Offices aren’t particularly dangerous places. In fact, for most office workers, an office is quite possibly the safest workplace environment there is.
That’s especially when you consider the occupational hazards that linger in other workplaces such as mines, construction sites or factory assembly lines.
Still, office accidents do happen, and they’re actually more common than you may think. Some are even serious enough to warrant an employee seeking medical attention and even time off work.
So, if you’ve been injured in an office accident, and it wasn’t your fault, then you might be eligible to claim compensation through a personal injury claim, to cover the impact your injury has had on your life, and the expenses it’s caused.
If you think you’re owed office accident injury compensation, get in touch with a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438.
At work, your employer holds the primary duty of care for you and your co-workers. Therefore, they must ensure adequate measures are in place for the safest working environment.
Sadly, some employers consider health and safety regulations as more of a suggestion than a directive.
If you have an injury sustained as a result of your employer’s negligence, you might be entitled to file an office accident claim.
To find out whether you could make an office accident claim, get in touch with a legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438.
According to data from the Health and Safety Executive, around 441,000 workplace injuries were reported in the 2020/21 Labour Force Survey, but many more accidents go unreported.
Most of these injuries were non-fatal, but approximately 102,000 of the accidents left workers incapacitated for more than 7 days, representing 23% of all reported cases.
Some of the most common office accidents were the result of:
Office injuries are more common when you factor in some overlooked workplace dynamics. For instance, dimly lit offices can cause eyestrain. Poorly designed office chairs can cause back, neck, shoulder, and arm injuries. Not putting a sign out warning of the wet floor that has just been cleaned is a slip hazard waiting to happen.
If you’ve been injured at the office, and you think it’s due to your employer’s negligence, you can learn more about how to claim office injury compensation by speaking to a legal adviser for a free consultation on 0800 234 6438. Or, you can enter your name and number in to one of the contact forms on this page to request a call back.
Every employer has a duty to ensure that their employees work in a safe office environment. This means keeping offices free of the following occupational hazards:
If an employer knowingly provides inadequate, unsafe, or damaged equipment, they are liable for any physical injuries sustained by an employee using said equipment in their duties. For instance, if you get electrocuted by faulty electrical equipment, your employer is responsible for the injury.
The office workspace should be free from trip or slip hazards (such as boxes in walk ways, or spilled liquids). If they temporarily cannot be cleared, workers should be informed, including the use of signage.
If your job requires moving or lifting heavy items or equipment, your employer must take precautions to avoid the potential for injury. All manual or heavy lifting should be avoided (if possible).
The law requires employers to ensure that their offices are equipped with sufficient safety equipment, and that all safety measures are correctly implemented. Therefore they are liable for any injuries sustained by employees in the course of working in such an inadequately prepared office.
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) set clear guidelines on recording and reporting workplace injuries. The regulations state that employers should have an accident book and are obliged to have a record of (and then report) specified work-related accidents and injuries. Employers, the self-employed or the ‘Responsible Person’ (ie. the person in control of work premises) are those held responsible for reporting under RIDDOR.
If you’re an employer or control a business premise, then you have to report all:
Employees who sustain office injuries must inform their employers. The same rule applies to any diagnosed conditions that result from your office environment.
If you’re concerned that the responsible party didn’t record and report the work accident, then you should consider inquiring if they have filed a report of the incident, or approach your union (if you’re a member of a union).
If there’s no response, it may be wise to inform the HSE about the incident or other ongoing issues with health and safety regulations.
Alternatively, you can find out whether you could make an accident at work personal injury claim by getting in touch with a legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438.
If you sustain an injury while working on someone else’s premises, then the party in control of the premises should file a report.
However, the responsibility of filing a report lies with you if an accident happened while working in:
The employment status of employees working under an employment agency isn’t always straightforward. However, the employment agency is obligated by law to act as the employer. So, your agency should file an official accident report, regardless of where they sent you to work.
The agency must also ensure that the host business is sufficiently informed of the reported incident.
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 sets clear guidelines that protect employees in their offices and other workplaces.
These regulations require employers to act in the best interests of their employees to mitigate accidents on their person or co-workers.
Employers are also required to take active steps in making their workplace as safe and healthy as possible.
Your employer should always ensure that you are:
Your employer is liable if you can show sufficient evidence to prove they neglected their duty of care towards you. The same rules apply if you sustain injury from any faulty equipment or unsafe working conditions while in the office.
Your first step towards making an office accident claim is to make sure you have reported the accident to your employer, and that it is recorded in your workplace’s accident book.
You should also seek medical attention if your injuries require treatment.
Next, you can get in touch for a free initial consultation with an expert legal adviser on 0800 234 6438. Or, if you would prefer an adviser to give you a call, you can enter your name and phone number in one of the claim forms on this page.
After your initial conversation, your adviser will pass you on to one of their partner injury solicitors who will talk you through the details of your accident and injuries, and will weigh up your chance of success based on whether the other side is likely to be liable for your injuries.
Reporting an accident at work is vital. But, your office accident claims have a higher chance of proceeding successfully if your employer admits responsibility. Therefore, it makes sense to take every step to solidify your case.
If possible, try and get hold of evidence to support your version of events such as:
However, if you are unable to gather any of the evidence above (either due to your injuries, or because you are unsure how to), your expert injury solicitor will be able to gather this evidence on your behalf.
Sometimes, you can sustain an injury in an office accident due to your co-worker’s error in judgement or someone else’s negligence. For instance, someone could spill some coffee, then you slip and fall, possibly hurting your wrist in the process or sustaining back injuries. You may be entitled to file an office accident compensation claim in such a circumstance. This is because the duty of care lies solely on your employer. Therefore, they are liable for your injuries.
Every office accident is unique, so it’s hard to give an exact figure of the compensation you might receive.
Compensation amounts are mainly concerned with the degree of injury and the extent to which it will affect your recovery and ability to resume working, or at least continue leading an independent life.
The total compensation you receive will be based on two separate types of damages, known as “general damages” and “special damages”.
As part of your overall compensation package, general damages are an amount awarded to cover:
Loss of amenity: this is when an injury affects your mental and physical capacity to enjoy the little things in life that give you some comfort and purpose, i.e. hobbies, sex life, exercise, etc.
Pain and suffering: this is more subjective as to how the mental and physical scars affected the claimant after the accident, i.e. severity of the injury, how long the injuries take to heal, etc.
Special damages are awarded for financial losses incurred due to the accident. They include:
Except for your home, you probably spend more time in your office than you do anywhere else. Your co-workers are like your family, and your boss may be a valued mentor. So, filing an office accident claim can feel like a stab in the back, especially if you interact with your workmates outside the workplace.
But, fret not. The office accident compensation pay out won’t come from your employer’s pocket.
All companies are required by law to take out an employer’s liability insurance policy. This covers the cost of all claims brought against the employer. So, the company’s insurance firm pays compensation for the personal injury claims.
It’s also illegal for your employer to dismiss you or act in a discriminatory manner because you made an office accident claim.
So, don’t worry about losing your job, as you’d have “fair grounds” to bring an unfair dismissal suit against your employer in the unlikely event you’re fired.
And don’t think your actions are selfish either – by bringing the claim you could help prevent a similar incident from happening again in the future.
Making an office claim spotlights the issues that make your office a less safe work environment. It’s the spark that can usher changes that help improve the working conditions of the current and future office staff.
In most cases, you have up to 3 years to initiate the claim process against your employer. In cases where the onset of the injury is delayed (for example, in cases of repetitive strain injuries), the three year time limit starts at the point you become aware of your injury, and that the injury was caused by your employment.
Your case may need some more time to investigate to determine liability, so it helps to involve your solicitors at the earliest stage. Here are the circumstances that determine when this 3-year time limit begins:
It’s wise to seek out the help of an expert injury solicitor because proving liability can sometimes be a long process if your employer denies they were at fault.
You can speak to an expert legal adviser for free now by calling 0800 234 6438 – or simply enter your name and phone number in one of the claim forms on this page to request a call back.
In most circumstances, yes. The vast majority of specialist work accident solicitors offer legal services on a no win no fee basis.
This starts with a free initial, no-obligation consultation. You don’t need to spend a thing at this stage (or anything at all if the solicitor takes your case on a no win no fee basis).
After this initial free consultation, and if you’re happy to proceed, your personal injury solicitors will investigate the case to determine where the liability lies. If they believe you have a strong case, they can represent you on a no win no fee basis.
After this, you’ll be required to sign a what’s known as a “conditional fee agreement”. This agreement means that your solicitor will only be paid in certain circumstances, and will detail things such as:
If you fail to win compensation after your office accident, you don’t need to worry about expensive fees. Your solicitor will not receive a “success fee”, and other expenses will be covered by After The Event (ATE) insurance which your solicitor will have taken out at the start of your claim.
Office accidents are unpredictable. They can occur even when your employer takes all the proper steps towards making your workplace safe. However, you’re left picking up the pieces when they happen, and this can feel unfair, especially when the hospital bills start stacking up.
What compounds the misery is having to continue working at the same company. It makes filing a personal injury compensation claim harder, even if it is your right to do so. Some office workers face the fear of losing their pensions, bonuses, the chance to get a promotion or even the risk of getting their contracts unlawfully terminated.
With all this in mind, it can be hard to pursue a claim without the help of a solicitor. There are certain legal protocols and frameworks which need to be followed, which an expert injury solicitor will have huge experience with. Also, in the unlikely event that your claim ends up in a court room, a solicitor will be able to fully manage the workload so that you don’t have to worry.
When you win your case, your employer and co-workers also win. You get to walk away with a sum that will help you make a full recovery and go back to helping your company meet its bottom line. A win can also be a referendum on the health and safety conditions in your workplace. So your employer will work hard to ensure there are no similar suits in the future.
So, if you’ve been involved in an accident in your office environment or are dealing with the rigours of a work-related illness, find out if you’re eligible to claim compensation by calling 0800 234 6438.
Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.
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