Is There a Stigma Around Reporting Accidents at Work?

29th March 2021 Personal Injury

There is a common misconception that making a compensation claim for an accident at work will impact the business you work for, as the compensation will come directly from your employer. However, this isn’t the case. Employers are legally required to take out an insurance policy to protect their employees, and if an employee suffers an injury at work, it is the insurer that will compensate you - not your employer.

As experts in claiming compensation for individuals who have been involved in an accident at work through no fault of their own, we are dedicated to making sure employees are aware of their rights as any workplace injury can have a detrimental impact on a worker’s life. To understand whether there is a stigma around reporting accidents at work and making a compensation claim, we ran a survey to find out employees’ opinions on this issue.


One-quarter of injured workers do not report accidents

Results from the survey revealed that, of the respondents who had suffered an injury in the workplace, more than a quarter (28%) said they did not report it to their employer. When asked about the severity of the injuries they had sustained, 52% of respondents said their injury was either ‘very severe’, ‘severe’ or ‘moderate’. However, the survey data showed that 97% of those who had sustained an injury did not make a compensation claim.

Richard Powell, Head of Personal Injury, said: “It is worrying that the majority of employees who have sustained an injury did not claim compensation. With a lot of workers claiming to have had ‘severe’ and ‘very severe’ injuries, this could have a significant impact on their lives as they may have had to take time off work and pay for adaptations to their home. 

“Furthermore, seeking compensation for injuries sustained through an accident that was caused by somebody else’s negligence gives injured parties access to the best medical treatment, rehabilitation and support, so they can make as full a recovery as possible.”

Why are workers reluctant to make claims?

The survey of more than 1,200 workers revealed that most employees (39%) would be worried about their job security if they reported an accident caused by their employer’s negligence, citing that they either ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ with this statement. 

Job Security.jpg

Agree27.11%215
Neither agree or disagree21.31%169
Disagree25.85%205
Strongly disagree14.00%111

Workers also feel reluctant to make a claim for a workplace accident due to the financial implications for their employers, with more than a quarter (28%) either ‘strongly agreeing’ or ‘agreeing’ with this.

Financial Implications.jpg

Strongly agree5.80%
Agree22.57%
Neither agree or disagree23.83%
Disagree29.00%
Strongly disagree18.79%

In addition, one-fifth of survey respondents said they ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’ that they would be viewed negatively by their employer if they reported an injury they had sustained in the workplace.

If you are thinking of making a claim for an accident at work, it’s important to remember that while your employer will be notified, your claim will be dealt with by your employer’s insurance company and/or solicitor. Any dialogue about the claim should be held between your employer’s insurer and your solicitor, allowing you to maintain an amicable relationship with your employer throughout the course of your claim.

The full survey results

Have you ever suffered an injury in your place of work?

Have you ever suffered an injury in your place of work.jpg

Yes22.08%200
No77.92%706

How severe was the injury you sustained at work?

How severe was the injury you sustained at work.jpg

Very severe3.50%7
Severe10.50%21
Moderate37.50%75
Minor48.50%97

Did you report the incident to your employer?

Did you report the incident to your employer.jpg

Yes68.00%136
No28.00%56
I can't remember4.00%8

Why did you choose not to report the incident?

Why did you choose not to report the incident.jpg

I believed my injury was too minor41.82%23
I do not know the process for reporting injuries9.09%5
I recovered from my injury quickly7.27%4
I thought it would affect the business financially0.00%0
It was too much hassle10.91%6
I thought I would be viewed negatively by my employer18.18%10
I thought I would be viewed negatively by my colleagues0.00%0
My employer told me not to1.82%1
Other10.91%6

Are you aware of your employer's accident reporting procedure for if an incident takes place? 

Are you aware of your employer's accident reporting procedure for if an incident takes place.jpg

Yes69.99%555
No25.85%205
My workplace does not have one4.16%33

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: "I would report the incident if I suffered an injury in the workplace."

I would report the incident.jpg

Strongly agree48.30%383
Agree35.18%279
Neither agree or disagree12.99%103
Disagree3.03%24
Strongly disagree0.50%4

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: "I would be judged negatively by my employer if I reported an injury I had suffered in the workplace." 

Judged negatively by employer.jpg

Strongly agree5.80%46
Agree14.63%116
Neither agree or disagree24.97%198
Disagree32.28%256
Strongly disagree22.32%177

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: "I would be judged negatively by my colleagues if I reported an injury I had suffered in the workplace."

Judged negatively by colleagues.jpg

Strongly agree2.90%23
Agree11.60%92
Neither agree or disagree23.08%183
Disagree34.80%276
Strongly disagree27.62%219

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: "I would make a compensation claim if I was injured at work due to the negligence of another party."

Make a compensation claim.jpg

Strongly agree15.76%125
Agree29.51%234
Neither agree or disagree42.24%335
Disagree10.84%86
Strongly disagree1.64%13

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Richard Powell is a Partner and Head of Department located in Manchesterin our Personal Injury department

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