Working at height poses specific dangers that employers must carefully assess and control. Jobs that involve working up ladders, scaffolding, or in cherry pickers and cranes are particularly dangerous.
According to the HSE, falls from height are the main cause of fatal accidents in many industries such as agriculture, construction, wholesale and manufacturing. Fall accidents are also responsible for almost 10% of non-fatal injuries at work, such as lacerations, rib injuries, back and head injuries, fractures and dislocations.
Most falls from height are preventable and occur due to a lack of risk assessments, faulty ladders and equipment, poorly constructed scaffolding or slip and trip hazards.
Your employer has a duty of care to protect your health and safety by following The Work at Height Regulations 2005. The legislation states they must minimise risks and provide you with the appropriate training and equipment you need to do your job safely.
If your employer has failed in their duty and you were injured because of a fall accident, you might be eligible to make a fall from height claim. You could recover damages for pain and suffering as well as any financial losses and expenses you incurred.
If you feel you may have a valid claim for compensation, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a legal adviser. If your case has merit, they will offer you a no win no fee service, so you can make a fall at work claim without taking any financial risks or paying any upfront fees.
Can I claim compensation for a fall from height at work?
If you or a loved one suffered an injury after a fall at work, you might want to make an injury compensation claim. A free consultation with a legal adviser is the easiest and fastest way to determine if you have a valid case. They will assess the circumstances of your accident at work to determine whether:
- Another party owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty by acting negligently
- You suffered an injury as a result
- Your accident took place in the last three years
If you fulfil these conditions, your solicitor will be able to take on your case on a no win no fee basis. However, to build a compelling fall from height claim, you will need relevant proof to support your claim. Your solicitor will help to gather this evidence, which could include:
- Medical records of your injuries, such as x-rays and other diagnostic tests, the treatments you received and your recovery prospects.
- Photographs or a video of the accident scene, showing precisely what caused it, if possible.
- Take photos of your injuries and any damage to your personal items.
- If the area was overseen by CCTV cameras, secure a copy of the footage.
- Ensure your accident gets recorded in the accident log book and ask for a signed copy of the report.
- If your injuries keep you from returning to work for more than seven days, you must also report the fall accident to the Health and Safety Executive.
- Get the contact details of your co-workers or other witnesses to the accident; your solicitor might contact them for a statement.
- Keep track of all your financial losses and expenses related to the fall accident.
You might be able to claim compensation for a fall from height accident even if you were not the direct victim. Under the Court of Protection Rules 2017, you could act as a litigation friend on behalf of:
- A child under 18 who was injured in a fall accident while they were on work experience or working part-time.
- A victim who lost the mental capacity to conduct legal proceedings due to a serious injury such as brain trauma or severe PTSD.
- A loved one who has passed away due to a fatal fall at work.
To find out if you have a valid fall from height claim, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal adviser. Or, if you prefer, enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back.
What are the leading causes of falls from height?
Falls from height are the number one cause of fatal injuries in the workplace. In 2019/20, 29 workers died from injuries sustained in a fall accident in the UK. This was a slight decrease from the previous year when falls at work caused 40 deaths.
Over half of all fatalities are in the construction sector, followed by agriculture and manufacturing. Fall accidents are also responsible for around 8% of all non-fatal workplace injuries.
Employers are responsible for the health and safety of employees at work and must take all reasonable measures to prevent accidents. Unfortunately, mistakes and negligence lead to high numbers of casualties each year. The most common causes of falls from height at work include:
- Fragile elevated surfaces such as skylights and corrugated steel that are at risk of falling when under pressure
- Fall from a ladder due to it being unsteady or broken, or using the incorrect ladder for the job
- Adverse weather conditions such as rain or heavy winds that may affect the work surfaces, materials and equipment
- Working on elevated surfaces such as scaffolding, platforms or towers with no edge protection like guardrails or fencing
- Being struck by falling materials such as tiles, bricks or tools
- Poorly constructed scaffolding or platforms that are not stable enough to work on them
- Electrocution, if the ladder or equipment came into contact with power lines
- Lack of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as harnesses or lanyards, helmets and proper footwear
- Lack of anti-slip protection on high surfaces
- Gaps in platform surfaces or between platforms
- Improper transportation and storage of materials, equipment and tools
- Uneven stairs or missing handrails
Even if the cause of your accident was not listed here, you might still be entitled to make a fall from height claim. As long as another party was at least partially responsible for your injuries, they could be liable to pay you personal injury compensation.
For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a fall from height claim and can answer any questions you may have.
What are an employer’s responsibilities to prevent falls from height?
Falls from height remain the leading cause of workplace deaths, despite most accidents being preventable. The Work at Height Regulations 2005 aims to prevent death and injury caused by a fall at work by offering health and safety guidelines.
Employers and those in control of any work at height have a general legal duty to take all reasonable measures to avoid fall accidents, including:
- Conduct a full risk assessment to identify and eliminate or minimise hazards.
- Avoid any work at height when it is reasonably practicable to do so.
Where work at height cannot be avoided, prevent accidents by taking the following measures:
- Ensure that all work at height is properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a reasonably safe manner.
- Use an existing place of work that is already safe, when possible.
- Provide sufficient and appropriate work equipment.
- Minimise the distance and consequences of a fall by using the right equipment.
- Make sure workers have safe access to and from where they work at a height.
- Ensure all equipment is suitable, stable and strong enough for the job, well maintained and regularly checked.
- Take precautions when working on or near fragile surfaces.
- Ensure that surfaces are dry, sturdy and free from obstacles.
- Provide adequate protection from falling objects, such as hard hats.
- Make sure workers do not need to overreach when working at height.
- Ensure any work at height is carried out only when the weather conditions do not jeopardise the health and safety of workers.
- Make sure that the work at height is carried out only by personnel competent to do so or supervised by a qualified person.
- Use safety nets, air cushions, soft landing systems, or other similar means of protection.
This is not a complete list of an employer’s responsibilities. Based on the circumstances of your accident, your solicitor can establish whether your employer might be liable for your fall accident. If they breached one or more of their duties, you could make a fall from height claim.
Due to vicarious liability, you might be able to claim compensation from your employer even if they were not directly responsible for your accident. For example, if a co-worker caused your fall by acting negligently, your employer might be vicariously liable for your injuries.
If you suffered a fall at work and are worried about taking legal action, you can rest assured that your claim will not affect your employer. They are legally required to insure against liability for injury to their employees, so your employer will not be left out of pocket.
Also, they cannot treat you any differently or sack you if you make a fall from height claim. You have the right to ask for compensation for your injuries and are protected by unfair dismissal laws.
To start your claim, speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation.
Which jobs are most at risk from falls from heights?
Falls from height are responsible for around 25-30% of all workplace deaths, with over half of all fatalities recorded in the construction sector.
If employers fail in their duty to provide workers with the correct training, equipment and support, falls from height can take place in many workplaces, but some jobs are certainly riskier than others. The most common examples of workers suffering a fall at work include:
- Construction and building site workers
- Window cleaners or installers
- Civil engineers
- Supermarket shelf stackers
- Warehouse operatives
- Agricultural and farm workers
You do not have to fall from a great height to suffer an injury. Over two-thirds of all major accidents are caused by low falls, from two meters or less. Most falls from height result in moderate injuries, such as a broken bone, that require at least some time off work. However, unfortunately, some may have more severe and life-changing consequences.
If you or someone close to you suffered an injury at work, you might be eligible to make a fall from height claim. To find out if your case has merit, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a legal adviser.
How much compensation can I claim for a fall from height?
The amount of compensation you might receive if your fall from height claim is successful will depend on the unique circumstances of your case and several factors such as:
- The type and severity of your injuries
- Whether you were partially responsible for your fall at work
- How the injuries you sustained have affected your life
- Your future care and assistance needs
- Any other related financial losses and expenses
Your solicitor will consider all these aspects to calculate an appropriate compensation award. In every claim, you can recover two types of damages, namely:
Special damages for financial losses such as:
- Short-term medical expenses for diagnostic tests, treatment and hospital stay
- Long-term medical expenses for physical therapy, counselling and other treatments
- Costs of care and assistance with daily life, even if provided by friends or family
- Lost wages, if you had to take time off work during recovery
- Loss of earning capacity, if you cannot return to work or must take a lower-paying job
- Transportation costs to and from medical visits and solicitor appointments
- Mobility aids and prostheses
- Adaptations to your home or vehicle to accommodate a disability
General damages for personal, non-economic losses, including:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Physical injury and impairment
- Emotional and psychological trauma
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Reduced life quality or life expectancy
- Inability to enjoy a hobby or leisure activity
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of prospects and enjoyment of life
Solicitors, insurers and courts use the compensation guidelines published by the Judicial College to calculate a fair award for general damages based on different injury types. According to their compensation ranges, you could receive:
- £2,020 to £240,590 for a leg injury
- £1,880 to £379,100 for minor to very severe brain injuries
- Up to £76,690 for severe knee injuries
- £5,630 to £281,520 for an arm injury, depending on the severity
- £2,300 to £104,370 for a neck injury
- £2,020 to £46,780 for hand injuries
- £2,675 – £45,500 for a wrist injury
- £85,470 to £151,070 for spinal cord damage
- Up to £51,460 for a very severe elbow injury
- £3,710 to £122,860 for minor to very severe hip damage
- £1,960 to £151,070 for back injuries
- £3,950 to £100,670 if you develop PTSD due to the accident
After carefully evaluating your claim, your solicitor will be able to give you a fair estimate of your compensation prospects. To find out how much you could receive in a fall from height claim, speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation.
Can I make a fall from height claim using no win no fee?
Yes, if your solicitor establishes that you have a valid compensation claim, they will offer you a no win no fee service. This means you can pursue a fall from height claim without paying any upfront solicitor fees and without financial risks.
As the name suggests, in a no win no fee claim, you do not have to pay anything if you lose your claim for a fall at work.
The benefits of hiring a professional personal injury solicitor on a no win no fee basis include:
- They will provide expert legal advice at every step of the claiming process
- They know how much your claim is worth and will negotiate to secure the maximum compensation award
- They have the knowledge, skill and experience to challenge the defendant
- Your solicitor will take care of all the paperwork, help gather evidence and talk to witnesses
- They fully understand how the legal system works and how to secure a successful claim
- Your solicitor will make sure every document and information is up to date and will keep you informed on proceedings
- You do not have to pay them anything if your fall from height claim is unsuccessful
As a standard part of a no win no fee agreement, your solicitor will take out an After the Event (ATE) insurance policy on your behalf. This type of legal expenses insurance guarantees that you will not incur any out-of-pocket expenses if your case is lost, as it offers coverage for:
- The defendant’s solicitor fees and legal expenses
- Barrister and expert witness fees, if your case goes to court
- Medical reports
- Court and counsel’s fees
- Any other legal costs you incurred in pursuing your claim
In a no win no fee claim, you only have to pay anything after receiving compensation for your fall accident. Your expenses will be deducted from your compensation award and include:
- Some basic legal fees that cannot be recovered from the defendant
- The cost of the ATE insurance premium
- A success fee you pay to your solicitor for the time and effort they put into winning your claim. The success fee will be no more than 25% of your compensation award and will be discussed and agreed upon from the outset.
- There will be no hidden charges or surprise fees.
Because of all its advantages, no win no fee is the preferred way of funding a personal injury claim.
To find out if you could make a fall from height claim on a no win no fee basis, call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal adviser. Alternatively, please enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back.
How long do I have to make a claim?
Under the Limitation Act 1980, there is a general three-year time limit to bring a fall from height claim. The time starts to run from the date of the accident or the date of knowledge of an injury. The date of knowledge refers to the moment you became aware that you suffered an injury or illness that may have resulted from somebody else’s negligence.
If you do not begin legal proceedings before the claim limitation date, your case becomes statute-barred, and you will likely lose your chance to get compensation.
There are, however, some exceptions to the three-year limitation date. For example:
- If the injured person is under 18, a parent or another litigation friend could make a child injury claim on their behalf at any point. After turning 18, the victim has another three years to pursue a claim, providing one has not already been made on their behalf.
- There is no time limit to make a fall from height claim on behalf of a victim who lacks the ability to do so themselves. This could be due to a pre-existing condition or if they suffered a severe brain injury or trauma due to a fall at work.
- If a loved one passed away because of a fatal fall from height accident, you have three years from the date of their death or the date of knowledge to make a fatal accident claim.
- If you had an accident while working abroad, you might still be able to make a fall from height claim, but the time limit might be subject to the foreign country’s laws.
Regardless of your unique circumstances, the sooner you seek legal advice, the easier it is likely to be to collect evidence and secure compensation.