Falling from height is one of the biggest reasons for accidents in the workplace. It’s common in specific industries such as construction and places like warehouses, but they can occur in any work location.
According to the HSE, nearly half of construction accidents involve a fall from height and in 2019/20 there were a total of 40 fatalities on sites around the UK. People who work in warehouses, window cleaners, firefighters and tree surgeons also regularly work from a height that puts them at risk.
While most falls are not fatal, the injuries that are incurred can be life-changing. The law surrounding working from height is intended to protect individuals and ensure that employers put in place the appropriate measures to reduce risk. If they have been negligent in their approach, you may be able to claim compensation.
Reasons for Falls from Height
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 covers a wide range of circumstances where there could be a risk to the individual. These include:
- Falling from a ladder: This is probably the most common type of accident that we see and many jobs involve using this type of equipment. Even a fall from a low height can cause injury.
- Falls scaffolding: If you are a builder and working on scaffolding, it can be a very hazardous business. Incorrect supports or barriers and slippery surfaces can easily lead to falls.
- Falls from machinery: If you are working on top of or in the vicinity of machinery, for example, in a manufacturing plant, a fall can be catastrophic.
Other accidents can occur on roofs, structures like trees, and even falls from areas like skylights. The reasons for these injuries can often be put down to inadequate protection or the wrong equipment. You might have been given inappropriate footwear or have no harness when you are working from height.
The most common injuries we see from this type of accident are musculoskeletal, including broken bones and back injuries. If an area like the head or spine is damaged during the fall, it can lead to major life changes and disability.
How to Claim for Compensation
If you are working from height, for whatever reason, your employer has a duty of care under the law to ensure that you are properly protected.
For any job that is undertaken at height, a risk assessment needs to be carried out and the appropriate precautions taken. This could include giving you a harness to stop you from falling or ensuring that a protective barrier is in place. A person should also be properly trained to carry out a particular task involving working from height.
If you have been injured following a fall from height at work, you may be able to claim compensation through the courts if your employer was negligent. It’s important in the first instance to contact a specialist personal injury lawyer and discuss your circumstances with them. Most offer an initial consultation for free so that you can discover whether you have a case or not.
No Win No Fee Fall from Heigh Claims
If you do, solicitors also operate a no win no fee service for most personal injury cases including those involving falls from height. This means they will take on your case and not charge upfront fees. Their fees are taken only if your claim is successful, and compensation is awarded and the amount you pay is often a percentage of the final award.
If you have been the victim of a fall from height at work, contact our personal injury lawyers today to find out what you need to do next to claim compensation.