Working at height injury claims

Builder assembling scaffolding high up

Fall from height at work compensation claims

There are many causes of accidents in the workplace but some of the most common - and serious - are those involving a fall from height. This includes falls from ladders, scaffolding and high machinery, such as cranes.

Specific workplace regulations were introduced in 2005 with the aim of giving protection to all employees involved in working at height. The regulations introduced are all encompassing, covering workers operating hundreds of feet off the ground as well as those simply using a step ladder to reach a shelf.

The use of ladders, regardless of size, shape or construction, are frequently the cause of personal injury. In many fall from height accidents, the ladder in question is unsuitable for the purpose it's being used for, or insufficient training has been provided in its use. In other cases the ladder may have been poorly maintained or is in some way defective.

Most working at height claims can be dealt with on a No Win No Fee basis.

Making a fall from height work accident claim

If you are injured whilst working at height, you could be entitled to claim compensation. Often falls from height cause serious injuries or even death.

If someone you love has died as a result of a fall from height at work, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. You have three years from the date your loved one died to make a claim, meaning you can do this in your own time and when it feels right.

If it was your spouse who died in the accident, you can claim for their death and funeral expenses, but also for their lost earnings, bonusses, pensions and other losses. We understand that talking about money and compensation can feel like you are putting a value on your loss. Nothing can bring back your loved one, but financial compensation can help you and your family to start to rebuild your lives.

If you or a member of your family has suffered a personal injury in a fall from height accident at work, our Personal Injury Solicitors can help, starting with free legal advice and a free assessment of your claim.

Types of Working at Height Injuries

Working at height accidents are common and can often result in serious injuries, including head and brain injuries, even if the fall was from a height of less than two metres.

In some industries, fall from height accidents are a common cause of fatal accidents. In the construction industry, HSE statistics show that 19% of all injuries reported by employers in 2014/15 were caused by fall from height accidents.

Common causes of working at height injuries include:

  • falling from a ladder
  • falling from a vehicle (particularly forklift trucks)
  • falling from machinery
  • falling from a roof / falling through a false ceiling
  • falling from scaffolding or gantry
  • falling on stairs
  • falls caused by slipping

Most working at height claims can be dealt with on a No Win No Fee basis.

Every year our Personal Injury Solicitors secure millions of pounds in compensation for people injured in accidents across the UK. We offer a free injury claim assessment service to help you understand if there's a realistic chance of being awarded compensation. Simply provide us with the details about your working at height accident and your injuries and we will assess your claim free of charge.

The last thing you want to think about if you've been injured in a fall from height accident whilst working is the cost of making a compensation claim. If we can provide you with a No Win No Fee agreement, this will allow your injury claim to proceed whilst giving you time to recover, knowing that there is no financial risk to you.

As part of the Co-op Group our values of openness, honesty, social responsibility and caring for others are core to the service we provide.

What to do if you are injured in fall accident at work

If you fall from height while at work and you think that you may be entitled to claim compensation from your employer, then there are a number of steps that you can take to support any claim that you bring.

  • Seek medical attention – Of course, your primary concern should be to seek medical attention for any injuries you have sustained if you have fallen from a height. As well as setting you on the road to recovery as quickly as possible, your medical records will also be beneficial in verifying the extent of the injuries that you have sustained.

  • Record details of the fall - As soon as you are able to, ask the supervisor or manager on duty to record details of the accident in the accident book. This should include a summary of what happened, noting the date, time and location, and a description of the injury (or injuries) that you sustained.

  • Collect evidence – Note down the contact details of anyone who saw the accident happen or anyone who saw the hazard before the accident occurred, so that they can be contacted as a witness to support your claim. If you're able to, then also take photographs of the scene of the accident, including the hazard itself.

  • Contact a Personal Injury Solicitor – a specialist Personal Injury Solicitor will be able to discuss the details of your claim and advise on your chances of successfully claiming compensation for your injuries. Remember, there is a time limit for making a Personal Injury Claim, so it's important to act quickly. At Co-op Legal Services, we can provide free initial legal advice and discuss the nature of your claim in detail. We are able to deal with most personal injury claims on a no win no fee basis.

The law and responsibilities of employers - the Work at Height Regulations

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 exist to prevent death and injury caused by a fall from height accidents in workplaces. The law requires that employers and those in control of working at height must first access the risks.

The employer must ensure that working practices are frequently reviewed also ensure that they are up to date and in keeping with HSE guidance and best practice. Training manuals must be regularly updated and available to all employees, who should be encouraged to review them regularly.

The HSE website states: "Those in control of any work at height activity must make sure work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people. This includes using the right type of equipment for working at height."

"Employees have general legal duties to take reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by their actions, and to co-operate with their employer to enable their health and safety duties and requirements to be complied with."

Workers working at height should be provided with appropriate protective equipment, such as harnesses and barriers, and any requirements specified in the risk assessment should be implemented before the work starts.

When health and safety rules are not followed and a worker suffers a fall causing injuries or death, a claim for compensation can be made.

The employer should avoid asking employees to work at height wherever possible. But if this isn't an option, they must ensure that risk assessments are carried out at the beginning of the task and reassessed throughout, where appropriate.

If working at height is critical to the job then the employer must ensure that appropriate safety equipment (in good working order) is deployed which reduces the risk of a fall from height. In some cases the risk cannot be completely eliminated and in this instance the employer is under a duty to ensure that the distance of the fall is minimised to reduce the risk of serious injury. In respect of ladders, in some cases it may be more suitable, even at additional expense or delay in completing the job, to use platforms.

About Co-op Legal Services

As part of the largest Co-operative organisation in the UK, Co-op Legal Services works to ensure that our clients receive the best legal advice and support services available from our teams of personal injury and clinical negligence solicitors, legal executives and staff.

We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and several of our Personal Injury Solicitors are members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

Co-op Legal Services has over 600 staff working in different businesses with offices in Manchester, Bristol, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sheffield and London.