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Workplace Accidents

Workplace Accidents

Employers owe a common law and statutory duty of care to their employees and the duty to ensure a safe working environment for employees has increased in recent years. More often than not, protecting the health and safety of employees is an employer’s number one concern. However, unfortunately workplace accidents do occur. Accidents can occur in various types of workplace environments such as pharmaceutical plants, factories, building sites, shops and offices.

In terms of the workplace, an employer has a duty to provide the following to its employees

• a safe system of work
• a safe place of work
• proper equipment
• competent co-workers

The employer’s duty is not unlimited however, and the employer must act only as a reasonable and prudent employer would have done in the relevant circumstances.

What to do if an accident occurs?

When an accident occurs in the workplace, it is important that the accident is reported right away to the employer. The foremost concern should always be the injured employee and the relevant medical assistance should be provided where required. The employee (and employer) should keep a detailed record of how the incident occurred and the prudent employer will likely have incident report forms available to the employee to complete. If possible, photographs of the scene of the incident and any equipment involved should be taken and a list of witnesses compiled.

Health and Safety legislation also prescribes specific duties and obligations on an employer following certain accidents, for example, employers must report accidents involving biological agents to the Health and Safety Authority.

An employee injured at work generally has a period of two years to bring a claim in negligence for personal injuries. This two-year period commences from either the date of the accident or the date from which the employee had knowledge of the link between the accident and injury, whichever is the later. If a claim is not brought within this 2-year period, the case is deemed to be statute barred. Therefore, the importance of taking legal advice at an early stage cannot be over-stated.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident as a result of the negligence of your employer, you can claim not only for the injuries sustained, but also for out of pocket expenses related to the accident, such as loss of income, loss of opportunity, medical and travel expenses. Please see “A Guide to bringing Personal Injury Actions” on our website for further information on taking a personal injuries case.

At Halpin Solicitors, our solicitors have represented clients in various workplace incidents such as;

  • Occupational illness
  • Clean room accidents
  • Production line accidents
  • Work related stress
  • Bullying in the workplace
  • Assaults by patients in residential care facilities
  • Transportation accidents including car and articulated lorry crashes
  • Trip and falls at work

* In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

This guide is provided for general information purposes only and does not form part of any legal advice. If you have a query about a workplace accident, please contact our expert Solicitors by email on info@halpinsolicitors.ie or by telephone on 021-425-1843.

Halpin Solicitors Cork

7 South Mall, Cork City

Tel: 021 425 1843

Email: info@halpinsolicitors.ie