I am apprehensive about claiming compensation for an office injury
Eoin P. Campbell
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief

Question:

I am apprehensive about claiming compensation for an office injury because I think it will reflect badly on my future employment prospects. Am I right to be worried?

Answer:

Offices are generally considered to be much safer working environments than factories or construction sites, but many types of office injury still occur. Stiff necks from inadequate workstations, injuries acquired when tripping over loose cabling and slips on wet or worn flooring all contribute to the large number of musculoskeletal office injuries reported to the Health and Safety Authority each year.

Potentially a more serious office injury is stress. Stress can be a result of bullying or harassment in the workplace, or simply because you have been provided with a higher volume of work than you can reasonably be expected to complete. Stress can lead to both psychological and physical office injury and, when the symptoms of stress are not addressed can sometimes be fatal.

Irrespective of the cause of your office injury, an employer has a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which to work. Part of this responsibility is to perform a risk assessment before any task is undertaken and allocate jobs only when there is little or no risk of an office injury. Should he fail in his legal obligation to protect his staff, and you sustain an office injury as a consequence, you are entitled to claim for office injury compensation.

Making a justified claim for office injury compensation should have no effect on your employment status or future prospects. Legally, your employer can not take any adverse action should you make a claim against him after sustaining an office injury and, in reality, most employers would be horrified that an employee has sustained an injury due to their lack of care.

By law, offices are legally required to have indemnity insurance to cover any claim for office injury compensation, so you are not directly taking money out of your employer´s pocket or giving him reason to think badly of you. His insurance claim will pay any assessment made by the Injuries Board Ireland, and the only possible effects on your employer will be a small increase in his insurance premiums and the loss of manpower from his office while you are recovering from your injury.

If you would like further advice on how to successfully make an office injury compensation claim without risking an awkward workplace confrontation, speak with a solicitor at the earliest opportunity to get professional and practical advice.

Copyright © 2009-2015 Eoin Campbell