A fall at work is the most common reported cause of injury at work. They average more than 40% of all major injuries, particularly if the fall is from height.
What does the law say about preventing a workplace fall?
Law on the prevention of a fall at work comes within the jurisdiction of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who state the following:
- Employers must protect the health and safety of all employees and anyone who is affected by their work, including steps to control slips, trips and falls;
- Employees have a duty not to put themselves or anyone else in danger;
- Employees must use any safety equipment the employer provides;
- The employer must assess the risks involved and address any risks found; and
- The employer must make sure that all floors are in a good, suitable condition, and that they are free from any obstructions to enable people to move around safely.
As an employer, what can you do to prevent a fall at work?
As an employer, you have a legal obligation to protect the health and safety of your employees. The first step towards this is carrying out risk assessments, which will identify the areas of concern and assist you in taking the necessary steps. When doing this, it is not a bad idea to ask your employees if they are aware of any hazards, as they work in the areas they may well have noticed something you have not spotted.
Risks assessments do not need to be lots of paperwork — you just need to make notes about what you found and what steps you have taken to try and prevent accidents. If you have fewer than five employees the risks assessments do not have to be written down, but it is advisable to do so anyway as it may help in any future compensation claims.
As an employee, what can you do to prevent a fall at work?
There are several things an employee should do to help prevent an accident of this kind:
- If you should have an accident, or a near miss, make sure your employer knows about it. They can use the information to help prevent an accident happening to someone else;
- If you see any damaged floors or mats, report this to your employer;
- If you see a spillage, clean it up or arrange for it to be cleaned up as soon as possible;
- If you see an obstruction, move it or arrange for it to be moved as soon as possible;
- If you are given protective clothing, look after it and wear it. If it becomes damaged, tell your employer so that replacements can be arranged; and
- Play your part in keeping your workplace clean and tidy.
If all preventative measures have been taken and you still have a fall at work, providing the fall was not your own fault you may be entitled to personal injury compensation. Accident Advice Helpline are the experts in dealing with these matters for you. We have experience in all types of personal injury compensation claims including a fall at work.
Call us today on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from your mobile to make your claim.
Date Published: 29th July 2013