BFAWU members urged to come forward to seek legal advice after suffering an accident at work and not to fear how employers will treat them if they report an accident
Thompsons Solicitors and the Bakers', Food and Allied Workers Union have launched a new campaign to support members who are worried about reporting workplace accidents or health & safety breaches for fear of how their employers will treat them if they do.
As part of the campaign, BFAWU members are being reassured that the law protects them if they report an accident. The union has produced a short questionnaire (available to download here) or an online survey to help the union’s legal service understand the challenges facing BFAWU members.
As a member of the BFAWU, workers in the industry receive specialist personal injury legal cover from Thompsons Solicitors, free of charge, but many members who have suffered an injury at work do not report it or seek legal support for fear that they will be punished by management.
The BFAWU legal scheme regularly recovers tens of thousands of pounds in compensation for members who have suffered an injury. Members who use the union legal service receive 100% of their compensation, with no deduction of legal fees, to ensure they have financial support if they’re unable to work after an accident or injury.
Failing to report an accident means that it is not drawn to the attention of the employer and changes cannot be made to avoid it happening again, which is negative for the individual injured and their colleagues. By raising problems, and ultimately, if need be, making a compensation claim, employers are forced to address poor health and safety practices.
President of the BFAWU, Ian Hodson, said: “Under-reporting doesn’t just mean that individual members aren’t getting the legal advice they are entitled to. It also means that negligent employers are let off the hook because we, as the union, can’t investigate, and tackle, health and safety breaches which is to everyone's benefit.”
“To get to the root of the problem, we have launched this new campaign and survey asking members about the situation in their workplaces.”
Gerard Stilliard, head of personal injury strategy at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “We want to make sure that negligent employers have nowhere to hide, and that injured BFAWU members feel safe and secure talking to the union and legal representatives about how we can help them if they’ve been injured.
“The BFAWU is 100% committed to making sure members are properly supported and protected at work. Members have been asked to complete a short survey about the health and safety set up in their workplaces, and their views on how management responds to accidents or injuries. Every member who responds will be entered into a draw to win £50 of vouchers*.”
To complete the survey, please visit: http://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BFAWULegal
*No cash alternatives. A winner will be selected at random on the 01 March 2016 and be notified via phone / email. Only BFAWU members will be entered into the prize draw.
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