Falls from height are a huge contributor to injuries in the workplace.
Work accidents involving a person falling from height are actually the single biggest reason for fatalities in the workplace. They contribute hugely to serious injury in the workplace, contributing considerably towards people having to stay off work sick.
Over £84 million compensation recovered for our UK clients – Russell Worth Solicitors
If you have fallen from height at work and have injured yourself then you could be entitled to receive personal injury compensation. If you were a dependent of someone who unfortunately has deceased because of a fall at work (or any other accident for the matter) then you could also be entitled to compensation.
Work at height regulations 2005
The governments Work at height Regulations 2005, which were originally developed in 2005 and have since been amended, intend to protect people who work at height, ranging from someone who fits windows into sky-scrapers to an office worker who needs to change a light-bulb.
Reasons for falls from height at work
- Falls from ladders – there are many jobs in which access needs to be gained by a ladder and the following are reasons why accidents happen: Sometimes the ladders are faulty or may not have been erected in the right way; incorrect footwear may be being worn causing a slip hazard; the ladder may not be fixed in any position and if on an uneven surface would need stabilisers / fixing; the worker may not be able to hold onto the ladder because he / she is carrying tools.
- Machines – working on top of / in / around machinery. If the machine is switched on then this can provide and extra level of danger as someone could fall into it.
- HGV’s – falling from the back of heavy goods vehicles is not uncommon as there is no safety barrier to stop you.
- Roofs – some roofs are not supposed to be walked on but often this is not clearly stated. Some roofs can collapse dropping the worker onto whatever is directly beneath them.
- Scaffolding – although scaffolding is built with health and safety in mind these days, accidents can still happen and people can fall.
- Roof lights / sun inlets –people step on these to gain access and if they’re not strong enough they will collapse, and the person will fall down to whatever lies beneath.
- Unsuitable equipment – whether it is footwear or a faulty harness / anchor point, it can be the equipment that fails and sends you plummeting.
- Lack of fencing / barrier – whether it is the edge of a building, a hole in a roof or a loading bay, it is necessary that a significant drop should be fenced off to stop people from falling.
When it comes to working from height, it is the duty of your employer to ensure that the environment and the equipment you use are fit for purpose. A chair on wheels is not a safe piece of equipment to use to gain access to anything at height but often people use them because there is no alternative provided by the employer.
For any work that is to be done at height a risk assessment needs to be carried out repeatedly before and during the works that are being completed. As the environment around the works changes so too can the risk so it is important that this is considered.
Having employees properly trained to work at height is extremely important. Without this they will be ill equipped to tackle these types of jobs in a safe manner. This includes the type of equipment that can be used in any instance along with a firm understanding of how weather can change the conditions and risks associated with a job.
Wherever possible, it is important that an employer does not ask an employee to work at height unless it is absolutely necessary.
If working at height cannot be avoided then wherever possible the risk of falling should be minimised: using a mobile platform machine is preferable over a ladder for example and whatever the job, the equipment used should reduce the distance that a person will fall should the worst happen.
Russell Worth’s take on falling from height claims
We are an experienced personal injury solicitors with a Law Society accreditation and a solid history in this field since 1997.
We will go through your case with you personally and get you the maximum compensation award for your injuries. We will work on a No Win No Fee basis, giving you the reassurance that we will do everything we can to win your case.
Free Claim Assessment