Can I make a health and safety claim in Belfast & Northern Ireland?
7 minute read
What is health and safety?
Health & safety relates to your well-being in the workplace. Employers must take all reasonable steps to ensure you are safe whilst carrying out your duties. This is a legal right given to you by virtue of The Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 and various regulations made under this Order. These regulations require your employer to carry out risk assessments and provide information, training and personal protective equipment (PPE) where necessary.
What is a health and safety claim?
If you become injured at work and the accident was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim for compensation. These types of accidents are often preventable through careful adherence to health & safety regulations. If you are injured in such circumstances, you should seek independent legal advice from a personal injury solicitor. There are several things you can do before this to strengthen your case should you have one.
What should I do in the event of a health and safety breach?
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, you should have your injuries treated. Sound the alarm and have your workplace first-aider assess you. In more serious situations, you may require an ambulance. You should report the accident to your line manager who must then record it and report it to the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland.
Keep a written record of all your symptoms and visit your GP or hospital as necessary. Record any losses you suffer as a result of the injuries. For example, if you required time from work and suffered a loss of earnings. Do not admit liability for the accident. Do not accept compensation without first seeking legal advice. This is known as third-party capture and it rarely has your best interests at heart.
Finally, speak with a personal injury solicitor.
We are health and safety claims solicitors in Belfast, Northern Ireland
McCartan Turkington Breen has helped many people in Northern Ireland pursue a health & safety claims. Our Belfast based workplace injury claims department is so well regarded, that it is currently ranked in the top band in the prestigious Chambers Guide. If you would like to know more about our services, visit Accidents at Work Claims.
We offer free initial consultations to establish the likelihood that you have a viable claim. Contact us to arrange yours.
How much compensation could I get for a breach of health and safety claim?
The amount of compensation is linked to the injuries sustained and the amount of time that was required for you to recover. The more serious the injuries and the longer the recovery time, the more compensation will be typically awarded for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity. These are known as general damages. You can claim for other things too, known as special damages. These include losses such as loss of earnings and damages to property.
Can I get in trouble at work if I make a health and safety claim?
Your employer has a legal obligation to keep you safe at work and you have a right to pursue compensation if this obligation is not met. If you are punished or penalised for pursuing your rights, your employer may be running afoul of employment laws. In this instance, we may be able to assist you further by referring you to our employment law department.
The vast majority of employers in Northern Ireland understand their legal obligations and will behave fairly towards you. Sometimes accidents happen. That’s why employers take out an employer liability insurance policy that will cover them should something happen to you.
What should I do if I spot a health and safety hazard at work?
You should check your workplace health & safety policies to see if the hazard has undergone a risk assessment in the past. If it has not, you should raise your concerns with your line manager or designated health & safety officer. They should then perform a risk assessment and take any necessary steps should a hazard be identified.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome and still maintain that there is a clear and present hazard, you can speak with your trade union representative. They can advise you or speak with your employer on your behalf.
If you have exhausted your workplace hazard reporting policies and remain dissatisfied, you can report your concerns to the Health and Safety Executive NI (HSENI) or your local council. The correct regulatory body will depend on where you are employed. Visit hseni.gov for a full list of what each body is responsible for regulating. HSENI or the council may then investigate the matter if they deem it appropriate to do so.
Speak with a health and safety solicitor today
If you were injured at work due to a health & safety breach, we can help. Visit Accident at Work Claims to learn more or contact us to avail of a free and confidential initial discussion with a solicitor.