Injuries from working alone could quite easily be eligible for legal compensation. There are several different ways you could be able to take your case to trial if you were injured while working alone.
Working alone definitely makes it more likely that you will be injured in certain circumstances, and makes it less likely that you’ll be able to get help quickly if you do get injured, so it’s important that your employer puts effective safeguards in place.
These are some of the most common cases where you may be able to claim damages for injuries sustained while working alone.
Image by Peter Haden
Injuries When Your Supervisor Left
If you should be being supervised while attempting a task, but your supervisor has left for any reason at all, this represents a huge risk to you as an employee. Supervision is a serious responsibility, and if someone leaves you while you’re supposed to be supervised that’s a clear abandonment of that responsibility.
Injuries Which Become Worse Over Time
If you were trapped in a small space and overcome by fumes, or you suffered a head injury and collapsed, or simply sustain a large bleeding injury, you need to be found and treated quickly.
It doesn’t matter in this case if you were explicitly supposed to be monitored or looked after. What matters is whether it would be reasonable to expect you to come across a hazard which left you vulnerable in this way, and that your employers have measures in place to check up on you in the event that you do find yourself in need of urgent medical attention.
Injuries When You Shouldn’t Have Been Working On Your Own
There are many cases when you shouldn’t be expected to work on your own.
You should be physically capable of taking on the responsibilities and risks of the job, risks should not be greatly exacerbated by being alone as opposed to being in the company of a fellow employee, you should be medically fit to take on the job and there should be provisions made in case you are hurt.
This means that, for instance, a shorter person might not be suited for working security alone during the night shift on a Saturday night. It’s not their fault if they choose to work that shift, though – it’s up to the employer to identify the risks and protect their employees from them.
It also means that you need suitable facilities, equipment, first aid materials and training for the specific situation you’ll be in – in other words, you need special tools and knowledge for the specific situation of working alone. If these aren’t in place, you shouldn’t be expected to work on your own.
Employers can easily get around many of these requirements with simple methods. Installing alarm buttons, ensuring that workers aren’t left alone unexpectedly, and making sure that each worker is able to manage the risks they’ll face physically are all very easy, but some employers avoid them to save money.
Of course, ultimately saving this money can come back to bite them.
If you were working alone and suffered an injury, get in touch. We might be able to help.