If you have suffered an injury in a commercial or industrial work environment, you may be liable to make a claim against the organisation responsible for your injury *. On this page, you will find advice on how to instigate a commercial or industrial accident at work claim *.
In this section
Below you will find some useful information regarding your rights and making a claim. You can also use the following links to navigate to information relating to your specific sector or type of injury.
- Back Injury at Work
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Chemical Injuries
- Construction Industry Accidents
- Factory Accidents
- Farm Accidents
- Propionic Acid Spill
- Working at Height & Ladder Fall Injuries
Accidents at work occurring in an industrial setting can cover a wide range of industries, including factories, farms, construction, chemical industries and a wide range of different possible causes ranging from things like electrical shock to working at height, back injury and exposure to hazardous materials, etc.
In the industrial setting, in particular, there are generally rigorous reporting systems and requirements in place. So it’s important to make sure that any accident is reported fully in compliance with your obligation and, more importantly, that you are happy with the narrative of what happened, and when, and that nobody puts words in your mouth in preparing that report. Sometimes, there can be a tendency to get the health and safety officer to come and “help” you to draft your statement, which may not be desperately sympathetic to you or your situation.
While there isn’t any basis in negligence that you would be precluded from claiming because you didn’t comply with some internal form completion or reporting obligation in the event of an accident at work, you may find that there could be an attempt to seek to tailor your answers, maybe not actually to seek to remove liability but rather perhaps to characterise the accident in a certain way, as certain types of incidents may trigger larger audits and investigative processes, etc.
So sometimes there is a tendency to try to portray what happened in such a way as to avoid what might involve a lot of headaches and an expense for the business. Needless to say, this is unlikely to be in your interests and it is important to ensure that any report of the incident is as accurate and complete as possible from your point of view.
If you’ve been injured in such a way that you’re required to be out of work for three consecutive days, under the Health and Safety Acts, the Health and Safety Authority must be notified of the incident. Sometimes employers will try to rearrange matters to try and avoid triggering this reporting requirement. For instance, if a general operative is injured on a building site and they’re not able to carry out their normal physical work duties because of their injuries, they may be asked to come in and sit in an office and “do paperwork” in an effort to avoid circumstances giving rise to a mandatory report to the Health and Safety Authority.
Considerations around reporting to the Health and Safety Authority arise under the Health and Safety Acts, and while these may be complimentary and operate in parallel to anything that you may need to do in terms of a personal injury claim arising out of the circumstances, you should be aware that any report of the incident under the Health and Safety Acts is completely separate to the requirements to give notice of any circumstances which you believe give rise to a claim and the time limits associated with that.
Pursuant to Section 8 of the Civil Liability and Courts Act, 2004, in the event of an incident at work which may give rise to a claim for personal injury, you are now obliged to notify the person responsible for the incident within one month of your intention to bring such a claim. Previously this time period was two months but it was reduced to one month in 2019. And while previously the consequences of not giving such a notice within the time period specified meant that a judge could draw inferences from the failure to give such a notice, since 2019, this position has been changed to provide that a judge will draw inferences from the failure to give such notice. For instance, if a judge were to infer from the failure to provide this notice, that the defendant was prejudiced in some way in their ability to investigate or defend the claim, the judge could disallow the plaintiff their legal costs of bringing the claim. Therefore, the consequences of failure to give notice of a claim can be very severe and it is now critically important to give legal notice of your intention to bring a claim within one month of the circumstances of the claim arising, or as soon as possible thereafter.
Up until the change in the law in 2019, we are unaware of a successful case where section 8 was pleaded in defence of a claim and a judge drew any negative inference against the plaintiff as a result. It remains to be seen whether or not there is going to be a change in culture now as a result of this recent change in the law, but it is vitally important to be aware of the strict time limit of one month to give notice of a claim if you subsequently intend to bring legal proceedings arising out of the circumstances giving rise to it.
About McCarthy + Co
With more than 30 years of experience in dealing with personal injury claims *, McCarthy + Co. has expertise in a wide variety of fields including workplace and road traffic accidents. We are a family-run business, who pride ourselves on offering honest, impartial and helpful advice.
Our offices are based in Dublin and Cork but we have worked with clients throughout Ireland in locations ranging from Galway to Waterford. You can count on us for legal advice, guidance and assistance on any form of personal injury *.
If you are a commercial or industrial industry worker, or you have been affected by the actions of a worker, get in contact with our personal injury solicitors today to make a start on your claim * or gather more information. Call us on 1800 390 555 and an experienced member of staff will discuss your situation and potential next steps. You can also email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.