All accidents at work can lead to serious injuries, falling from a height is extremely likely to result in serious injury and is the single biggest cause of fatalities at work. If you, or a loved one has been injured in a fall from height at work which wasn’t their fault you may be entitled to compensation.

Cleversons Solicitors have a specialist team of personal injury solicitors who can assist you in the claims process and help you on the road to recovery. We’ve helped hundreds of clients get the compensation they deserve for their fall from height at work and understand how much of an impact it can have on you and your family.

Common accidents involving a fall from height at work

During 2020/21 in the UK alone 35 people died after falling from a height whilst working, this accounts for 25% of all worker deaths over the year. This highlights the risks involved with working at a height and there’s a wide range of different accidents which can result in a fall from a height including:

  • Using unsuitable equipment
  • Falls from machinery
  • Falls from vehicles
  • Falls from or through roofs
  • Accidents on scaffolding
  • Falls from unfenced or unguarded drops

Are you eligible to make a claim?

Regardless of which industry you work in, employers have a legal obligation to protect their employees from harm. Some jobs require a large amount of working at height while others shouldn’t require any. If your job requires working at height regularly your employer should ensure you have been provided with the correct equipment, training, and assistance.

Employers must ensure that work at height is thoroughly planned, supervised, and carried out by competent, trained employees. They should also provide the required equipment such as scaffolding and ladders to access the location.

If you’re employer has failed to provide you with the correct equipment, training or supervision and you have suffered an injury in a fall from height you could be entitled to claim compensation. A claim can be submitted within three years of the accident date and you’ll receive compensation for your injuries and any loss of earnings or expenses incurred as a result of the accident.

Work at height regulations 2005

The work at height regulations 2005 apply to all work at height, where there is the risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. They place duties on employers, and those who control any work at height activity, such as facilities managers or building owners who may contract others to work at height.

As part of the regulations, employers must ensure:

  • All work at height is properly planned and organised
  • Those involved in work at height are competent
  • The risks from work at height are assessed, and appropriate work equipment is selected and used
  • The risks of working on or near fragile surfaces are properly managed
  • The equipment used for work at height is properly inspected and maintained

What should be considered when planning work at height?

In line with the work at height regulations when planning to carry out a task whilst working at a height you must consider all of the following:

  • How could weather conditions compromise worker safety?
  • Is the working location safe for us to undertake the work?
  • How can we stop materials or objects from falling, or, if it is not reasonably practicable to prevent objects falling, how can we take measures to ensure no one is hurt? For example, exclusion zones or mesh on the scaffold to stop materials falling.
  • How can we store materials and objects safely so they won’t cause injury if they are disturbed or collapse?
  • What is the plan in the event of an emergency? Agree a set procedure for evacuation, think about foreseeable situations and make surer the employees know the emergency procedures.

When is a ladder right for the job?

The law states that ladders can be used for work at height when a risk assessment has shown that using equipment which offers a high level of fall protection is not justified because of the low risk and short duration of use, or there are existing workplace features which cannot be altered.

Short duration should not be the deciding factor in establishing whether an activity is acceptable or not – your employer should have first considered the risk. As a guide, if your task requires staying up a leaning ladder or stepladder for more than 30 minutes at a time it’s recommended that you consider alterative equipment.

Ladders should only be used in situations where they can be used safely, for example where the ladder will be level and stable, and where its reasonably practicable to do so, the ladder can be secured.

How do you know if someone is ‘competent’ to work at height?

Your employer should make sure that people with sufficient skills, knowledge and experience are employed to perform the task, or, if they are being trained, that they work under the supervision of an experienced employee.

In the case of low-risk, short duration tasks involving ladders, competence requirements may be more than making sure employees receive instruction on how to use the equipment safely and appropriate training. Training often takes place on the job, shadowing other staff members whilst receiving guidance on best practices.

When a more technical level of competence is required, for example drawing up a plan for assembling a complex scaffold, existing training and certification schemes drawn up by trade associations is one way to help demonstrate competence.

Start your claim today

Cleversons Solicitors have a dedicated team of personal injury solicitors who can help you make a full recovery and get some normality back to your life following a fall from a height at work. We understand that although your injuries may be physical, an accident at work can also have a profound effect on your mental health and can make it difficult to return to work.

We’ve helped thousands of clients get the compensation and support they deserve following their accident at work, speak to one of our team today by calling 0800 368 5102 or complete an online enquiry form.

Speak to the experts