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By: Jamie Simpson
Personal injury in the work place can be in the form of a physical injury, disease, illness or psychological injury. Dealing with a work-related personal injury can be challenging when trying to deal with the injury itself. Each company has its own procedures in the event of an injury at work. It is important to follow these procedures, but it is equally important to know your rights and what actions you can take to receive proper compensation.

Defining Workplace Injury
A work place injury is simply an injury that occurs at work. An employer should have their own specific definition of what constitutes a work place injury. In general, work-related injuries may include:

• An illness caused by exposure to environmental hazards such as asbestos

• Psychological illness resulting from work-related stress

• An injury resulting from work-related operations

• An injury caused by carelessness of co-workers or supervisors

• An injury cause by safety procedures that were not followed

• A psychological injury caused by harassment or discrimination at work that was not handled properly

Action To Take
When dealing with work place injuries, it is critical to take action as quickly as possible. This includes documenting all injuries, physical or psychological. There are some basic steps to take after a work place injury takes place.

• Request copies of all medical records.

• Report the incident to your insurance company.

• If the injuries require assistance from the police, obtain copies of reports.

• Even a minor injury should be reported to your doctor. If it becomes something serious, it helps to have the documentation of the incident.

• Get statements from witnesses. If the witnesses are co-workers, they may be reluctant to say anything or may change their statement later. It is important to get any statements in writing as soon as possible.

• A work place injury must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive or to the local environmental health department. Even those who are self-employed are required to report certain work-related injuries.

• Write down all details of the accident or injury. If your employer has a form to fill out for work place injuries, obtain a copy for your own records.

Filing A Complaint
Sometimes, a workplace injury is not handled properly by an employer. Your employer should at least provide an explanation of what went wrong and offer a formal apology. Unfortunately, there may not always be an apology or any acknowledgment of wrong-doing so that an employer is not legally responsible for related medical care. Follow workplace procedures first. If the results are not satisfactory, the next steps include filing a complaint with any of the following:

• Local government department

• Employer

• Local police

• Hospital or other National Health Service institution*

When seeking compensation, it helps to seek advice from a specialist or experience adviser. A common source is the Citizens Advice Bureau. Some methods of obtaining compensation from a workplace injury include:

• Using a claim assessor to file a claim

• Taking legal action in a civil court

• Filing a claim with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

• Filing a criminal compensation order

• Government compensation schemes


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