COLUMN: Know your rights and responsibilities

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The scenario: I have had an accident at work what should I do?

Roger says: Fortunately this does not happen often. Most employers have high regard for health and safety making our work environment as safe as it can possibly be.

If you do have an accident, you should report it to your employer as soon as possible and check they record it in the accident book. If they don’t do this, or if there isn’t an accident book, write down details of the accident and send it to your boss.

Don’t forget to keep a record yourself! If you can’t report the accident because you’re too ill, ask someone else to do it for you.

You should see a doctor even if your injury doesn’t seem serious, the doctor can record the medical details of your accident. This will be useful later on if you want to claim compensation from your boss or if you need to claim benefits.

If you think that conditions at your workplace are unsafe, talk to your trade union or contact the health and safety executive.

You should get statutory sick pay if you need time off because of your injury.

Your contract of employment might also say you can get extra sick pay. Depending on the seriousness of your injury, you might also be able to claim other benefits.

You might want to claim compensation from your employer. It’s best if you get legal advice from a solicitor. We may be able to help you find a specialist solicitor. Your union may also be able to help. If you want to make a claim, it must be started within three years of the accident.

You might be able to go back to work doing lighter duties or fewer hours. Speak to your employer and GP. If the accident has caused a long term injury, your employer might have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to help you get back to work.

If any of the situations above do apply you may want to contact us for advice on your rights and responsibilities.

Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts is based in the Town Hall on Bank Road, Matlock and is open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 10am to 2pm on Fridays.

Alternatively, you can also call for advice from 9.30am to 4pm on 0844 3752712.