Q: I have had my job thirteen years. Six months ago, on my way to the warehouse toilets, a stack of heavy cardboard rolls leaning against a wall fell on me as I was squeezing past. I broke my elbow in two places. The fractures haven’t healed as anticipated and I am still in great pain and I’ve had to pay for private physio since the free NHS physio sessions stopped. I always got on with the bosses but they’ve kept a cool distance since my accident, probably because they are worried I will try and claim injury compensation. If I did make a claim, could they sack me?
A: No, your bosses should not sack you for making a claim. If they did, you may have a claim for unfair dismissal as this could be a dismissal relating to health and safety issues. As you sustained an injury during the course of your work and the accident was caused by the negligence of your employer, you are entitled to apply for compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured and also for any financial losses you have sustained as a result.
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 your employers have a duty to ensure your safety. This includes taking reasonable steps to ensure you are safe and free from harm in the workplace by carrying out risk assessments to ensure that working procedures, goods and equipment are safe and carry minimal risk of injury. If the cardboard rolls were stacked in a thoroughfare without being secured, this would suggest your employers were in breach of their responsibilities. Furthermore, all accidents at work that result in an injury should be recorded in your employer's 'Accident Report Book'.
You should definitely seek advice from a local personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Partner and Complaints Handler
Partner and Head of the Civil Litigation, Personal Injury and Dispute Resolution team in Wrexham
A Partner and Head of our Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence team in Oswestry