Will I lose my job if I make a claim against my employer?

Taking out a personal injury claim against your employer can be a daunting and intimidating process. In addition to the prospect of making a claim against the person who employs you, there are many fallacies and myths regarding the procedure that only serve to increase the possibility that you may decide not to go through with it. Perhaps the biggest concern to those who have been the victim of an accident at work is that they may lose their job as a direct result of the claim, whether it is successful or not. According to the Health and Safety Executive, there were 136, 771 injuries reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Dangerous Diseases and Occurrences Regulations. However, according to a study by the Labour Force Survey, the number of accidents that should have been reported is as high as 299, 000 meaning that only 49% of accidents actually achieve the attention they are entitled to.

It is an employer’s legal obligation to provide a safe working environment for his or her employees. As part of this obligation, they must provide and enforce certain things, such as training, protective clothing and the assurance that any equipment is safe and properly maintained. If these duties of care are ignored or not properly undertaken and an accident is caused, it can have disastrous results. To put it in context, the HSE figures show that of the total number of accidents reported, 5,700 of these resulted in assessments for Disablement Injuries Benefit. The categories of injury that fell into this bracket included vibration white finger, carpal tunnel syndrome and respiratory diseases associated with exposure to asbestos. Many of these could have been avoided had the employers lived up to their responsibilities.

In taking out a personal injury claim against your employer, you are not launching a personal attack against him or her. Rather, you are highlighting the fact that certain issues in your workplace make it an unsafe environment for you and your fellow workers. As a result of negligence, you have sustained an injury that could impair your potential to work now and in the future. As the accident could have been avoided and was not your fault, you need compensation for any loss of wages and to cover any expenses that the injury incurs presently and in the future. In addition, you must remember that it is very unlikely that your employer will pay for any compensation directly; employers have insurance to offer them financial protection against accident claims.

Under no circumstances should taking out an injury claim place your job in jeopardy. Any threats of an industrial tribunal or any other forms of harassment should be reported directly to your solicitor. Tribunals do not deal with personal injury claims and any threats of dismissal could require legal action on your behalf, as they are unlawful. Many employers would actually prefer inadequacies to be reported so that they can improve conditions for everyone and, in turn, protect themselves against further claims. The Health and Safety Laws that employers are obliged to observe are there to protect everyone. In the event that your employer neglects to observe these rules, they are relinquishing their duty of care to all of their employees.

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