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The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 specifically require employers to assess and reduce any slip and trip risks while the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 insist that floors are suitable, in good condition and free from any obstruction so people can move freely and safely.
Slips, trips and falls at work can easily be prevented by common sense measures like fixing handrails on stairs, placing hazard signs on wet floors after cleaning, mopping up spillages promptly and making sure that lighting is adequate. Other obvious dangers such as unguarded staircases, trailing cables or damaged carpets should be identified and controlled.
Employees also have a duty not to put themselves in danger and must use safety equipment provided, including the appropriate footwear.
Slips, trips or falls in the workplace may sound trivial, but they can result in serious injuries if the victim lands on a hard floor surface or trips into another object. In very rare cases, brain injuries and fatalities can be caused by slips and trips at work.
If your employer has neglected any of their duties to minimise the risk of slips, trips and falls implicit in the regulations, you may be able to make a successful claim against them.
how do I make a claim about a slip, trip or fall at work
Many people assume that slips, trips or falls in the workplace will lead only to minor injuries, but these accidents can be very serious so before you contact a specialist personal injury lawyer have your GP check you over.
Although you may make a claim for a slip, trip or fall at work for up to three years after the accident, you should contact a solicitor as soon as practicable. They will be able to advise you of the procedure and if your claim stands a good chance of success.
Make sure your accident and injuries were recorded in the accident book at work and ideally you should get details of any workmates or colleagues who witnessed the incident. If possible, take photographs on you mobile of whatever it was that caused you to slip or trip (e.g. a spillage or obstruction or a poorly maintained surface).
As with all personal injury claims, your lawyer will have to prove that your injury was caused by the negligence of another party. Although it is now up to the injured claimant to prove the employer did indeed breach their duty of care under health and safety legislation, such proof need still only be 'on the balance of probabilities'.
Many victims are reluctant to pursue legal action against an employer for fear of jeopardising their future employment, but the law protects people in these circumstances and an employer cannot dismiss or disadvantage you simply for seeking justified redress.
If I have a case about a slip, trip or fall at work
If you have suffered a slip or trip injury at work because of equipment left lying about where it shouldn’t be or liquid that hasn’t been mopped up or even bad weather conditions that weren’t adequately prepared for by your employer, you may have a case for a slip or trip claim.
Before you seek the advice of a solicitor who specialises in this work, visit your doctor to get your injuries checked out. Your health is the most important consideration.
Claims are possible where it can be proved that an employer’s negligence of health and safety regulations resulted in avoidable injury, even when the claimant was perhaps partly at fault for the accident.
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 as well as British and European standards, all clearly outline and define an employer’s responsibilities to you.
Recent changes to the law mean that the claimant must now prove employer negligence rather than taking the injuries themselves as sufficient evidence of that negligence.
If your lawyer can prove on the balance of probabilities that your employer breached these guidelines and you have suffered as a result, you will be eligible to make a claim for an award.
more about slips, trips and falls at work
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) maintains that 50% of all accidents that involving slips, trips and falls at work are caused by obstructions left in walkways. They suggest this risk, like many others, could be reduced by employers and employees simply adopting good housekeeping practice.
Contamination of some kind is implicated in almost all slip or trip accidents. Flooring is available in various grades of slip resistance, but any floor will become slippery once contaminated by water, oil, grease, cardboard, product wrappings or dust.
This contamination could be a by-product of a work process, so even if impossible to prevent, employers should ensure it is removed quickly and effectively. Regular and effective cleaning should help to reduce the risk, but perversely, people often slip on floors that have been left wet after cleaning. Warning signs should be clearly displayed after cleaning if floors are wet.
Poor lighting (natural or otherwise) can make accidents more likely and the lack of handrails or guardrails in potentially dangerous areas can increase the risk of a slip or trip injury.
Having the correct footwear can play an important part in preventing slips and trips, however choosing the most appropriate slip-resistant work boots or shoes can be difficult. Even footwear that is BS EN 13287:2004 rated may not be suitable for particular work environments.
Award for a slip at work
Our client was employed as a process operator working on a large pellet mill (a press used to create pellets from powdered material). The floor was often slippery and because of this he fell backwards, heavily onto the floor.
Read all about how Access Legal helped their client receive the compensation they deserved for their slip at work claim here.
'You need to have a legal team who are caring, who you absolutely trust and who will tell you the truth. Certainly from our point of view Denise Stephens from Access Legal has been absolutely amazing.'
Our team of expert personal injury solicitors have helped hundreds of people injured by a slip, trip or fall in the workplace to get the help, rehabilitation and financial support they deserve.Why Access Legal