Reporting near-misses and other safety concerns - as well as accidents – has become more important than ever after changes to the law which make it more difficult to win compensation in personal injury cases.
Yet accident reporting rates are falling and fewer than half serious workplace accidents were reported last year, according to Health & Safety Executive estimates.
Until recently, it had long been established that a breach of the Health and Safety Regulations helped ensure the success of claims for personal injury. But a last-minute change to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 trampled a century of health and safety law into the dirt.
It used to be that an employer who failed to guard a machine or keep a gangway clear could be made to pay compensation if a worker was injured as a result. But from 1st October, anybody suing for personal injury can no longer simply show that their employer failed to comply with safety regulations.
Injured workers now have the more difficult task of proving an employer was negligent to win compensation. In such a case, a record of safety concerns raised by employees and of near-misses could tip the balance. If an accident happened, the records could provide evidence that the employer failed to remedy safety defects and was therefore negligent.
• Remember, an accident report should always be made after any kind of safety incident.
• In most cases, a claim for personal injury can be brought up to three years after an accident.
For more information: Unite Health & Safety
For personal injury cases, call 0800 709 007 to be transferred direct to our solicitors, or contact your local office for them to transfer you.