In his most famous live performance, comedian Bill Hicks pulls out a packet of cigarettes, lights up and, in his typical furious tone, says, “Hey, non-smokers, I’ve got news for ya – you’ll die too!” letting out a fierce laugh as he takes his first puff.

And he’s absolutely right. No matter how much we invest in our good health, the slightest accident can still halt you for months, causing injury and a loss of income.

But if an accident occurs in your workplace, the outcome isn’t completely out of your hands. While smoking killing you is your fault, a major hazard in your employer’s office or warehouse most certainly isn’t.

Whether it’s a slip, trip, fall or something far more dangerous, you’re not alone – more than 600,000 other workers suffered an injury in the workplace in 2013.

So what can you do to stop the blame being placed at your door? For a start, you can try a few of these tips.

Get the law on your side

If you’re considering legal action against your employer, then it’s no good to take the law into your own hands, like some sort of badly injured Judge Dredd.

Indeed, if you want someone to say, “I am the law” it should be your personal injury claim solicitor. By contacting them, you’ll gain expert advice on what the legal system can do for you, and find out if your accident is worth making a claim against.

A solicitor should be your first port of call after an accident, and they’ll keep you in good stead for any future legal wrangles with your boss.

Get a trade, son

Back before the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, trade unions were as strong as bulls, flaring at the nose at the mere mention of the term pay cuts. But now they’re a weakened bunch, and few workplaces even bother with a trade union to protect them from their bosses.

However, you can still rally the troops if you feel your working environment is putting your health at risk.

A group of agitated employees is far more likely to pique an employer’s fears, rather than a single dissenting voice, so make sure you have an employee support framework in place before a health mishap occurs.

Know your rights

Employment law can be a complicated business, hinging precedence on previous cases and obscure jargon. However, the basics can be easy enough to get to grips with and would be recommended if you’re entering any kind of health and safety dispute with your employer.

The most important measure when discussing severe injuries with your employer is to speak on an even footing. After all, when your safety is at hand, it’s important to chat in a responsible and rational manner.

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