Accidents at Work*

Accidents at work are so common and serious that the Government has established the Health and Safety Authority to try to reduce the number of injuries sustained at work every year. Accidents can happen in every kind of workplace. Some, like construction or building sites, carry obvious dangers, but it is perfectly possible for very serious accidents to occur in ordinary offices and shops.

Accidents and injuries at work can include:

  • Factory accidents*
  • Industrial accidents*
  • Slip and fall at work*
  • Lifting injuries*
  • Asbestos exposure*
  • Toxin exposure*
  • Sick buildings*

The law says that employers have a duty to take reasonable measures to protect the health and safety of their employees. This includes providing proper training and supervision, a safe work environment, adequate machinery and equipment, and capable co-workers. If you are injured while at work, your employer may be responsible for compensating you.

Compensation for Accidents at Work

Many employers carry accident insurance. This means that if you are injured while on the job, your employer’s insurance may be responsible for paying for your injuries. Many employees are reluctant to bring compensation claims against their employers for fear of losing their jobs or suffering other consequences. It is important to remember that employers are legally responsible for providing a safe workplace. You should not let your employer intimidate you or talk you out of seeking compensation you may be entitled to.

Injured workers may be entitled to compensation not only for the injury itself, but also for ongoing pain and suffering, lost wages, and financial expenses such as the following:

  • Medical treatment
  • Medical devices and equipment
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Prescription drugs
  • Accommodation and transportation adaptations
  • Travel expenses

You may not be entitled to compensation if your injury was caused by some fault of your own, but it is worth gathering all the facts before concluding that you were at fault. Your personal injury solicitor will help you make decisions about fault and where it may lie.

Industrial Disease Compensation Claims

Accidents at work are not the only source of injury in the workplace. If an employee contracts a disease in the workplace it can be just as devastating as a physical injury. The Health and Safety Authority tries to eliminate or reduce such diseases by its regulations. Common diseases often contracted in the workplace are dermatitis, chemical poisoning, metal poisoning, or diseases from biological hazards. Some industries are clearly identified as carrying a particular risk of particular disease; pneumoconiosis, for instance, in coalmining.