Slips, trips and falls are among the most common causes of injury in accident at work compensation claims. While they may seem innocuous, the injuries suffered can have big implications for the injured persons’ future. Common injuries include fractures to the ankles, lower legs, wrists and forearms, 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.
Slips and trips at work
Slipping accidents at work are more common than trips and usually caused by wet floors. 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.
Tripping accident at work claims usually relate to potholes or footpaths around the workplace, or in 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.
Falls at work
When we’re talking about falls at work, this usually applies to falls from height. 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 or
- could fall from ground level into an opening in a floor or a hole in the ground
Work at height does not include a slip or a trip on the level, as a fall from height has to involve a fall from one level to a lower level, nor does it include walking up and down a permanent staircase in a building. Claims arise from many preventable mistakes – employers failing to provide the correct length of ladder, or refusing to pay for height access platforms, for example. Scaffolding and exposed edges are also common causes of falls at work. A lack of training, guidance and an inadequate safe working at height policy can all leave the employer liable should accidents happen.
The benefits of claiming compensation
Injured employees may well be left unable to work for a period of time and therefore have to cope with the stress and anxiety of losing their income, as well as suffering with the pain and discomfort of their injuries. Claiming personal injury compensation can help ease some of the problems you’ll experience and help in a number of ways other than just a cash settlement:
- 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 injury compensation after a slip or trip at work can make up for lost income now and in the future if you are prevented from working again. This is by way of a special damages claim that relates to losses above and beyond any compensation settlement awarded to cover the injuries and distress caused.
As all slips and trips at work compensation claims are made on a No Win No Fee basis, you will never be charged if your claim does not succeed. A successful claim will lead to a compensation settlement being made to you, with the value of the claim including any lost income and incurred costs as well as a settlement for the injuries and medical treatment that you have sustained.
When can you claim for a slip, trip or fall at work?
Employers and contractors are legally obliged to provide a safe and secure environment for workers. Injury claims will succeed if it can be proven they have been negligent and failed to comply with their statutory duties.
When employers fail to provide a safe working environment there will be an increased risk of hazards. Employers must be aware of the risks of injury to their staff. Whether through defective machinery, an unmarked hazard, a lack of protective equipment or safety guards, insufficient training and guidance of staff, a failure to identify slipping hazards and erect warning signs, employers will be liable should someone slip or trip and sustain injuries severe enough to warrant a compensation claim.
Employers, contractors and site management providers must ensure:
- That staff are given a safety induction relating to the workplace. That staff and contractors are made aware of the likely risks of an accident and know how to minimise those risks through hazard signage etc, and 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 and they must ensure that all workers are made aware of their obligations to work safely.
- That all staff are provided with, or obliged to wear the correct personal protective equipment.
- That staff are adequately qualified to use any tools or machinery that they are asked to use.
- That cleaning contractors erect hazard warning signs when making floors wet during and after cleaning.
- That any hazards found that may cause the risk of slipping or tripping accidents are identified and fully repaired.
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. 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.
If employers are tasking staff members to work at height, they must ensure that the employee understands what equipment they should use to safely access the height needed. Furthermore, the employer is responsible for the maintenance and safety of any items used, including stools, step ladders, full ladders, scaffold towers or any other height access equipment.
Regardless of the kind of workplace, employers must by law ensure:
- That staff are adequately trained in how to access anything at a height above arms reach, and also provided with the right equipment to access anything located at height.
- That any items provided to staff to enable them to work safely at height are regularly maintained and repaired, and that any items that are reported to be or are found to be faulty or dangerous are removed from use and only returned to active service once repaired fully.
How Direct2Compensation can help with your claim
As with all accidents at work, it is important to make sure that the details of your accident have been recorded properly within an accident book and that medical attention is sought for any injuries that you have sustained. If you haven’t done this already, we can help you to do so.
We know your rights and can help you to understand whether the specifics of your accident are such that you are likely to win compensation. With our easy to understand claims process and ability to handle your claim quickly, simply and transparently, there are many reasons that make us the right choice when it comes to starting your claim for injury compensation.
To start your claim today, or even to find out a little bit more about the claims process and how we can help, fill out our claims form and we’ll call you back, or if you prefer, you can call us on 01225 430285.
Direct2Compensation are regulated by the Claims Management Regulator in respect of regulated claims management activities. Our authorisation number is: CRM33541.