Employers Liability: Failure To Risk Assess
When it comes to liability in the workplace, the employer always has a certain amount of liability for the surrounding environment. If the employer fails to assess the risks that are posed by certain environmental hazards, an employee could justly be entitled to compensation should an accident occur. Here is a brief run-down of ways that employers could potentially be held liable should an injury or accident occur.
If you are going to make a claim against your employer that their negligence led directly to an accident, there are a few obstacles that you will need to clear. In general, you’ll need to show, in the end, that your employer owed you a certain quality of care while you are on the job. This means that you can reasonably expect to perform your work duties in a safe environment while being reasonably protected from personal harm.
In nearly all cases, employers will have been required to do an analysis with risk assessment as its core focus. Put another way, the company will have needed to look around the work environment and identify things that could potentially harm someone working there. These hazards then must be documented and kept on file so that it could be shown that companies have worked to identify risks previously.
Should an accident occur, the legal system will ask for this documentation to see if employers had made the risk assessment in the first place. If the assessment had not been made, then they are likely to be held liable for injuries that have occurred. This is generally considered an abrogation of duty and will be viewed unfavorably when contesting a claim.
Whether or not the employee has been trained to perform a specific action will very often have an influence on whether a claim is successful. Lifting large items improperly, even after someone has been shown how to do it correctly, is not the fault of the employer. Likewise, failure to utilize lifting belts is more likely to lead to injury.
There are some instances in which employers have not performed a thorough analysis of potentially harmful chemicals in various areas of the building. Asbestos that has been identified but not removed is considered a risk in and of itself. Employers who rent out old buildings but never hire an inspector to look for asbestos will be liable should someone develop a lung condition later on.
If you’ve been injured in an unsafe environment that was never pointed out to you by an employer, you may be eligible for a claim. Always choose legal professionals who are skilled in dealing with employment law. If you suffer a long-term injury that requires weeks or even months of rehabilitation, a successful claim will of course be important to your livelihood.
Employers are responsible for doing a risk assessment to make sure that their workers remain safe and healthy. Should they fail to do this, they could open themselves up to liability. If you are an employee who has suffered harm as a result of a risk assessment failure, retain counsel right away.