Accidents at Work

Organisations must meet minimum health and safety standards to prevent their employees being involved in a work place accident.
An employer owes duties to employees under Common Law and statute. The Common Law duties have been developed by the courts as they decide cases on accidents at work.
The employer’s Common Law duties are

  • to provide a safe place of work
  • to provide proper tools and equipment
  • to provide a safe system of working
  • to provide competent staff

In addition an employer owes duties under statute to safeguard employees in the workplace.
Under the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005, the employer’s duty is to ensure the safety of employees and in particular:

  • to provide by management and action, safety at work;
  • to provide by management and action that improper conduct does not occur;
  • to provide a safe place of work;
  • to provide safe plant or equipment;
  • to provide safe a safe system of work;
  • to provide safety information, instruction, training and supervision to employees;
  • to make a risk assessment and to implement measures to protect workers from those risks;
  • to provide protective clothing or equipment where hazards can not be completely eliminated;
  • to make emergency plans; and revise them as required;
  • to guard against hazards of particular articles or substances;
  • to provide welfare facilities and maintain them;
  • to provide a competent person to ensure safety and health at work of his employees

Compensation can be claimed for both the initial injury and for ongoing disability, together with compensation for any disadvantage on the labour market caused by permanent injury. In addition actual financial losses caused as a result of an accident at work can also be claimed.