Assault at Work Compensation Claims
Suffering from an attack anywhere can be devastating, but being assaulted at work, in an environment that you should feel safe and protected in, can be all the more traumatic. If you have been abused, threatened or physically attacked at work, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
Jobs that are Commonly Vulnerable to Workplace Assaults
The Health and Safety Executive have defined violence at work as being “Any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances related to their work.” All employers have a legal duty of care to their employees which minimises risks and provides protection. These obligations are outlined under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The act stipulates the ways in which employers can safeguard their staff from foreseeable dangers in the workplace, and this extends to assaults at work.
There are a number of jobs that are especially at risk or commonly suffer assaults in the workplace. These include:
- Care workers
- Medical Staff
- Police and security workers
- Cash handlers
- Those in positions of authority or responsibility
It is the responsibility of your employer to carry out thorough risk assessments to ensure that threats are minimised. Where it is found that your employer conducted risk assessments and made appropriate provisions against potential risks, it may still be possible to claim compensation from a government body and your solicitor will be able to help you determine the liability of your assault at work and direct your claim appropriately.
Am I eligible to make a claim?
If you have suffered from an assault at work due to an avoidable and foreseeable risk, your employer may be found to be liable for your injuries and suffering. Unnecessary and recognisable risks should be apparent following a thorough risk assessment, and if your employer has not acted appropriately, it is likely that they will be considered as having been negligent. There are a number of ways in which your employer might be accountable for your assault at work. Some of the most common that are presented to us include:
Working alone or with insufficient support
Employees who work on their own or in an environment with too few staff are more susceptible to health and safety risks, particularly in challenging environments. Adequately staffed workplaces are safer and help to provide security to colleagues to prevent assaults and reduce the severity of any attack that does happen.
Failure to act on known violent behaviour
If an employer is aware that one of their staff members has acted violently in the past or that a patient or client has aggressive tendencies, they have a duty of care to act appropriately in order to protect their employees. If the employer is aware of such behaviour and takes no action and that person assaults a member of their staff, the employer may be considered as liable.
Failure to act following security incidents
If an employer fails to make adjustments to the safety and security of the workplace following a previous incident, they may be accountable for any similar future events. For example, if a workplace has been broken into previously and the employer has taken no action to strengthen the security of the property, they may be seen as acting negligently towards their staff.
Inadequate training or PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
If an employer is aware of a potential risk to the safety of their staff or the job itself revolves around working in a high-risk environment, such as a prison or security role, the employer is legally obliged to provide staff with adequate training and protective equipment. Furthermore, the safety equipment provided to staff must be in full working order.
If it can be proven that your assault was the liability of your employer or any other person, you will be eligible to make a personal injury claim for compensation.
How much compensation can I claim for an attack at work?
The amount of compensation that is awarded to you will depend upon the level of suffering that has been inflicted on you through the assault. Injury solicitors are committed to securing the highest possible awards on your behalf, and this is achieved through thorough considerations of all potential areas of damage and loss. Through negotiations, consideration will be given to the following areas:
- Pain and discomfort suffered
- Impact on work abilities and income, both present and potential future effects
- Psychological damage
- Cost of any medical treatment required
- Cost of transport to obtain required treatment
- Impact on social life including ability to interact with others and engage in hobbies
- Any impact on your ability to live independently.
Your solicitor will build a case based on secure and thorough evidence to highlight all areas of loss that have been inflicted on you through the attack and then work with determination and focus on ensuring that you achieve the maximum amount of compensation possible for your claim.