Since 2001 an average of 50 people have died from falling from a height and 8,702 people have been seriously injured. Falls from a height are one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries. Accidents such as this should not happen in the workplace and employers have clear health and safety guidelines to follow that should prevent falls. However, sometimes these guidelines are neglected and employees end up with serious injuries and may find themselves unable to work or worse.
What does working at a height mean?
- You are working on a ladder or roof.
- Are working near a hole in the floor or ground.
- Are working on a fragile surface you could potentially fall through.
- Are working on machinery or on a vehicle, such as a forklift truck.
- A drop could be less than 2 metres and serious injuries could still occur.
What are common causes of falling from a height?
- The most common causes of workplace death and serious injury is falling through fragile roofs and roof lights.
Fragile surfaces are things like built up sheeted roofs, corroded metal sheets, rotted chipboard, glass and slates and tiles. Falls from a height don’t just happen in the construction industry, in fact, only half of all falls happen in those industries. Sales assistants, warehouse operatives and stock takers are also considered to be at risk of falling from a height because of the use of step ladders etc.
It is the responsibility of your employer to ensure that you do not suffer any falls or injuries when you’re working. The Work at Height Regulations 2005 have been put in place to make working at a height safer.
What precautions should be taken to prevent falling from a height?
To comply with The Work at Height Regulations 2005, the following should be taken into consideration by employers:
- Do as much work as you can from the ground.
- Ensure workers can get to and from working from a height easily.
- Ensure equipment is strong, stable, maintained and checked regularly.
- Make sure nobody is overreaching or overloading at a height.
- Take precautions when working on fragile surfaces.
- Provide protection from falling objects.
- Consider emergency evacuation and rescue procedures.
- Ensure people working at a height are properly trained to do so and are physically competent to do so or are under the supervision of trained staff.
- Consider if the weather is suitable for work at a height.
If you became injured due to your employer neglecting any of these important regulations, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
How to make a claim:
To make a claim contact ASD by filling in our claims form or by calling us on 0114 267 8780. Our solicitors are very experienced in dealing with falls from a height claims and provide you with free advice about whether you can make a claim or not.
You will need to make a claim within a 3 year period of you becoming injured, so the sooner you contact us the better. If you are still working at the place you became injured, your employer is not allowed to discriminate against you for claiming compensation. Read our full guide to making a claim for a workplace injury here.
See also our guide to serious injury claims and our guide to claiming for a fatal accident on behalf of a loved one.
Mr G fell from a ladder when attempting to fit a sign. He should have been working from a mobile platform or been assisted by another employee. As a result of the fall, he sustained a serious ankle fracture which left him unable to return to work and was likely to require the use of a walking stick for the rest of his life.
ASD arranged for Mr G to have extensive rehabilitation to aid his recovery, which was paid for in full by the companies insurers. Arrangements were made for Mr G to retrain as a driving instructor. Mr G was awarded £138,500 in compensation.
Richard Meggitt, part of the serious injury team at ASD said: “Some insurers have suggested that they be given the power to look after personal injury claimants and settle claims without that person having access to independent legal advice. If that happened in this case, Mr G would have received less than £50,000 as that was the initial offer the insurers believed to be reasonable. Injured people need to be represented by specialist Solicitors. The insurer’s principal obligation is to their shareholders not to personal injury claimants”