What to do if you are injured in the workplace

Accidents in the workplace occur all too often. In fact, over half a million workers sustained a non-fatal injury in 2022 in the United Kingdom alone, according to the last Labour Force Survey. This is in spite of extensive government health and safety regulations that are employed by all local businesses.

The number of workplace injuries remains significant primarily because of human error. Examples of this include poor training, a lack of signage, disorganisation, and the mis-handling of equipment. It is therefore extremely difficult to safeguard against accidents at work – no matter how hard you try!

Whichever industry you work in, it is a good idea to protect yourself against the unexpected by learning what to do if you are injured in the workplace. Following the correct steps will help to ensure a swift recovery and smooth return to work, and the identification of risks that may have been missed.

Seek medical attention

First and most obviously, it is vital that you seek medical attention following an injury. All UK workplaces have an appointed first aid contact and larger businesses will have one or more trained first-aiders. Follow their advice with regards to any immediate treatment you may need from the first-aid kit and book an emergency appointment with a medical professional.

It is vital that you speak to a doctor following your injury, even if you think the accident was small. For example, something as seemingly insignificant as a trip could cause concussion which needs medical attention.

Report the accident

Once you are feeling physically and mentally able, report the accident. This should be done as soon as possible, but make sure to treat your injury and any side effects – such as shock – first.

Your workplace will have a formal process for reporting accidents, so make sure you ask your HR department to outline this for you. Usually this involves submitting a written report that can be kept on file, and adding an entry into the Accident Book which all companies are required to properly maintain.

If you feel that your employer or hazards in the environment was the reason for the incident, you could look into legal claims for accidents at work that seek to provide you with compensation.

Experts such as Mooneerams can assist in providing legal advice and support to individuals who have experienced workplace accidents, helping them understand their rights and options for claiming compensation. It is best to find out what your options are and work with experienced experts who can help you along the process. These professionals can offer invaluable insights into the complexities of workplace law and compensation claims, ensuring that individuals are well-informed and can make decisions that are in their best interest. By seeking advice from such experts, individuals can navigate the legal landscape more effectively, potentially securing the compensation they deserve. Additionally, having knowledgeable support can alleviate the stress and uncertainty that often accompany workplace accidents, allowing individuals to focus on their recovery and well-being.

Get support from colleagues

Especially if your injury was minor, you may feel the need to go it alone when heading back to work. However, don’t be afraid to ask for support from colleagues, whether this is a quick debrief on what you’ve missed or help with finishing pending tasks.

You should also set up a meeting with your HR team for a chat prior to returning to work if possible. This is especially important if your injury was serious and you have had a prolonged leave of absence. Discuss any concerns that you have and make sure that plans are put in place to support your return. This might look like part-time hours, a temporarily reduced workload, or regular meetings with senior management. Keep rest front of mind: it is essential to recovery.