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You are in: Home Page | Personal Injury | Workplace Accidents | Falls from Height at Work

Compensation Claims relating to Falls from Height at Work

Introduction to Falls from Height Compensation Claims
  Work at Height Regulations 2005
Common causes of Falls from Height
  Examples of some of the most common situations where falls from height occur
Employers' Duties to prevent injuries from falls from height
  Health and Safety at Work - Responsibilities of Employers
Employees' Duties to avoid falls from height at work
  Health and Safety at Work - Responsibilities of Employees
News Stories about Falls from Height Compensation Claims
  Clients we have helped after they suffered falls from a height at work
What should I do if I have fallen from a height at work?
  Action to take if you fall from a height in work
Fall from a Height at Work Compensation Claim Advice
  How to start a Fall from a Height Compensation Claim
Helpful Links
  Organisations which may be able to help you further

Introduction to Falls from Height Compensation Claims

Work at Height Regulations 2005

Falls from heights are the single largest cause of workplace fatalities in the UK and one of the main causes of serious injuries.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (amended in 2007) are intended to protect everyone who has to work at height.  Working at "height" can apply to a person on a harness hundreds of feet above the ground painting a bridge for example and could also apply to a person standing on a chair in an office changing a light bulb.

If you suffer a fall from a height in work, you may be able to make a personal injury claim for compensation.  You may also be able to make a compensation claim if you are the relative of a person who has died as a result of a fall from a height in work.

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Common causes of Falls from Height

Examples of some of the most common situations where falls from height occur

At Thompsons Solicitors we are approached by many people who have been injured as a result of a fall from a height (or the family of the person involved in the accident).

Some of the most common causes of the accidents we hear about include:

Falls from Ladders - which are either unsuitable for the job they are being used for or have been badly maintained.  Other causes can include an inability to use and safely grip the ladder or steps because of the need to use hand tools or carry materials or tools up and down, the absence of anti slip feet, an inability to lash the ladder at the top, a lack of stabilisers fitted to the ladder at the base or a failure to have another worker foot the ladder to prevent the ladder slipping away either at the top or bottom. The surface on which the ladder has to rest at the base or top can often create or increase the danger.

Falls from Machines - can be very dangerous as the person may land on or inside the machine as they fall.

Falls through Roofs - Roofs can be fragile and collapse beneath the weight of a person leaving them to land often several metres below onto whatever is inside the building.

Falls through Roof Lights - workers on a roof often don't notice the roof lights or realise how dangerous it is to stand on them and fall through the roof of the building.

Falls from Scaffolding - which has not been erected correctly, are commonplace on building and construction sitesScaffoldings have to be inspected and maintained carefully whilst in place.

Falls from Other Open Edges - any significant drop which has no safety barrier can cause a hazard such as a loading bay, a roof, platform, a pit or or hole in the floor.

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Employers' Duties to prevent injuries from falls from height

Health and Safety at Work - Responsibilities of Employers

It is the duty of an employer to protect their employees from all accidents and injuries in the workplace.  They must do all that is reasonably practical to prevent any of their employees from falling.  It is critical that a risk assessment is carried out before the job is started and that the risk assessment process continues and is repeated, if needed, throughout the work. If the work develops and requires new phases and stages, the risks should be re assessed each time. A working plan or working method with safety at the heart of the project should be devised and updated if construction or engineering work is undertaken.

As a main priority, employers should avoid asking their employees to work at heights wherever possible.

If working at heights is absolutely essential, equipment should be used which prevents falls from heights.  Stable platforms are safer than ladders for example and may be preferable even if it means the work may take slightly longer or the equipment has to be hired at additional cost.

As a last resort, if the risk of falling from a height cannot be completely eliminated, equipment should be provided which minimises the distance the person is at risk of falling and reduces the risk of serious injury.

Employers should also make sure that their employees are properly trained for working at height, that all of the equipment they are provided with is inspected regularly and properly maintained and that the working procedures are reviewed according to the weather conditions.

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Employees' Duties to avoid falls from height at work

Health and Safety at Work - Responsibilities of Employees

Every employee has a duty to look after their own health and safety at work as well as the health and safety of other people who could be affected by their actions.

Employees should report any hazards they notice in their workplace to their employer as soon as possible.  They should also follow all health and safety policies put in place by their employer and use all safety equipment provided to them.

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News Stories about Falls from Height Compensation Claims

Clients we have helped after they suffered falls from a height at work

In the past we have published many news stories on our website about clients we have helped to make fall from height accident compensation claims.  Follow the links below to read a selection of these or to read all of our news stories, visit our News Desk.

27th June 2014 - ITV pays out after carpenter’s injury on This Morning set
20th June 2013
- Supervisor responsible for 23 year old man’s paralysis is sentenced by Durham Crown Court
23rd April 2013
- GMB member receives compensation after surviving 35ft ladder fall
26th March 2013 - Man compensated after breaking back in fall from rooftop
22nd March 2013
- HGV driver assisted by Unite Legal Services after fall from faulty ladder
5th February 2013 - Electrician compensated after fracturing spine in scaffolding fall
25th January 2013 - Union supports worker injured in ladder fall
20th December 2012 -
Lorry driver compensated after head injury caused in fall
19th December 2012 -
Unite Legal Services helps member secure compensation after fall from ladder
3rd July 2012 -
School Caretaker compensated after faulty window causes accident
10th February 2012 -
Self employed contractor receives £28,000 damages after fall from height
13th December 2011 -
Engineer compensated after fall through unstable roof
6th December -
Welder injured in scaffolding fall
10th November 2011 -
Parcel firm pays out to lorry driver injured by faulty equipment
10th August 2011
- Employers reminded about working at height regulations after electrician receives compensation
13th June 2011
- Firm pays damages after using unsafe equipment
14th January 2011
- Cemex compensate family for fatal explosion
30th September 2010
- RMT says Network Rail must be held to account for employee’s death
23rd September 2010
- Faulty Ladder Injures School Caretaker
1st July 2010 - Significant payout for brain damaged scaffolder
11th June 2010
- Injured scaffolder receives compensation after agonising back injury
1st April 2010
- Scaffolder receives compensation after traumatic accident
14th January 2010 - £90,000 for scaffolder after 40ft fall
30th December 2009
- Construction worker buried in cement
29th December 2009
- Safety measures introduced after trucker fell to his death
24th December 2009
- Baker wins £17,500 in compensation
23rd September 2009
- Crane driver tells of 40 metre drop
2nd July 2009
- £250,000 for badly injured firefighter
30th April 2009
- Labourer undergoes amputation after workplace accident
2nd March 2009 - Ladder fall forces baker to retire
24th February 2009
- Ladder slip leads to broken heel
17th November 2008 -
Businesses Warned About Importance of Basic Health and Safety
6th May 2008 - Dennis family lawyers welcome jailing of employer
24th April 2008 -
On Workers Memorial Day, Dennis family lawyers call for maximum sentence for boss who admits manslaughter
18th January 2008 -
Maintenance Worker secures substantial damages after fracturing his shoulder and being medically retired
20th December 2007 - Global space industry leader pays Stevenage man £468K damages after his leg had to be amputated following an accident at work
18th September 2007 - BAE Systems Ltd to pay damages to man injured when he fell through the floor of a Nimrod aircraft
29th December 2006 - High Court orders Crown Prosecution Service to review workplace death decision
27th November 2006 - Family to challenge CPS manslaughter decision in High Court
3rd November 2006 - GMB member secures £90,000 compensation following accident at work
21st July 2006 - Trade union solicitors welcome Corporate Manslaughter Bill but condemn wasted opportunity to improve workplace safety
16th June 2006 - Machine worker receives compensation following ladder accident
26th April 2006 - Families urge Government to ensure the Corporate Manslaughter Bill is tough on rogue employers
31st March 2006 - Family from Bridgend attempts to take Crown Prosecution Service to court following teenager’s tragic death
7th February 2006 - Northern Electric pay compensation for ladder fall
20th December 2000 - Thompsons welcomes government report on corporate manslaughter

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What should I do if I have fallen from a height at work?

Action to take if you fall from a height in work

If you are unfortunate enough to fall from a height in work and the accident was not your fault, you may be able to make a personal injury claim for compensation.

As with all personal injury compensation claims, including claims for falls from heights in work you would need to prove that your injury was caused as a result of the negligence of another party (in this case your employer or the main contractors on site) and once you appoint a personal injury compensation solicitor, they will assist you in compiling your evidence and presenting it to your employer's liability insurers or others responsible.

You should ensure that you record the accident in the accident book at work and also take names and addresses of anyone who witnessed your fall from a height.  If your employers are based elsewhere, remember to report the matter to your employers directly and immediately as well.

If your fall from a height resulted from a serious incident such as a collapse of scaffolding it will be your employers duty to report it the HSE.  Your employer is also obliged to report any accidents to the HSE which result in serious injuries such as broken bones or any injury leaving you unable to work for more than 3 days.

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Fall from a Height at Work Compensation Claim Advice

How to start a Fall from a Height Compensation Claim

If you or anyone you know has suffered an injury at work after falling from a height, telephone us now for accurate claim advice.

There are strict time limits in place to make any injury claim including claims relating to falls from a height. For further information, contact us or visit our Questions Answered page.

Thompsons Solicitors are experts in all personal injury matters. We will be able to advise you whether or not you have a valid claim for compensation. Our specialist personal injury lawyers will be happy to talk you through the process of making a claim in plain English and will be happy to answer any questions or queries you may have. Telephone us now on 08000 224 224 or complete one of our online personal injury compensation claim forms.

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Helpful Links

Organisations which may be able to help you further

Directgov - Information about what sick pay you will be entitled to if you are absent from work as a result of an accident at work.

Jobcentreplus (now part of Directgov) - Information about how to claim benefits if you are made disabled as a result of an accident at work.

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