falls, being hit by falling objects, and repetitive strain injury, to name a few. Traditionally, ethnic minorities have found some of the worst job conditions. Even if the United Kingdom has made progress in reducing accidents at work, disparities still exist.
So, you’re a hard worker and a good employee. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been on the job; an accident at work can happen to anyone, no matter how skilled or experienced. If you sustained an on-the-job injury and are unsure of your rights, please continue reading.
Report The Accident to Your Manager
Maybe you don’t want to talk about what happened. It’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make because if the accident isn’t reported immediately, your employer will deny it occurred or claim the accident took place outside of work. The first opportunity you get, inform your boss about this situation. You’ll have a record of what happened in case you need time off or need to claim compensation.
A report should be filed immediately or no later than 24 hours, even if the injury caused by the accident at work is minor. Include your name and job title, give as many details as possible about the accident, specify what parts of your body were injured, and include information about medical treatment (if you have received any).
Your manager will submit the report under the RIDDOR online via the HSE website with all the relevant details. Since you’re involved, it’s a good idea to make sure the accident is reported. The employer must carry out a risk assessment and do what they need to do to secure the health and safety of you and your colleagues. Employers and employees alike are responsible for reducing accidents and occupational diseases.
Recover Physically and Mentally
Needless to say, if you’re hurt, seek medical attention as soon as you become aware of your injuries. Don’t hope the pain will get better with time. See your primary care doctor or a specialist. Concussions or internal wounds aren’t immediately apparent, meaning that it can take days, months, and years to show; they become more dangerous (and more expensive to treat) the longer you postpone treatment.
Going to the doctor if you’ve been involved in an accident at work ensures detailed documentation of your injuries, which is helpful if you claim benefits like Statutory Sick Pay. If your employer runs their own sick pay scheme, you’ll be paid what you’re due under that. Your boss can offer any scheme that isn’t below the legal minimum. While the bullying tactic isn’t fair, it’s quite common, so you must be able to prove the accident wasn’t your fault. You could be dismissed on the grounds of negligence.
Keep A Diary of Your Symptoms
It’s recommended to monitor the symptoms you experience as a result of the injury by taking note of their type, not to mention their intensity. Have an injury and symptom journal, in other words. Keeping a journal of how your symptoms improve or change can help you better understand your condition, so you’ll know what’s working and what’s not in your treatment plan. Doctors don’t write down all the details, as they’re focused on what’s most serious at the time. You can use a notebook or a calendar you keep on the fridge.
As reality begins to settle after an accident at work, you soon realise that the injury can impact your daily life. Not only do you need medical support around the clock but you also find it difficult to keep up with work. An injury and symptom diary can help you and your solicitor in numerous ways. For instance, if your case goes to trial, you can answer even the most difficult question – you can be open, honest, and informative. Of course, don’t over-exaggerate your symptoms, as you risk losing your credibility.
Track Your Expenses and Losses
If you’re involved in an accident at work, you’re responsible for payment for your medical bills as you incur them. This includes hospital bills, therapies, medication, and so on; it all adds up and puts a strain on your budget. If you’re required to use your car to get to doctor appointments or treatment sessions, you have another expense on the way. Above all, your earning capacity may be impacted, which only worsens the problem. To establish loss of earning capacity, you must provide evidence of losses.
You can be compensated for your expenses and losses provided you have proof. You must typically include an invoice or receipt to show what payments you made with your own money. It doesn’t matter if they’re on paper, on a computer, or on your smartphone; send the invoices and receipts to your personal injury solicitor. Financial records prove the costs are associated with your injury, so they can support a claim for special damages.
You’re entitled to compensation from the person legally responsible for your injury. In a personal injury claim you can recover all damages arising from your on-the-job injury, including pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is the physical and emotional distress you endure as a result of the accident, a toll often overlooked in the effort to recover from the event. People with severe psychological issues have less opportunity to return to work.
Wrapping It Up
There are racial and ethnic differences in the frequency of accidents at work. Simply put, black people are more likely to sustain on-the-job injuries. If you aren’t in a union, you can pursue a personal injury claim by choosing a no win, no fee arrangement. There are scenarios in which you can hold your employer accountable for your damages and losses, so discuss your situation with a solicitor.