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Accidents at work - overview

This advice applies to England

If you have an accident at work, you should report it to your employer as soon as possible – and make sure they record it in the accident book. If they don't do this, or if there isn't an accident book, write down details of the accident and send it to your boss (keeping a copy for yourself).

If you can't report the accident because you’re too ill, ask someone else to do it for you.

You should see a doctor even if your injury doesn't seem serious - the doctor can record the medical details of your accident. This will be useful later on if you want to claim compensation from your boss or if you need to claim benefits. Find out more about industrial injuries benefits on GOV.UK.

If you think that conditions at your workplace are unsafe, talk to your trade union or contact the Health and Safety Executive. If you think you’re in serious and immediate danger at work, you have the right to protect yourself. This could mean leaving work until the immediate danger is fixed.

Pay when you can't work

You should get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you need time off because of your injury.

Your contract of employment might also say you can get extra sick pay.

You can use our tool to check if you’re entitled to sick pay.

Depending on the seriousness of your injury, you might also be able to claim benefits. For example, you might get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

You might want to claim compensation from your employer, although this can be complicated and take a long time. It's best if you get legal advice from a solicitor – your local Citizens Advice can help you find a specialist solicitor, or your union might be able to help. If you want to make a claim, it must be started within 3 years of the accident.

Going back to work after an injury

If you think you might be able to go back to work doing lighter duties, or fewer hours, speak to your employer and doctor.

If your accident has caused a long term injury, your employer might have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to help you get back to work.

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UAT (Release)