Welcome Guest! The IOSH forums are a free resource to both members and non-members. Login or register to use them

Postings made by forum users are personal opinions. IOSH is not responsible for the content or accuracy of any of the information contained in forum postings. Please carefully consider any advice you receive.

Notification

Icon
Error

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
Mersey  
#1 Posted : 02 August 2020 09:54:07(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Mersey

A solicitors letter shows up stating a previous employee (who no longer works for the company) has injured themselves while performing a task (attempting a manual handling lift that requires a two man lift) and is pursuing a damages claim

So I have the usual requests can I see their induction, training records, risk assessments etc, in a letter 5 months after the alleged incident.

What perplexes me is that the accident was never reported to anyone at site, none of the supervisors, no managers, no witnesses,  nada, but the advice is to settle on it?

“Employees have a duty to take care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by your actions at work. Workers must co-operate with employers and co-workers to help everyone meet their legal requirements”

Seriously if there is nothing in the accident book , and no one knew about it why would a company be advised to settle?

The claimant could of course say that he did tell his supervisor and get into an argument about whether he did or didn’t

I’m after advice around making sure employees know their responsibilities for reporting accidents.- The site does have a accident reporting policy but I’ve since found that there is no signed acknowledgement or training records about reporting an accident at work -  so that’s a gap in itself.

Is it usual to capture this signature at an induction? That’s what I’ve done in the past -  I’m not suggesting it would save us from a claim I just want people to report accidents in the correct manner so we can act on them and not find out we have an issue 5 months later via a solicitors letter.

The IP has left the business now- but in past places I have worked I’ve seen employees getting warnings for not reporting accidents but without having the a signature against the accident reporting procedure it’s always an option to act dumb over it.

I guess what I asking is without signatures are you pretty much screwed when it comes to claims.

Thanks

Roundtuit  
#2 Posted : 02 August 2020 11:04:18(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Most claims are framed as "pain and suffering" and loss of earnings - what did the employees attendance record show immediately following the supposed date up until leaving? Were they actually at work on the day (had that one before and a swift retraction of claim when we said we would pursue fraud)?

Regarding the main thrust behind your post what would a signature prove? All it indicates is that someone made a mark upon a piece of paper. To be the item you are eluding to it would need independent witnessing (persons to state they saw the employee making the mark). Even then a lawyer would argue it was given under duress with no comprehension of what the action meant (because obviously you would not allow someone to work unless they signed ergo the duress).

Even the trend to on-line training assumes it connects a single employee to the message forgetting all that can be proved is a machine logged in to a session - watching to the end does not mean the content was viewed, answering a set of questions can be completed by trial and error until the necessary score is received.

Personally I sign as attendance only, not that "I have received and understood".

Always had accident reporting as a topic on induction but as these hit recipients with a lot of information in a short period of time how to report an accident is generally not on the employees watch list of pay, working hours, holidays.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Mersey on 02/08/2020(UTC), Mersey on 02/08/2020(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#3 Posted : 02 August 2020 11:04:18(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Most claims are framed as "pain and suffering" and loss of earnings - what did the employees attendance record show immediately following the supposed date up until leaving? Were they actually at work on the day (had that one before and a swift retraction of claim when we said we would pursue fraud)?

Regarding the main thrust behind your post what would a signature prove? All it indicates is that someone made a mark upon a piece of paper. To be the item you are eluding to it would need independent witnessing (persons to state they saw the employee making the mark). Even then a lawyer would argue it was given under duress with no comprehension of what the action meant (because obviously you would not allow someone to work unless they signed ergo the duress).

Even the trend to on-line training assumes it connects a single employee to the message forgetting all that can be proved is a machine logged in to a session - watching to the end does not mean the content was viewed, answering a set of questions can be completed by trial and error until the necessary score is received.

Personally I sign as attendance only, not that "I have received and understood".

Always had accident reporting as a topic on induction but as these hit recipients with a lot of information in a short period of time how to report an accident is generally not on the employees watch list of pay, working hours, holidays.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Mersey on 02/08/2020(UTC), Mersey on 02/08/2020(UTC)
Holliday42333  
#4 Posted : 03 August 2020 14:38:35(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Holliday42333

Originally Posted by: Mersey Go to Quoted Post

What perplexes me is that the accident was never reported to anyone at site, none of the supervisors, no managers, no witnesses,  nada, but the advice is to settle on it?

Its been quite a few years since I had to deal with claims (thank goodness and long may it continue) but this kind of thing used to wind me up no end.

Then I was taken aside by a kindly loss-adjuster who explained the ACTUAL claims process.  After this it all became clear.

The first thing, I was told, was to stop thinking that claims had anything to do with 'right and wrong'.  This is the theory and it may sort of happen in a court but I was to face facts and accept that claims very rarely made it to court.  Claims did not concern 'right and wrong' but were all about MONEY.  Cold hard cash and very little else.

First off, very few claims (especially those dealt with by a claims handling service) get to cloud a lawyers desk until quite a few rounds of back and forth have taken place.  Therefore the rule of Law doesnt come into things until well into the claims process and a large percentage never get that far.

Then it is down to the cash.  If the admin involved in sending a formal letter to refute the claim costs more than the settlement offer then it is in the insurers best interest to settle.  The insurers hold an awful lot of sway here in my experience as, at this stage it is their money and they are limiting their losses.  Again 'right and wrong' dont factor.  Technically as a client paying for a service, you have an input but good luck with that one and hold on tight when it comes to renewal time.

There is all sorts of other rediculousness that goes on but this is my real world experience of dealing with claims.  Dont follow the claim (as per your NEBOSH Legal module, or others), follow the money!

thanks 5 users thanked Holliday42333 for this useful post.
Kate on 03/08/2020(UTC), Mersey on 04/08/2020(UTC), A Kurdziel on 04/08/2020(UTC), nic168 on 04/08/2020(UTC), toe on 05/08/2020(UTC)
Hsquared14  
#5 Posted : 03 August 2020 15:26:46(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Hsquared14

Firstly - Don't take it personally, there is no suggestion that you haven't operated correctly. 

The sad thing is that these days it costs so much to defend low cost cases that most insurance companies will settle for a small(ish) sum out of court to protect their profit margin rather than waste a lot of money to fight the case.  The good news is that this protects your premium from big increases and ensures that you and your insurance company live to fight another day.  So just shrug and mark it down to experience.

thanks 3 users thanked Hsquared14 for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 04/08/2020(UTC), Mersey on 04/08/2020(UTC), nic168 on 04/08/2020(UTC)
Holliday42333  
#6 Posted : 03 August 2020 16:11:44(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Holliday42333

My favorite, thinking back, was the claim that was settled when the business (FMCG) were adamant that the claimant had never worked for it but had in fact worked at the factory across the road that was in a similar sector!!  The claimant obviously had so little recolection of the injury, nearly 3 years earlier they could only remember which part of town it had occured in.

thanks 3 users thanked Holliday42333 for this useful post.
Kate on 03/08/2020(UTC), A Kurdziel on 04/08/2020(UTC), Mersey on 04/08/2020(UTC)
Mersey  
#7 Posted : 04 August 2020 08:59:40(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Mersey

I initially started my post with "This type of stuff really bugs me!" but deleted it - so nice to see "used to wind me up no end" 

Originally Posted by: Holliday42333 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Mersey Go to Quoted Post

What perplexes me is that the accident was never reported to anyone at site, none of the supervisors, no managers, no witnesses,  nada, but the advice is to settle on it?

Its been quite a few years since I had to deal with claims (thank goodness and long may it continue) but this kind of thing used to wind me up no end.

MrBrightside  
#8 Posted : 04 August 2020 09:07:00(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
MrBrightside

I once had two claims come in on the same day the two employees "slipped over" (from a particular company which may or may not have worked with or for a Union). There used to be a norm where solicitors would just pay out for anything below 5K (I think it was 5K) without even a fight, so claims would come in for £4999.99.

We decided to take these claims to court just to prove a point. It cost us, but we won. We didnt get any claims for a long time after that, word soon gets round.

thanks 2 users thanked MrBrightside for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 04/08/2020(UTC), Mersey on 04/08/2020(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#9 Posted : 04 August 2020 09:22:43(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

An employee when I worked for the government put in a claim for an injury sustained when a heavy box fell from a shelf behind the driver’s seat of a Landy going cross country. They insisted that accident had happened and but they had not reported it. Fortunately the government does not carry insurance but claims are dealt with by the Treasury Solicitor. They wanted to settle the claim using the same sort of argument that Holiday’s loss adjuster had put forward but we checked it out and were able to establish to not one of our vehicles had a shelf behind the driver’s seat: they all had a bulkhead right up against the front seats. The claimant had apparently got us mixed up with another company he had worked for, who may or may not have gone into liquidation!

thanks 1 user thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
Mersey on 04/08/2020(UTC)
biker1  
#10 Posted : 04 August 2020 10:26:37(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

I think one of the problems is the uncertainty in court cases. How many case do we see where the first level court decides in favour of one party, this is appealed, and the second level court reverses the decision. It can even go on to a further appeal and reversal. So, even if a company initially won in court, this could well be overturned by a higher court. This does make you wonder about the credibilty of the court system, but insurance companies won't want to become embroiled in what could be a lengthy process with no certain outcome, and let's face it, legal representation and advice doesn't come cheap.

thanks 1 user thanked biker1 for this useful post.
Mersey on 04/08/2020(UTC)
Users browsing this topic
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.