Ladder Accident Claims – Compensation For A Fall From Height At Work

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Some of the most common accident at work claims involve falls from ladders. When any employer requires a member of staff to work at height using a ladder, it is vitally important they provide the correct equipment and adequate training to ensure that the risks of injury are minimised. Here we look at when you can claim injury compensation after falling from a ladder at work.

Table of contents:

Employer responsibilities to ensure ladder safety

Employers and contractors are responsible for their worker’s safety and injury claims will succeed if it can be proven they have been negligent and failed to comply with their statutory duty of care. Employers must ensure a safe and secure working environment for staff and prevent foreseeable injuries. If your employer has failed to follow health and safety guidance to protect staff they can be held liable to pay work accident compensation to anyone injured as a result.

To reduce the risk of injury at work, employers must ensure:

  • That they follow working at height regulations.
  • That staff are given a safety induction relating to the workplace, made aware of accident risks and how to minimise them.
  • That staff are made aware as to how to deal with accidents and seek first aid.
  • That health and safety signage is properly and prominently displayed.
  • That all staff are provided with the correct PPE.
  • That staff are adequately qualified on any tools or machinery they use.
  • That faulty equipment is fixed asap and machinery regularly serviced.
  • That cleaners display hazard warning signs when making floors wet.
  • That any slip or trip hazards are identified and repaired or made safe.

Working at height regulations

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 were specifically created to protect those working at height, whether half a mile above the ground or simply standing on a chair. Regardless of the kind of workplace, If employers are tasking staff members to work at height, they must by law ensure:

  • That staff are adequately trained in how to access anything at a height above arms reach.
  • That staff understand what equipment they should use to safely access the height needed.
  • To provide the right equipment to access anything at height.
  • That equipment used to work at height is regularly maintained and repaired.
  • That such equipment found to be faulty or dangerous is removed from use.

Can you make a claim after falling from a ladder at work?

Simply falling off a ladder doesn’t mean you are eligible to claim compensation, the key to making a successful claim after an injury at work is being able to hold your employer responsible, usually as a result of breaking health and safety rules. This applies whether you are a full time, part time or temporary member of staff.

If your employer failed to provide you with any training in safe ladder use, or you can demonstrate that the accident was the result of employer negligence or that of another party, you probably have a solid claim for ladder accident compensation.

Even if you have been trained or failed to follow guidance, there may be some element of liability that can be attributed to your employer. If you’re not sure that you’re eligible to claim, please contact our expert team and we’ll be able to let you know.

The comments at the bottom of this article will further help you to understand the wide range of scenarios involved.

Personal injury claims needs to be made within three years of the accident. It is also important that the details of your accident have been recorded with your employer in an accident book and that you have sought medical attention for the injuries you have sustained.

If you haven’t recorded the accident yet, don’t worry, we can help.

Common causes of ladder accidents at work

Placing a ladder in a dangerous position without adequate support. Employers must ensure that any staff members working at height have been given the correct training to fully understand how to minimise the risk of a ladder tipping or slipping, and how to identify a safe location for a ladder to be erected.

Using a ladder that is too short. Many employers do not provide a ladder of an adequate length, and this leads to a worker having to overreach beyond a safe distance and risk the ladder tipping over. Employers have a duty to ensure that all staff using ladders at work are made aware of the ‘3 points of contact’ ladder rule. This reminds workers that they must always have 2 hands and 1 foot or 1 hand and 2 feet on the ladder at any one time.

Common injury claims resulting from ladder accidents

Common injury claims following a fall from a ladder include head injuries, slipped discs, fractures to the ankles, legs, arms and wrists, or to the coccyx area of the lower back. They can also cause people to suffer nasty soft tissue injuries with damage to the kneeships and shoulders.

In most cases, people are left with mobility and independence impairments, whether temporary or permanent. In cases of severe injuries, such as an open fracture, we have also helped people who have suffered psychological trauma.

How much can you claim for falling off a ladder?

Compensation settlement amounts will vary depending on the injury. The final settlement value will be reached after medical evidence is reviewed and a medical report completed for your solicitor. Clearly, the more pain and discomfort suffered, the higher the value of your compensation. It’s typically affected by:

  • The type and extent of an injury sustained
  • Whether or not you have made a full recovery from the injuries
  • Amount of lost income and costs incurred
  • Care required by family and friends – such as transport, help around the house or with shopping etc.
  • Any pension loss
  • The cost of paying someone to carry out tasks which you could do before your accident but cannot do now, such as decorating or gardening
  • Treatment and rehabilitation costs such as physiotherapy or massage
  • The cost of any surgery after your accident (you are not forced to have this on the NHS and are entitled to claim for the cost of surgery privately, particularly if this speeds up your recovery)

Whilst some injuries after a fall from a ladder can be immediately obvious – such as a broken leg or arm – some possibly more serious ones may not. Some of the symptoms or damage caused may not be known for months or years. As such, it is important that medical attention be sought early to provide the vital evidence needed to support any claim for compensation.

Start a ladder accident claim

With over 20 years’ experience, you can use our knowledge and expertise to get your claim off to the best start. There is no charge for assessing your case, so you have nothing to lose and much to gain if you can make a successful claim.

Typically, our clients are worried about how making a claim will affect their relationship with their employer and how the claims process works. We are here to offer the support and advice which will help you to understand your rights and give you the confidence to able to pursue your claim.

You can start your claim online or , and one of our expert team will be in touch. Alternatively, call us on 01225 430285. We’ll only need a few minutes of your time to let you know if you can make a claim.

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Comments & Questions

Read on for questions and advice about claiming, plus ladder injury claim examples...

My partner has recently had a fall at work slipped off a step ladder and has a superior end plate fracture to his L1.
He’s not sure that if he makes a claim it’s going to effect his employment, as he hoping when he’s recovered that he can go back to work. We’re does he stand with pay and making a claim?

Ian Morris

If someone has been injured in an accident at work that they do not believe was their fault or that could have been avoided if the employer had failed to take the appropriate steps to reduce the risk of the injury (such as training or providing the correct equipment etc), the injured worker has a legal right to make a claim for personal injury compensation – without their being any jeopardy to their ongoing employment.

Your Partner’s concerns and worries are very commonly held by people facing the prospect of making a claim against an employer and we appreciate that making a claim in such circumstances feels awkward and stressful. It’s important that your Partner understands that any claim would be against the mandatory insurance that the employer has to have rather than against the business itself and the colleagues that your Partner works with would not even know if he were to make a claim (and their jobs won’t be affected in anyway either).

With regards to pay, employers are not legally required to continue to pay the salary of an employee who is off through injury or illness – even if the injury or illness was caused whilst at work. The only legal requirement is to pay sick pay if such a benefit is listed within the employment contract. Otherwise, employees will be placed on to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they qualify for that benefit. With this in mind, the only way to recover lost income or other costs caused by the injury and absence from work is by making a successful claim for personal injury compensation.

Our Solicitors are specialists in accidents at work and we have a proven track record of dealing with claims for people injured when falling from height whilst at work. We can help your Partner to recover compensation for the serious injury he has suffered (there is a potential for the injury to have long term/permanent implications) as well as recovering any lost income or costs via a No Win No Fee service.

We appreciate that there will be many questions that your Partner has and that he may need time to consider whether or not he will proceed with a claim. The most sensible thing to do at the outset is for him to have an initial conversation with us so that we can explain his rights and help him to understand what options are open to him.


I fell from a step ladder indoors on a building site in wet conditions ( raining coming through ) not using the appropriate size steps. I fell onto concrete breaking my elbow in 3 places and dislocating it( tearing the ligaments and tendons) the surgeons words where it’s like someone has put a grenade on your elbow . I have lost range of movement in my wrist and elbow. And potentially suffer with traumatic arthritis in the future. The site manager didn’t give me a site induction nor health and safety run through. And decided it would be best to forge my signature on the induction to save himself. ( I was working here 6 week) do I have something?

Ian Morris

You have been injured as a result of employer negligence in two areas – a lack of adequate training/induction and due to dangerous or incorrect equipment. Our Solicitors would act for you on a No Win No Fee basis and seek compensation for your injuries and recovery of any loss of income.


I had an accident at work fell down a ladder because of poor site conditions. I was left with broken ribs, in hospital and signed off work. I hadn’t signed in that morning, so my supervisor seems to think this is ok and will get him out having to go through any claim I make. Is this true? Am I still entitled to make a claim?

Ian Morris

Was an accident book filled in at the time of your fall? Was the fall witnessed or did an Ambulance come to the scene? As you hadn’t signed in that day, the employer may attempt to claim that you were not present on the day as a defence of any claim. Therefore, we need to be able to demonstrate that you were present and ensure that you have the right evidence available to support your claim. If you have copies of any text messages between you and your supervisor in which the accident at work is discussed, keep them as that could prove vital evidence to support you should you seek to make a claim.

You have a valid right to make a claim and can do so within 3 years of the date of your accident.


This is certainly a matter our specialist Solicitors can consider for you. Please make further contact.

It would be useful to know whether your builder carries insurance for their work? (did you check with them at the outset?).


Hi I fell 4-5m from a ladder in the wet, looking back at pictures of the ladder i fell from there’s a couple of the runs that have damage and are bent like a “v” shape. I would just like to know whether that ladder should have been Condemned and not used at all in the first place?

Ian Morris

If the ladder you were being tasked with using was defective, damaged or unfit for safe use – as would appear to be the case, the employer should have removed it from use and provided a safe replacement. The fact that the employer didn’t remove the ladder indicates that they do not employ a routine inspection of the equipment that they are asking staff to use. These failings by the employer is likely to be seen as employer negligence and would enable you to hold the employer liable for your injuries and losses caused by the accident.

Along with providing safe equipment, your employer should also have provided the appropriate training to ensure that you could use a ladder safely, both to work at height safely and also how to identify whether a ladder was fit for purpose for the job in question.

If you have not already pursued a claim for compensation, we feel that you have every right to do so and would like to help you.


I’m self employed labourer working with bricklayers. I’ve fallen off ladder second lift up. I was carrying a water bottle at the time, I had my 3 points of contact on ladders at no point was I told not to carry stuff up or down ladder by site manager. I didn’t have tool box talk regarding this they have footage off me landing on ground, the ladder has since been altered and now they are putting stairways in. I’ve got compound fracture of my left elbow, just wanted some advice.

Ian Morris

The lack of training provision from your employer is clearly responsible for your accident and you would appear to have a valid claim. You have up to 3 years from the date of the accident in which you can pursue a claim. It is important to ensure that an accident book entry has been made so that there is evidence to show the injury happened at work. Did an Ambulance attend the scene?

If and when you are ready to make a claim, please call us on 01225430285 so that we can help you.


Hello Ian, I tripped on the top step of a step ladder going into the back of trailer. I fell flat injuring my hip and knees. The gate on the step ladder had been removed – if it had not it would have stopped my fall. I have a personal risk assessment stating I should not use step ladders to enter trailers because of my disability knee. Work have ignored my risk assessment and put me on this job for over 4 years causing me physical and mental stress. I have been off work now for over 4 months, would I be able to put a claim in?


My partner had a accident at work last Wednesday, he was at a clients house sanding and polishing their staircase. He usually worked with another colleague who had recently left who was of 6ft+ in height – he had been provided a hop up which allows them to reach a higher distance however my partner is only 5ft 5 and the hop up was not sufficient when working on his own.
He used a ladder from the client to polish the banister, the ladder had slipped and he fell backwards about 5ft onto the stairs. He was taken to A&E had bloods and CT scan, thankfully only suffered from soft tissue and muscle bruising however he is in a lot of pain.
He has got a doctors letter today saying to be off for another 2 weeks.
Does he have a claim if he was provided a hop up but used a clients ladder without notifying the employer?
The boss picked up his van keys yesterday and said he would pay him full for Thursday, Friday and Monday but from today SSP but when he is back at work he will be put on light duties, he also said he is not liable to pay him full wages as the actions he took he should not have taken as he was provided with the hop up not a ladder, however said he would look into getting a higher hop up now.
Many thanks

Ian Morris

This is a difficult matter. In some respects, one can see how your partner made (with the benefit of hindsight) a poor judgement in using a customers ladder. However, on the other hand there is clearly a case for the employer to ensure that appropriate equipment is provided. This is a matter where a claim would seem worthy, but the claimant may have to accept some element of contributory negligence.


I had an accident at work today, I was using a ladder to access scaffolding the ladder was tied with ropes but one the knots untied and I fell from about 1.5meters on to my back and I have been in pain since. I only have a CITB pass sheet and don’t hold the card yet. Can you help advise me?

Ian Morris

You can make a claim for compensation for the pain and discomfort caused by the ladder falling from the scaffolding and you can make a claim without jeopardising your future employment or damaging your employer. When someone is injured in an accident at work – such as your fall from a ladder, a claim can be made against the mandatory insurance cover that employers or 3rd party site management companies must have in place.

Please call us on 01225430285 to further discuss your accident and get specific advice about your rights after an accident at work and how we can help you to claim compensation on a No Win No Fee basis.


I fell off a scaffolding ladder at work, no major injuries, luckily. The ladder was not sufficiently braced to the scaffold which cause me to fall roughly 2 meters on my leg and back.
Slight swelling and bruising to my leg, 2 days off work. Scaffold was checked off twice, deemed safe. The scaffold was done by subcontractors, do I have a claim and if so who against as I don’t want to lose my job?

Ian Morris

In terms of liability, you would appear to have valid grounds to pursue a claim as you did not secure the ladder to the scaffolding. Our initial view is that it would be the scaffolding company who would be the potential defendant in this matter.

We now need to consider your injuries, so must look at whether your severity of injury would warrant a claim. How long do you think it will be until you feel no symptoms (stiffness, soreness, pain or bruising)?

Please contact us to get friendly, no obligation help in understanding your rights, to further discuss your accident or start your claim.


I fell from a step ladder at work, breaking my arm in the process. I reported this immediately and sought medical attention. I was working on the ladder for a short time and hadn’t realised that I was as stood on the top rung of the ladder, as I tried to step down, the ladder fell out from under me.

Whilst I am aware I should not have been on the top step of the ladder and accept responsibility for that, I wouldn’t have been using the ladder had there been appropriate clear space for me to use the correct equipment. I have complained multiple times about the state of the site and in particular the area that I was working.

I have been on SSP since then. I have my own income protection insurance, but the insurance company have access to my employers written report which effectively apportions all of the blame on me and I fear they may not pay out because of that.

Ian Morris

If this hasn’t already been looked at by a Solicitor, it would be a good idea for one of our specialist Personal Injury Solicitors to speak with you. Although you may well have to accept some contributory negligence to your situation, as you have raised concerns about the site, the risks to your health due to the working environment and the employer has done nothing, you have a right to make a claim for personal injury compensation.


My son is an apprentice joiner, he had just started a week or two before his accident. His boss gave him stepladders to access a garage roof then left him on his own, stepping off the roof onto them they fell he had distal radius break, metal plate in his arm. The customer ran out to help him rang his boss, he’s then taken him to the hospital but advised my son to tell them he did it at home, so he doesn’t get into trouble stupidly my son did as he was told. His boss has since ceased to speak to him have any contact with him, and we have now found out he didn’t send his college the insurance documents through, what can we do?

Ian Morris

Your Son could seek the support of the witness – the customer who helped him – to confirm that the accident happened whilst at work. He is obviously young and should be able to mitigate his reasons for providing an inaccurate report on the basis of employer pressure and inexperience. This should all be reported to the college too.

We would be happy to further investigate the potential of claiming compensation for the painful and nasty injury sustained.


I got a job cleaning windows. I was doing this for 3 weeks and never had training. It was raining one day and the ladder I had was too small. A bigger ladder came but the house was on an arch. The ladder was wobbly and taped and I was told from another colleague it was a 2 man job as I didn’t have experience and another person should have been holding the bottom of ladder. Well that didn’t happen and I fell 20 feet and had 10 minutes to live. I couldn’t walk for 7 months with 16 rods in a cage on my right leg and my bones sticking out my left with artery damaged. I don’t know if I have any right to compensation as the employer is saying no.

Can you give me advice please as I cant walk right for another year and a half and was just left to it.

Kind regards

Ian Morris

We are able to get some specialist advice for you with a potential to pursue a claim against the employer. The employer has no right to decide whether or not you should be entitled to compensation for your injuries as this is a matter that needs to be considered by a specialist personal injury Solicitor.


I fell from a ladder on 27/01/20 after it slipped. I have had no training at working at height and employer is being prosecuted by health and safety due to inadequate equipment. I suffered a fractured eye socket in 3 places, a fractured femur which I had surgery next day with a dynamic hip screw and anti rotation screw put in. I also suffered a destroyed wrist which had surgery with a volar locking plate put into my wrist. I have not been working for 14 weeks now which for only last 2 weeks have been able to weight bear on leg and wrist, the question I am asking is am I entitled to anything?

Ian Morris

Please call us on 01225430285 so that we can help you make your claim. The scenario you describe regarding the lack of training regarding safe working at height and the fact that your employer appears to be facing action from the HSE indicates that you have a strong and valid claim for personal injury compensation after your accident at work.

Our Solicitors would be very happy to pursue your claim on our No Win No Fee terms and would seek to recover the appropriate compensation settlement for the injuries you have sustained – including the initial pain, the subsequent impact on your day-to-day life and the impact that those injuries will have on you for the long term as well as ensuring that any loss of income (both up to know and going forward) are recovered. Given the injuries you have sustained it could be the case that your compensation settlement would be a substantial sum.


Hi, just wanted to know if i have a valid claim?

A friend of a friend wanted some cctv fitted to he’s property, which i agreed to install. Using my own tools to get the job done, as i was cabling at height using a ladder, which was held by below by the property owner, the ladders slipped which hence made me fall from height causing a severe injury. Which had taken me out of work for 5 to 6 months before going back to light duties again. Just wanted to know if there is a claim present for either falling at property etc?

Ian Morris

Notwithstanding the severity of your injuries, it is hard to see how you could pursue a claim for compensation in this scenario. You have agreed to perform the work and have used your equipment to do so. The homeowner has assisted in holding the ladder, but to establish that they had been negligent and that this caused you to fall is likely to be impossible.


I had an accident at work seven years ago where I was knocked from a ladder. I fell and fractured my hip in four places. I had surgery to place hip screws the same night. I was advised that the screws had to stay in for two years and that I could not to return to my job until they were removed.

During that time, I was only receiving limited pay and was getting absence warnings from work. The employer admitted liability straight away but I could only return for short hours and I receiving half pay or less. I eventually became bankrupt, so most of the money I received from the claim I made was taken by the insolvency dept.

I am now getting arthritis in my leg and terrible back pain due to losing leg length on the injured leg. I was just wondering if I can make a new claim?

Ian Morris

Unfortunately, you cannot now make a 2nd or new claim for the worsening of your injuries – despite the clear severity of them and the impact that they will have on your entire future.

With regards to your settlement being taken by the Insolvency practitioners that handled your bankruptcy, were you given any advice on that issue at the time and with your claim, was your loss of income recovered in full? These are issues you should discuss with the practitioner and your Solicitor.


My friend fell off a ladder that broke and he crushed his ribs. What should he do? He’s a trucker on duty.

Ian Morris

Anyone injured in an accident at work should ensure that a full report of the injury is made in writing with the employer. Commonly, this would be in an accident book, but some employers will have a different system of recording accidents in the workplace. However, the key thing is to ensure that it is reported in order that supporting evidence is available should an employee later feel the need to pursue a claim for compensation.


I was using a ladder to get into the loft, the ladder slipped and I fell from ceiling height. I’d said several times that a 2nd person was needed to foot the ladder but there wasn’t one. Does this make it my responsibility?

Ian Morris

If you fell from the ladder whilst at work, your employer is likely to have some responsibility to ensure that you are able to use a ladder safely. UK safe working practices would require an employer to provide training and guidance for those expected to work at height, including safe ladder usage. An employer would also have an obligation to look in to your report of a risk of injury when you suggested that a colleague should be assisting with safety.

The apparent failure of your employer to fulfill their obligations in this accident at work, could indicate employer negligence and that may enable you to pursue a claim against them.

If your accident was recent, make sure that an accident book entry or incident report has been completed at work. The report should indicate that you had mentioned that a colleague should assist or if you have not had any training etc. You should also ensure that appropriate medical attention is sought to ensure that medical evidence is available to support any future claim.


If you’re told to lean an old 8 foot a frame ladder against the building, climb up and chip hammer brick out of a wall using the hammer 13 feet high above your head, is that negligence by my employer and third party gg2 there for safety and production? I broke 7 ribs, collapsed lung, 3 herniated discs and severe nerve damage.

Ian Morris

The accident at work scenario you describe does raise questions about the employers approach to health and safety and whether or not they have acted correctly.

Please call us on 01225430285 so that we can further discuss your accident and then seek some advice for you from our specialist Solicitors.


My boss has just got me to sign the riddor accident form but i think the information is wrong on there. Does this matter? I fell off a folding aluminium platform 3 step hop up stool ladder. My boss has put i fell off a step ladder and that i was on the top rung. But i think if its a hop up step i am allowed to stand on the top? I don’t know if i can make a claim or not as i was not looking when i fell. I have broken the radial head of my elbow. But have not took no time off, i am under the hospital. I wonder if you can give me some advice on this please?

Ian Morris

You should ensure that the report is amended before you sign it – or amended afterwards if already signed – to reflect the correct information. There is clearly a difference between being stood on the top rung of a step ladder and being stood on the top of a hop up stool and having an incorrect record of this incident benefits no party, especially yourself.

You may have a right to make a claim for compensation. You are right in that you are able to stand on the top of a hop up stool. However, an employer should ensure that you are not asked to stand on one in a dangerous area – such as if it is on uneven or slippery ground, or if you are having to over-stretch to reach items.

Chat with us for friendly, expert advice 01225 430285