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If you’re injured because of an accident at work

This advice applies to England

Having records of your accident will be useful if you make a claim for compensation or you need to claim benefits, including Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

You can have your accident recorded by reporting it at work and seeing a doctor.

It’s also a good idea to:

  • take photos of your injury and whatever caused your accident
  • make sure you have contact details for anyone who witnessed your accident
  • make notes about your accident as soon as possible - you can include drawings if they’ll help show what happened
  • ask any witnesses to make notes and share them with you

Reporting an accident at work

Who you report your accident to depends on:

  • where you were working when you had it
  • your ‘employment status’ - this means whether you’re an employee, a worker or self-employed

You can check your employment status on GOV.UK.

You can ask someone else to report your accident for you, if you can’t do it yourself.

If you were working in your usual workplace

If you’re an employee or a worker, you should make sure your employer knows about your accident. The best person to tell is probably your manager - check your staff handbook or intranet if you’re not sure. 

If you’re self employed, you have to report your accident to the Health and Safety Executive if it happened while you were working on your own premises.

If you were working somewhere that isn’t your usual workplace

If you’re an employee or a worker you should tell the person you usually report to when you’re there. It’s a good idea to let your manager know about it too.

If you’re self employed and working on a client’s business premises, you should tell the person you usually deal with when you’re there. You have to report your accident to the Health and Safety Executive if it happened while you were working in someone’s home. 

Recording your accident in an accident book

If the company or organisation you reported your accident to has more than 10 employees, they must record it in an accident book. It’s a good idea to make sure it’s been done - you can ask your manager to check.

Smaller organisations might still have an accident book, so it’s worth asking if your accident can be recorded.

If there isn't an accident book, write down details of the accident and send it to your manager or the person you report to. Keep a copy for yourself.

Seeing a doctor

It’s best to make an appointment to see your GP as soon as possible. They can record the details of your accident in your medical records, as well as treat your injury.

If you need to see a doctor straight away, you can find your local urgent care services on the NHS website.

Check your contract to find out if your employer has to give you paid time off for your appointment - read more about time off work to visit the doctor.

Getting pay and benefits if you can't work

Check your contract of employment to see if:

  • you can get ‘contractual sick pay’ from your employer
  • you have access to an employee assistance helpline or medical care

Contractual sick pay

You can read more about contractual sick pay, including how your client can check if they should get it and what evidence their employer can ask for.

If you haven’t been given a contract or it doesn’t mention sick pay, ask your manager, or check your staff handbook or intranet.

If you’re an employee or agency worker you might get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to 28 weeks - check if you’re entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.

If you can’t get SSP, you might be able to claim Universal Credit or another benefit - read more about getting money when you're off work sick.

If you’re self-employed and you have income protection insurance you can make a claim. If you don’t have insurance, you can check what benefits you can get

Making a personal injury claim

You might want to claim compensation for your injury if you think it’s your employer’s or client’s fault - though this can be complicated and take a long time.

You should get legal advice from a solicitor – contact your nearest Citizens Advice for help finding a specialist solicitor. 

If you’re a member of a trade union, contact your local representative or check their website for how to get in touch. They’ll help you decide what to do and might be able to come to meetings with your employer to support you.

It’s best to get legal advice as soon as possible if you want to make a claim, because there are time limits - read more about claiming compensation for an injury.

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