You are entitled to claim compensation if you have been injured by a slip, trip or fall at work as a result of employer negligence in providing a safe working environment. Here we look at what’s involved in making such a claim.
Table of contents
- Can I make a claim if I fall at work and injure myself?
- Employer responsibilities to prevent slips, trips and falls at work
- Claims for slipping on a wet floor
- Claims for tripping over
- Claims for falls from height
- Common work injury claims after a fall
- Is it worth claiming compensation?
- How much compensation can I claim for a fall?
- What should I do after being injured at work?
- What evidence do I need to win a claim?
- How do I make a claim?
- Comments – your questions answered
Can I make a claim if I fall at work and injure myself?
Simply being injured in a fall at work doesn’t mean you are eligible to claim compensation, the key to making a successful fall at work claim is being able to hold your employer responsible for your injuries, usually as a result of breaking health and safety rules.
You can make a personal injury claim if you fall at work because of your employer’s negligence rather than it being your own fault. This applies whether you are a full time, part time or temporary member of staff.
Employers have a legal responsibility to 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 compensation to anyone injured as a result.
The comments at the bottom of this article will further help you to understand the wide range of scenarios involved.
Employer responsibilities to prevent slips, trips and falls at work
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 duties.
To reduce the risk of injury, employers must ensure:
- 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.
- That they follow working from height regulations
Claims for slipping on a wet floor
Slips at work are usually caused by wet floors and stairs. Employees can also slip if they are not provided with the correct footwear, or if a floor surface is not fit for purpose, such as no non-slip covering in potentially wet environments. Commonly we see slips caused by these workplace hazards:
- Spillages of liquid or food
- Recently cleaned floors
- Rain, ice or snow
- Leaking machinery, roofs and pipes
Employers should be prepared to do all that they can to minimise the chance of staff slipping and sustaining an injury. They must ensure that any wet floors are cleaned up and dry as soon as possible. If there is a spillage, water or other slipping risk present a wet floor sign should be erected to warn of the hazard. These should always be displayed when floors are being cleaned.
If your employer failed to display a hazard sign warning of a wet floor, you are likely to have a strong claim for slip and fall compensation if you’re injured as a result. Such an error confirms employer negligence and as such, it’s a valid claim. However, even if a hazard sign was erected, you could still be able to claim if it can be demonstrated that the sign was inadequately displayed – hidden or obscured from view, or located in the wrong place.
Claims for tripping over
Tripping accidents at work usually involve uneven floors and potholes in work areas and car parks. They can also arise as a result of a messy workplace, if wires or cables are not stored properly or if items are left in walkways or beside desks etc. We’ve dealt with claims arising from:
- Rubbish and packaging on the floor
- Broken steps and railings
- Uneven floor surfaces
- Loose wires and discarded items
Again, tripping hazards should be identified by your employer and action taken to warn staff and remove the risk in a reasonable time.
Claims for falls from height
Claims for falling from height at work often arise from ladder accidents, missing barriers, broken steps, guardrails or unmarked holes in the floor. We also see accidents involving falls from scaffolding, vehicle steps and tail lifts, forklift trucks and other plant machinery. Some claimants are injured because of insufficient training on equipment they’re tasked to use or because they were provided with the wrong equipment for the job.
Any activity performed above floor level carries the risk of a fall. This would include using foot or kick stools within shops or factories, through to the use of ladders, scaffolding and even rope climbing. Obviously some jobs are more dangerous in this respect than others, but the same basic health and safety laws apply to all.
Usually, falls from height involve a fall from one level to a lower level, they don’t include a slip or a trip on the same level or falling down a staircase.
According to the Health and Safety Executive: Work at height means work in any place where, if precautions were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. You are working at height if you:
- Work above ground/floor level
- Could fall from an edge, through an opening or fragile surface
- Could fall from ground level into an opening in a floor or a hole in the ground
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.
Common work injury claims after a fall
Slips, trips and falls at work, accounted for 29% of all non-fatal work injuries in a 2019/20 survey by the HSE. While they may seem innocuous, the injuries suffered can have big implications for the injured persons’ future.
Common injury claims include 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 knees, hips 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.
Is it worth claiming compensation?
If you’re injured after a slip, trip or fall at work, claiming accident at work compensation can help ease some of the problems you’ll experience in a number of ways:
- Claiming injury compensation is a legal right, and if successful it fairly compensates you for injuries that were not your fault.
- A successful claim can help to pay for private medical treatment and rehabilitation therapies to speed your recovery.
- Claiming can recoup your expenses and make up for lost income now and in the future if you are prevented from working again.
As well as the pain and discomfort of an injury, it’s the stress of losing income that often forces workers to claim compensation. All employees are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they do not get full sickness pay, but this is often not enough to live on.
It’s worth noting that it’s absolutely possible to maintain a good relationship with your employer while making a claim, and you can’t be sacked for doing so. Furthermore, your employer’s liability insurance deals with the claim and pays the compensation, rather than the business itself, so you can be assured you’re not placing colleague’s jobs at risk.
Finally, as all claims are made on a No Win No Fee basis, you will never be charged if your claim does not succeed.
How much compensation can I claim for a fall?
A successful personal injury claim will ultimately see a claimant recover a settlement for their injuries, ongoing treatment and also for their special damages, which covers lost earnings.
How much you can claim for a fall at work is calculated from the severity of the injury, your financial losses and the impact on your quality of life. This would include:
- The pain and distress caused to you by the injuries sustained
- Psychological effects from the accident and/or injury
- Associated costs and losses
- Lost earnings if you have been away from work as a result of the accident
- Medical treatments, rehabilitation therapies and post accident care
- Restrictions on your ability to fulfil your usual activities and social life
- Miscellaneous expenses (bus fares, painkillers etc)
Compensation amounts for injuries after a fall
There are guidelines issued by the courts for solicitors, but it’s impossible to say exactly how much you can expect as all cases vary. Some example values are listed in the table below for common fall injury claims, these are excluding special damages:
|Type of injury||Compensation amount|
|Neck injury||£2,000 - £140,000|
|Minor brain or head injury||£2,070 - £11,980|
|Finger injury||£4,000 - £85,000|
|Wrist injury||£3,310 - £44,690|
|Hip or pelvis injury||£3,710 - £24,950|
|Fractured forearm||£6,190 - £18,020|
|Permanent back injury||£11,730 - £26,050|
|Serious shoulder injury||£11,980 - £18,020|
|Ankle injury||£12,900 - £46,980|
What should I do after being injured at work?
After being injured at work it is important to understand your rights so that you can confidently manage your recovery and working future. Your employer has a duty of care to you if you’re injured, and there’s a lot you can do to help yourself after a work accident.
When a slip, trip or fall leads to injury you should record the details within your employer’s accident book. If they don’t have an accident book, or won’t let you have access to it, there are things you can do.
If you are receiving ongoing treatment for your injuries your employer MUST release you to attend appointments..
If your usual work involves aspects of hard physical labour such as heavy lifting, carrying, climbing or standing for long periods, your employer is duty bound to accommodate you (where possible) in returning to work on lighter duties whilst you complete your recovery.
What evidence do I need to win a claim?
A successful claim for a fall at work will need evidence to back up what happened and prove the accident was not your fault.
First and foremost, the incident should be recorded with the company in its accident book.
Witness statements are also admissible as evidence, so try to collect the names and contact details of anyone who saw your accident and is willing to back up your claim.
If you can take photos of what caused your accident it can be really useful in forcing your employer to admit liability. Try to show the size of any tripping hazards by using something like a coin for scale.
Medical evidence will be used to evaluate how much your injury claim is worth, so it’s important to seek professional medical treatment for your injuries at the earliest opportunity. Also, ensure that your GP is made aware of any ongoing problems with an injury to ensure a fair compensation amount. If your injuries don’t settle and you notice discomfort a few weeks or months later, or if you’re not sleeping or feeling depressed because of your injuries, make sure it’s on your medical records.
Keep a record of any lost wages and expenses you incur as a result of your injuries as you may be able to claim those costs back.
If all this seems a bit complicated, or you haven’t done any of the above, don’t worry – if you contact us we can talk you through it and help you to complete the necessary steps.
How do I make a 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.
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.