Slips and trips are the biggest cause of major injury in the UK workplace and contribute to a third of all major injuries. Last year, there were more than 10,000 people who were seriously injured because of a slip or trip at work and sadly, 4 people were killed. They can contribute to other accidents, like falling from a height, scalding, or accidents with machinery.
Slips and trips don’t happen by chance, they are a very preventable kind of workplace injury. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to ensure the health and safety of their employees and anyone else affected by their work. This includes taking steps to reduce slips and trips.
This means the employer has to identify risks and take responsibility. It is their job to make sure:
- Floors are prevented from getting wet.
- Spillages are cleared up quickly.
- Hazard signs are used to alert people to floors that are wet from cleaning.
- Workers are wearing footwear that is appropriate for the environment they are in.
- The flooring is suitable.
- There are no obstacles left in walkways.
- The lighting is appropriate and functioning so that people can see where they’re going.
- A ramp or alert notice is provided for changes in level.
- Workers are doing the correct housekeeping.
The Cost of a Slip or Trip
Slips and trips should be taken very seriously. If you have been injured from a slip or trip, you may have experienced the following ‘human costs’:
- Loss of income.
- Disability or being unable to work.
- Extended time off work.
- Decreased mobility.
- Pain from the injury.
- Reduced quality of life.
- Stress and worry.
Common Injuries Caused by Slips and Trips
- Sprains and strains.
- Back injury.
- Head injury.
- Neck injury.
- Broken bones or fractures.
After The Accident
If you are injured from a slip or trip at work, your employer has a duty to record the accident and provide first aid if necessary. If the accident caused you to be off work for 10 days or more, they have a legal obligation to report the accident to The Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
It’s best to see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident to get a thorough assessment and record of your injury. You can make a claim up to three years after the initial injury, a solicitor can put you in touch with a relevant medical professional who can provide you with a report of your injuries and medical background which can be used as evidence.
As long as the slip or trip was due to your employers negligence, you have grounds for a claim. The amount of money you can claim depends on the severity of your injury, but you can make a claim for anything from a twisted ankle, to a permanent disability. You can also make a claim on behalf of a loved one who has suffered a fatality.
If you have or are suffering from an injury, don’t rule yourself out as not being suitable to make a claim before you’ve spoken to a solicitor. ASD can provide free legal advice about claiming for workplace accidents, call us on 0800 163 622, if we feel we can assist you we will arrange an immediate home visit. Alternatively, fill in our claims form and someone will contact you.
Slip on forecourt
Mr H suffered a fractured knee after slipping on some moss on the forecourt of his workplace. He thought that he may not be able to claim as the insurers for his employers had ceased trading. Mr H contacted ASD who advised that any claim should be met by the Financial Compensation Services Authority. The FCSA appointed an agent who admitted liability and made a reasonable offer following service of the medical evidence.
Slip on floor mounted scales
ASD represented a food operative in a claim against his employer after he slipped on floor mounted scales. The client sustained a nasty injury to his ankle. His employers insurers denied liability and we were forced to take the matter to trial. The judge agreed with our client and found that his employers had been negligent in allowing the travel route to become blocked, forcing him to step on damp scales. The client was awarded a significant sum.