Compensation claims for ladder accidents at work


One of the most common accident at work claims are for 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.

Table of contents:

Causes of ladder accidents

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 not fit for purpose. 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.

How to tell if you have a valid claim

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 can seek to make a claim for ladder accident compensation.

The claim 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. 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.

How much can you claim for?

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.

Support and advice

At Direct2Compensation our staff understand that anyone injured in an accident work will have many questions about making a claim for compensation. 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 give you the confidence to be able to pursue your claim. From your first contact through to the end of the process, we take the hassle out of claiming. Our expert staff will quickly obtain the information needed to get your claim started and can answer your questions in simple, straightforward terms.

22 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

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  1. Hi I fell off another builders set of ladders that I was sub contracting to about 18 months ago. These ladders after checking them weren’t the best ladders. The fall resulted in me breaking my arm in several places and needing surgery to put metal plates and screws in my arm. I also wasn’t insured at the time so lost out on 3 months pay due to time off. My arm is getting worse and worse every week now and with been a self employed plasterer with 3 kids it is quite worrying. Basically I was just wanting to know if you think I had some sort of claim as the way things are going I think I may need to find another profession as plastering is just making my arm worse as it is in constant pain. Thanks very much.

    • Simply falling from ladders due to slipping or misplaced footing would not see a claim succeed. However, if ladders are defective, broken or if the worker has not been given specific training for safe ladder use a claim may well succeed.

      However, in this case the issue could be proving what happened and having evidence to support a claim. What has been put in writing regarding your accident and have the ladders been retained?

  2. I fell off a ladder while decorating for a wedding. My employer and I were the only people working at the time. She has been told by other employees to hold the ladder while someone is up the ladder. During the time of the fall she was standing beside the ladder looking at me draping. Not realising she wasn’t holding the ladder, I reached to drape the pole when the ladder folded underneath me. I broke 3 ribs and had a lung contusion. 3 days later, 2 litres of blood filled my lungs putting back in the hospital for a period of 7 days. My employer didn’t come to see me until I was ready to be released for a period of 10 minutes when visiting hours were near over and I haven’t heard from her since.

    • UK Health and Safety at Work requirements are very strict when it comes to working at height and the use of ladders should only be done in instances where staff have been appropriately trained and know how to use ladders safely and where the limitation of ladder use should be identified.

      In the circumstances you describe, you would appear to have a valid claim under UK law and we advise you to make further enquiries with us via the website ‘start a claim’ function so that we can assist you.

  3. I was injured October 6th whilst on the job site falling off a ladder – breaking both wrist and fracturing my skull. As a result I had metal plates put in each. There was a problem with my surgery on my left arm which I have cpd type 2 now. Shaw Installations Llc insurance company had me take an independent evaluation almost a year and a half ago and my lawyer had to put in a motion I believe to obtain that about 3 months ago.The only compensation I have received was for travel to the evaluation and that’s it. I’ve sent them my mileage they only paid for that in 2 years nothing else. My employer also let me drive myself to the hospital with broken wrist and a head fracture. Is it illegal to not receive anything that could improve my situation and by making my health and families health deteriorate more every day? This is causing many problems in my life and need to be in counseling now due to my issues I’m facing. If you could assist me I would appreciate it. I would like to know if I’m entitled to any funds immediately or if it’s even legal for my employers insurance company to drag this on know my situation is getting worse by the day?

    • In UK law in a claim such as the one you cite, if liability had been admitted, you would expect that further funds would have been released by now – even if the full settlement had yet to be agreed. In cases where injuries are serious or serious hardship is being caused by the injuries, when a defendant admits liability it is not uncommon for an interim payment to be released to the claimant. Often the interim payment will be for an agreed period of lost income as there will be no argument over that element of the claim – the special damages part. That interim payment will be included in the total settlement paid so in the end, no extra settlement is paid. The interim payment will allow the claimant to pay their usual costs whilst their specialist Solicitor continues to work with the defendant to ensure an appropriate value is attributed to the injuries and future troubles that they will cause.

      With this in mind, I would suggest that you speak to your Solicitor to ask them about the possibility of an interim payment award.

  4. Unfortunately I fell off a ladder at work due to wet conditions and mud on the rungs. The site was very muddy due to machines running up and down over walk ways. I have been in touch with a firm and they made enquiries but said they’re unwilling to take the claim on as reports from the sub contractor I was working with from his son stated I was leaning to far back on ladder.
    This was definitely not the case I’m a 52 year old man with years of experience on ladders I broke several ribs had a Haemothorax and spent 6 days in Harrogate hospital and was off work for more than 6 months due to injury.
    The same witness was later dismissed from site for smoking cannabis. I appreciate this is not part of case but just to put you in the picture of caricature of witnesses.

    Kind regards

    Warren peel

    • The circumstances you describe would indicate that there is a claim worthy of investigation and clearly, the defendants have so far produced a witness statement that appears to apportion blame on you for the incident. The fact that the witness was the Sub-Contractors Son would indicate that the witness isn’t truly independent so that is of interest.

      Did you sign paperwork with the previous firm? If you instructed them on a No Win No Fee basis we could take a look at their file of papers.

    • It is likely that you would succeed with a claim against your employer – as long as you were not responsible for your own fall as a result of your own negligence. If you fell from the ladder because of a lack of training in safe working at height, due to a faulty ladder or any other form of employer negligence, you can make a claim for compensation against your employer for the injuries you have sustained and any associated losses you have incurred.

      Call us on 01225430285 – our expert staff will be able to explain your rights and we’ll help you pursue a claim for compensation.

  5. Hi,
    My partner 3 years back was employed and fell off a ladder which left him with 2 broken arms and a broken Wrist, he has had 4 operations and a long time out of work. He returned back to work a short while back not doing anything stenious just scanning as he can’t lift. He put in for a claim which recently he had won the case and the settlement has been paid but his solicitor has said they needed to see eveidance of any savings which he hasn’t got so sent off bank statements which shows obviously his weekly wage. His solicitor has sent back a very abrupt letter asking my partner to contact him emediatly concerning him returning back to work. My partner called his solicitor which has told him he’s very annoyed that he’s returned back to work, he didn’t realise he wasn’t allowed to not work and couldn’t not work for the rest of his life and wasn’t really life changing injuries that he couldn’t return and the fact that the defendant had admitted liability. What could possibly happen now? Could they try and take the money back even though they had settled? Many thanks

    • If the claim is settled, it is settled and there is nothing that could be done to recover any settlement from your partner – unless it was found that he had been fradulent – which is not the case here.

      There is no reason that I can see that your partner should not return to some form of work. Given that the work he is doing is not physical it cannot be argued that any loss of income claim should be repaid as it is likely that the work he is doing now is lower paid and clearly not the same as prior to his accident.

  6. My husband fell from a ladder last week. The ladder folded inwards on itself whilst he was up it. As a result he has a broken bone in his foot , he has a walker boot and on crutches for 5 weeks. Employer does not pay sick pay only ssp. They have ‘offered’ him to return to work doing sit down work. However he is advised to elevate his foot as much as possible and obviously unable to drive to and from workplace. He is also in considerable pain. Could you offer any advice please?

    • It is good that his employer has offered light duties to your Husband but unfortunate that he cannot take advantage of that due to his injuries. Unfortunately, his employer is not obliged to pay his usual salary whilst he recovers and as you are probably aware, SSP is not sufficient income to survive.

      To this end, your Husband should consider making a claim for compensation against the employer for the accident. If he succeeds with such a claim, he could recover all lost income and receive compensation for his injuries.

      We would be very happy to pursue this claim for your Husband so I would suggest that he either emails a contact number to me at so that I can call him or he can call us on 01225430285 to discuss this matter further and find out more about his rights.

  7. hello,
    My husband fell from the ladder at work. He was on top of the roof painting and the ladder slipped from under him. he had another employee holding the ladder but the roof was steep and the ladder and my husband fell, the other guy managed to dodge the fall. my husband was taken to the hospital by his employer and X-rays of the right foot were done and showed a broken heel bone. a CT scan confirmed that it is broken in multiple places. there is bruising on the hip, scrapes on elbows and shoulder pain now. we have an apt with orthopedic to see what treatment plan the broken heel with require (cast/surgery). the employer filed a case with workers comp and they have been in touch and are coming by friday for a statement by my husband. we have a 21 month old and I am unemployed because I recently graduated and am looking for a job, my husband was our only source of income. his employer told us workers comp will pay 80% of his income tax free but that wont cover all of our expenses that his normal income would. I don’t know what to do or what I am entitled to. my husband has been in bed and is on pain meds until we can be seen by orthopedic.

    • In the UK, such circumstances as described should lead to a successful claim for ladder accident at work compensation. The damage caused to your Husband’s heel is clearly serious and a long term recovery, most likely with some permanent implication from the injury lay ahead of him.

      In such a claim in the UK, the acting Solicitor would recover a large sum of compensation to cover the injuries sustained but also seek to recover ALL lost income and costs incurred because of the injury.

  8. I fell off a ladder at work while performing my duties. However I found out after I fell the ladder was not a company approved ladder and the manager had brought it in from home. I have had a headache and unable to turn my head fully without pain and getting sick. I asked for an mri after the first two weeks of a headache but was told they would do therapy first. It took them 2 months to get me in to a physical therapist. And I haven’t gotten better. It also took nearly 2 months for them to compensate me. Now I can’t get caught up on my bills because of the late fees. Do I have a case against my employer and the workman’s comp insurance?

    • Under UK law, your rights would leave you able to pursue a claim against your employer here on the grounds of employer negligence. For the manager of the workplace to simply use a ladder from home that has not been correctly risk assessed and unlikely to be fit for purpose is a clear breach of statutory duty and would indicate that you would have a strong prospect of succeeding with a claim for ladder accident compensation. It would also further increase your prospects of succeeding if the employer has failed to ensure that you have been adequately trained to work at height.

  9. I recently fell from a ladder at work and fractured my elbow I had filled out accident report that had been posted to me with all that I could recall at the time but then after a few days i remembered that the ladder slipped before I fell and handed in another accident report my work are now wanting me to retract my second report which reports the ladder slipping which I refused can I still make a claim

    • John

      Ouch! Injuries sustained after falling from height can often be very serious and form a large part of our accident at work claim portfolio.

      On the basis of your comment, I believe you have a viable claim and should pursue the same forthwith. I would continue to refuse to withdraw the ‘2nd’ statement and in doing so, I would put my reasons in writing to them (retaining a copy for your records). You have mitigating circumstances that support the fact that you didn’t accurately describe the accident initially – you had just sustained a fracture to the elbow and were likely to be in a state of shock and pain – let alone a little fuzzy on pain relief.

      We would gladly pursue this matter for you via one of our specialist solicitors and I invite you to call us to us on 01225430285 or email your phone number to me at so that we can call you and discuss the situation.

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Yours sincerely


  10. Fell at work due to faulty ladders sprained mywrist and mild head injuries still getting head pains after 6 weeks an strong medicine had a ct scan an head itscome out fine and still getting wrist pains

    • Dear Akbar

      I am sorry to hear about this incident and your injuries. If those ladders are faulty as you say, then you have a strong chance of winning a claim for accident at work injury compensation as your employer has clearly been negligent towards your safety whilst at work.

      I will email you directly also and look forward to hearing from you so that we can help you get your claim started.

      Best wishes


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