Falls from height are a major cause of workplace injuries and fatalities. Therefore, to help protect anyone who works at height, special Work at Height Regulations were introduced in 2005 and amended in 2007 in order to ensure a safer environment for such individuals. According to these regulations, anyone can claim compensation for an accident at work that is caused by them falling from a height, regardless of whether the person has fallen from a ladder, machine, roof or scaffolding. A relative of someone who has died as a result of a fall from a height can also make a compensation claim.
Is your employer responsible for your injury?
At Accident Advice Helpline we are approached by many people who have suffered an injury as a direct result of a fall from a height. If you are one of these people, it is very important to know that your employer must have acted in full accordance with the regulations.
To prevent workplace injuries from occurring, UK authorities require employers to avoid having their employees working at height whenever possible. If doing so is necessary, employers must carry out a risk assessment not only before the job is started, but also throughout the different phases of the work. This procedure is put in place to minimise or prevent risk when working at height. If the work requires additional stages, a separate risk assessment procedure should be completed for each stage. Employers must also provide special equipment and train their employees for working at height.
Understanding your responsibilities
While it is true that your employer has a legal duty to take reasonable care to avoid you being harmed at work, it is also true that you, as an employee, have a duty to look after your own safety at work. If your accident is the result of a hazard that you failed to report, you can be held responsible for your work-related injuries. In addition to reporting the hazards you notice in your workplace, you must follow all health and safety policies put in place by your employer, including using the safety equipment provided to you. On the other side, if you consider that your employer is at fault for your accident, you can file a compensation claim against him or her.
Action to take after falling from a height
If you have been injured as a result of a fall from a height and were not responsible for the accident, you have a legal right to make a personal injury compensation claim. However, as with any other injury compensation claim, you must prove that your employer or another party is responsible for your injury. To help you with this, our personal injury compensation solicitors are ready to assist you in compiling and presenting the necessary documents to your employer’s insurer.
If your injury resulting from of a serious work accident, such as the collapse of scaffolding, left you disabled and unable to file your claim for compensation within the legal timeframe, we can help you start legal proceedings even if the time limit for taking such action has passed. For further information, contact us at Accident Advice Helpline as soon as possible on 0800 689 0500.
Date Published: December 29, 2013
Author: David Brown