Accidents at work

Man With Protection Gloves Using An Electric Saw To Cut A PlankWhat should my employer do to protect me from harm?

An employer has a duty to make sure that all workplace health and safety regulations are being complied with. This includes assessing the risk to yourself or others of anything you do while at work. They should provide guidelines or training as to how to do certain tasks safely, such as wearing protective gloves or clothing, lifting correctly, not sitting in front of a computer screen for too long and so on. If they do, it is your responsibility to make sure that you follow such guidelines or training.

You are also responsible for taking reasonable care of your safety and the safety of others. It is up to you to let your employer know if you see something that may be dangerous. You are entitled to protect yourself and, if the danger is serious and immediate, you can leave work until it has been dealt with.  

What if I am injured at work?

You must report the accident and any injury to your employer as soon as possible. Your employer may record it in an accident book, if there is one. You may have to provide details of the incident in writing yourself and keep a copy.

The injury may not seem particularly big at the time. But it may be helpful to see your doctor as soon as possible, so that he or she can have a look. If you do decide to claim compensation or benefits, getting a medical diagnosis is important. Of course, major injury is not always immediately obvious.

What benefits can I receive for injuries caused at work?

Universal Credit

If you suffer from an injury that stops you from working, you may be entitled to Universal Credit. You must prove that this injury has prevented you from undertaking any type of employment. 

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

You may also be entitled to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. This benefit is available for people who become ill or disabled as a result of an accident at work. You may be entitled to claim for this benefit if: 

  • you were employed when the accident or event happened;
  • the work accident or event that caused your illness or disability happened in England, Scotland or Wales.

You may also claim this benefit if you were employed in a job that caused you to contract a disease. This benefit covers more than 70 diseases. 

How much you receive will depend on the percentage score you achieve, as listed in the table below. The percentage you are assessed at defines how much benefit you would receive per week. In order to receive this benefit you must be assessed as at least 14% disabled. 

Weekly Amount*

Disablement Level



















*Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0

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