Everyone should be able to work in a safe environment without the threat of violence or injury and it is an employer’s responsibility to provide this. Employers are not only responsible for protecting their staff from accidents at work, they must also take all reasonable precautions to protect you from physical harm. If you have been assaulted at work, you may be able to make a personal injury compensation claim.
This depends on whether your employer’s negligence allowed the attack to take place. If the attack was foreseeable and your employer failed to provide adequate protection for you, you may be able to make a personal injury claim against your employer. In this case, your claim would be processed in the same way as an ordinary accident at work claim. If the assault took place outside of work, or if it could not reasonably have been foreseen by your employer, then you should seek legal advice regarding submitting a Criminal Injuries Compensation claim.
There are many situations in which an employer may be considered legally responsible for failing to prevent an assault or attack on one of their members of staff. Some examples include:
Working alone or being understaffed
In some places of work, being left to carry out certain duties alone or without adequate team members with you can be very dangerous. This is particularly relevant for prison officers, security guards or care workers who work with patients prone to violent behaviour.
Ignoring past instances of violent behaviour
If an employer has prior knowledge that someone with whom their staff interact has a history of violent behaviour, then they are obliged to take all necessary precautions to avoid exposing their staff to this violence in future. It may be another member of staff, a customer or client or even a patient. By the same token, if a workplace has suffered break-ins or robberies frequently and the employer has failed to provide additional security, they may be held liable.
Lack of training
There are a number of workplaces (such as those serving in the police force) where employees are exposed to volatile situations which may lead to violence. If this is the case, all employees should be issued with personal protective equipment and be given adequate training in its proper use. Similarly, all panic alarms, radios or other means of calling for help should be in full working order.
If you have been the victim of an attack or assault in your place of work, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. There are strict time limits, called a statute of limitations, in place which prevents you from pursuing a claim after a certain amount of time has elapsed, so it is advisable that you speak to a claims adviser as soon as possible. For more information on how Cute Injury can help, get in touch today.