Avoiding A Fall At Work
The Law Of… Working In A Safe Environment
Nearly 50% of the UK's places of work pose a risk to employees of a fall at work and on average they cause 40% of all reported major injuries at the workplace.
Work Accident compensation specialist, Georgia Robinson explains the law behind claims for falls at work as well as how to protect yourself on a day to day basis.
What Is The Law Regarding A Fall At Work?
There are several laws in place that protect employees and ensure that employers are held responsible for any negligence towards the safety of their workers.
The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) requires employers to ensure the health and safety of all employees as far as is reasonable to expect. That includes taking the necessary steps to prevent employees from slipping, tripping or falling at work. Equally, employees have a duty not put themselves or others in danger of a fall at work and must use all safety equipment provided in order to do so.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999) require employees to assess risks to employees and address any risks that are picked up. This includes anything that could cause a fall at work.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations (1992) require floors to be in a suitable condition and obstruction free within reason. Workers should be able to move around safely.
Therefore, if conditions have caused a fall at work, it is possible your employee is liable to pay compensation to go towards your recovery.
What Can You Do To Prevent A Fall At Work?
The law focusses mainly on employers and their responsibility to keep their workers safe. But it is important to consider your day to day activities at work in order to keep yourself safe from a fall at work.
When at work:
- If you have a near miss, make sure you report this to your boss quickly. They might be able to use this to prevent anything happening in the future
- If you see a spill, clean it up or ensure arrangements are made for it to be cleaned up
- Report any damaged floor
- Keep your workplace tidy
- Move any objects on the floor that you think could cause someone to trip or fall
- Tell your employer about any situations that could cause a fall at work
For more information on keeping yourself safe from trips, slips and falls at work, the Health and Safety Executive have produced a free e-learning Package called STEP.
Claiming For A Fall At Work
Whilst accidents at work are fairly common and are not always because of the negligence of others, it is the obligation of your employer to maintain a safe working environment for you and your colleagues.
If you have had an accident at work, it is helpful to follow a process that enables you to make a compensation claim.
- Fill in an accident report as soon after the fall as possible
- If you can, take photographs of what caused you to fall and the surrounding area
- If witnesses saw your fall at work, get their names and statements
- If you are a part of a union, notify your union rep of the fall.
How Can Simpson Millar Help You To Claim For A Fall At Work?
Our Personal Injury team have experience in helping people claim for falls at work and can guide you through each stage of the legal process. Their empathetic and sensitive approach has eased clients' anxieties that can sometimes come with claiming against your employer.
"Falls at work are so common and sadly, the majority could be prevented by following strict health and safety guidelines."
"Be the person that reports defects/issues before an accident happens. Most employers aren’t aware there is a problem as no one reports it and then an accident happens."
"Taking pictures can help a lot in fall at work cases. It's often not at the forefront of one's mind after an accident, but photos provide proof of negligence.""There is often a feeling of embarrassment after this sort of accident at work. But if a fall at work has been caused by the negligence of another, compensation can go a long way to providing a swift and effective recovery."
If you have had a fall at work, contact one of our Personal Injury specialists at Simpson Millar for a free phone consultation.