In a survey of over 1,200 people, almost two-fifths confessed fear over reporting their employer for negligence as they viewed this as placing their job at risk.
A survey conducted by JMW Solicitors found that many workers were apprehensive to report an accident or negligence that occurred at work.
Just under two-fifths (39 per cent) stated they “strongly agreed” or “agreed” that their job would be at risk if they reported their employer for negligence.
In addition to this, over a quarter expressed concern about the financial impact of claiming compensation and how this would affect their employer.
Another common fear, shared by one-fifth of respondents, was the belief that their employer would view them in a negative light if they reported an injury sustained in the workplace.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, compensation claims can be brought against employers if an employee has been injured or made ill due to the company’s negligence as an employer. Furthermore, the company may also be found liable if someone who works for their firm has been negligent and caused harm to someone else.
As such, employers have a duty of care towards employees. The HSE recommends preparing a health and safety policy, undertaking risk assessments, providing the correct training as well as consulting workers about health and safety standards in the workplace.
Under UK law, employers are legally obliged to report certain workplace injuries, near-misses and cases of work-related disease to HSE.
Despite this, over a quarter of respondents (28 per cent) admitted they failed to report an injury to their employer despite sustaining it at work. Of this number, over half (52 per cent) said that the injury was either ‘very severe’, ‘severe’ or ‘moderate’ – yet 97 per cent failed to make a compensation claim.
Richard Powell, Head of Personal Injury Claims at JMW Solicitors, said:
Our survey highlights that a stigma remains around reporting accidents at work, with a significant number of employees still afraid to do so for fear of what it means for their relationship with their employer.
More needs to be done to educate members of staff about their rights when it comes to claiming compensation, particularly if their employer has been negligent. All employers should have insurance policies in place to ensure that members of staff are able to claim the compensation to which they are entitled after an injury. Many employees are unaware that compensation paid by employers when a member of staff is injured is covered through an insurance policy, this means that the business will not be affected financially.
Any compensation secured can help to cover any earnings that have been lost due to time needed off work following an injury, while it can also ensure those who have suffered a workplace accident can access the best care to help them in their recovery.
*JMW Solicitors, a Manchester based law firm, surveyed 1,200 employees to obtain these results.
Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.