The short answer is yes. Accidents at work can happen for all sorts of reasons and in all sorts of circumstances. Your employer has a duty of care to you, as an employee, to take reasonable steps to protect your health and safety at work.
What does the duty of care include?
- Ensuring that there is a safe working environment
- Providing adequate training for the job(s) you need to carry out
- Carrying out risk assessments
What are the types of accident that may occur in a workplace?
Slip or a trip
An employer has a duty to ensure that the workplace floor is free from danger, defect and/or substances that may cause a person to slip or trip. Risk assessments and regular inspections would prevent accidents occurring as any danger would be spotted and dealt with.
An employer is required to ensure that all machinery and equipment that is used is maintained in a proper working order. Here the employer must conduct regular inspections and safety checks of the equipment and make sure that staff are fully trained to work on such equipment.
An employer has a duty to ensure that the manual handling element of any task is reduced to the lowest level possible. If manual handling cannot be reduced, then the task needs to be risk assessed. Full training must be provided to staff regarding how manual handling tasks should be carried out and in line with health and safety guidelines.
Building work/construction sites
Employers must properly assess the work being carried out with clear instructions, supervision and training. Suitable ladders should be provided (if required) with appropriate safety stoppers for stability and any safety equipment such as hard hats must be provided to employees.
Negligent fellow employees
If you suffer injury through the carelessness of another employee, your employer could be found to be responsible. For example, if another employee was reversing their forklift truck into you because he/she wasn’t looking properly or was driving too fast and/or not paying attention to the task in question.