How are my injury at work rights and my eligibility to claim compensation for a workplace accident affected if I was injured due to a colleague´s negligent actions?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Question:

How are my injury at work rights and my eligibility to claim compensation for a workplace accident affected if I was injured due to a colleague´s negligent actions?

Answer:

Your injury at work rights, and the procedures you should complete in order to claim compensation for a workplace accident, are unaffected if the injury you sustained was due to a colleague´s negligent actions. An employer has a duty of care to provide you with a safe environment in which to work and that environment includes those who work around you.
Before assigning any task to an employee, an employer has to make a risk assessment. Not only is this in order to provide adequate training and personal protective equipment where necessary, but also to ensure that the employee assigned to the task is appropriate for the job and will complete their work competently and safely.

Once that task is assigned, the employer is then responsible for monitoring the performance of the employee and providing further training and supervision as appropriate. If that employee subsequently performs in a manners which creates a dangerous situation, and you sustain an injury at work for which you were not to blame, your employer is still liable for your injuries for failing in his obligations for your health and safety.

Consequently, your injury at work rights are not changed and are exactly the same as if the employer himself had failed to provide you with adequate training or personal protective equipment and you suffered an injury at work as a result. The only exception to this rule is when your colleague inflicts an injury with criminal intent, in which case your claim for workplace injury compensation would be made against the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme rather than your employer.

Although most employers will be genuinely shocked that an employee has suffered an injury under any circumstances, your injury at work rights are also unaffected if your employer penalises you in any way for making a claim for workplace injury compensation against his employer´s liability insurance. This scenario is less likely to arise if you are represented by a solicitor as your employer will think twice about infringing your injury at work rights.

Therefore, it could be in your best interests to speak with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity. A solicitor will advise you on any of your injury at work rights you are unsure about and provide an assessment of your compensation claim for a workplace accident to ensure that it is worth your while to pursue. He or she will also advise you on the correct course of action to take to resolve your claim for workplace injury compensation in the quickest possible time while attaining a fair and adequate compensation settlement for your injuries.