1. Overview

HSE may investigate possible breaches of health and safety law. If you are the victim of a workplace injury or case of ill health you may become involved in our investigation.

If someone dies at work or because of work, bereaved families may also become involved in our investigation.

We will explain:

The Victims' Code

The minimum standard that an organisation must provide to victims of crime is set out in The Victims' Code.

The Victims’ Code uses ‘victim’ to mean:

  • a victim of a workplace incident, injury or case of ill health
  • a parent or guardian of a victim who is under 18
  • a bereaved close relative

Victims who are considered vulnerable, intimidated or are bereaved have enhanced rights under the Victims’ Code. These ensure relevant support including:

  • being contacted sooner after key decisions are made
  • access to special measures, such as giving evidence by video link in court

Help with communication

If you do not understand or speak English well, we can arrange an interpreter or translation to help you discuss the case or make a witness statement. We can arrange help from a registered intermediary communication specialist who can help a vulnerable person give evidence. This may be when a victim or witness may need help because their ability to communicate is affected by:

  • their age
  • a learning disability
  • a mental disorder
  • a physical disability

Compensation claims

HSE is not involved in civil law compensation claims and does not offer advice in this area.

The court in criminal prosecutions can order a convicted defendant to pay compensation for:

  • personal injury
  • loss
  • damage

It is unusual for the court to award compensation when there is an ongoing or resolved civil claim. If you want to apply for compensation from the court, talk to your investigator well before the prosecution hearing. The court is likely to need specific supporting evidence.

More on civil law

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Updated 2024-02-07