Slipping on a wet floor or tripping over an object may make for great slapstick, Laurel and Hardy-style comedy sketches, but in real life, such incidences can be far from amusing.
Every year, hundreds of people are hospitalised with broken bones, gashes, and other serious injuries, resulting from slipping or tripping at work.
If you have suffered a personal injury from a slip or trip, you may be wondering if and how you can claim compensation.
Your employer’s obligation to protect you from slips and trips at work
An employer has a statutory and common law duty to keep you safe whilst you are at work.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), slips and trips are the most common cause of injury at work. Given the high prevalence of such injuries, the Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1992 set out the safety measures an employer should follow to protect workers, including ensuring that:
- all work stations are suitably arranged
- the floor and traffic routes are maintained
- all equipment, machinery, and devices are in good order
- adequate ventilation, temperature, and lighting is provided
- the workplace is kept clean
Shops are also under a lawful duty to keep their floors clean and mop-up hazards quickly.
Failure to comply with these practices and procedures could result in an employer or store-owner being found guilty of negligence and hence liable to pay compensation.
Injuries that can occur from slips and trips in the workplace
Slipping or tripping at work can lead to devastating injuries. In order to illustrate this, a HSE web page entitled, ‘Shattered Lives,’ features a woman who has tripped and appears to slam her jaw into a stack of wooden crates, causing it to break. Other such injuries relating to slips and trips at work include:
- broken bones
- gashes and severe cuts and bruising
- catastrophic brain injury
- facial damage requiring reconstruction
- internal injuries
- spinal injuries which can result in paralysis
Claiming compensation for a work accident involving a slip or trip
If you have suffered an injury following slipping or tripping at work, your priority should be your health.
Endeavor to seek medical treatment immediately. This is not only to ensure your injuries receive appropriate attention, but you will also need to provide your medical records to your solicitor so they can build a negligence case.
Make sure your accident is recorded correctly. In certain cases, such as if you suffer loss of consciousness or severe injuries, your accident must be reported in compliance with the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). If you are too unwell to make a report yourself, ask a colleague or relative to do it for you.
It is imperative to collect details from any witnesses to the accident. Take photographs of the surrounding area and note the weather conditions at the time of the event. Write down what happened as soon as possible, so you do not forget important details.
Finding a personal injury solicitor
You will need to instruct a personal injury solicitor who is experienced in bringing industrial accident claims. It is important to do this as soon as you can, as under the Limitations Act 1980 there is a three-year timeframe in which to bring most personal injury claims.
At Russell Worth Solicitors, we offer ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements which mean if we do not succeed in getting you compensation, you will not pay legal fees (although you may have to pay for disbursements). We can also arrange After The Event (ATE) insurance which can protect you if you are ordered by the court to pay your employer’s costs.
Most employment law cases are settled well before trial. It is also important to note that employers must carry insurance to cover any personal injury liability. If you have suffered a severe personal injury at work which required rehabilitation, during which you are unable to carry out your job, your employer will expect you to claim compensation.
Don’t let a slip or trip accident leave you injured and out-of-pocket. By claiming compensation, you can fund the care and rehabilitation you need to resume normal life as quickly as possible.
At Russell Worth Solicitors we specialise in personal injury claims. If you have suffered an injury because of an accident that was not your fault and would like a free claim assessment, please call us now on 0800 028 2060 or complete our Online Claim Assessment.