STF’s (Slips, Trips and Falls) are the most common types of accidents that can result in a severe injury in the workplace. Workers should be able to move around the workplace safely. Not only are workers at risk if there are health and safety hazards, but visitors are also at risk.
These kinds of incidents can also happen outside of the workplace.
According to the Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE) 2018 annual statistics on slips, trips and falls in the workplace, between 2013/14 to 2017/18, injuries from these kinds of incidents were responsible for 26% of fatal injuries and 31% of non-fatal injuries.
Although they are a prevalent accident, they are one of the hardest types of accident to claim compensation for. In some cases, particularly the ones that take place in public rather than the workplace, it can be quite challenging to produce a good enough amount of evidence.
What can cause slips, trips and falls?
There can be many causes for slips, trips and falls; the most common causes of these types of incidents are:
- Poor lighting conditions.
- Cables scattered on the floor.
- Unsuitable floor coverings.
- Uneven or damaged floor surfaces.
- Contaminated floor surfaces, for example, liquid or grease.
- Poor housekeeping, for example, tripping or falling over something left in a doorway or corridor.
How can slips, trips and falls be prevented?
To deal with the risk of slips, trips, and falls are often very straight forward to implement. For example, you should make sure floor coverings are suitable, and adequate cleaning and maintenance systems are already in place and are continuing to be provided.
Necessary upkeep is often the simplest way to reduce risk. There are things that workers and employers can do to make sure your workplace is safe:
Make repairs or replace the floor surface if and when required.
- Ensure workers are wearing suitable and appropriate footwear in the workplace; this includes visitors.
- Assess slippery surfaces and treat accordingly, for example, treat with chemical and use clean appropriately.
- Make someone aware of risks at any change in surface, for instance, dry to wet, even to uneven, traffic routes, by using signs, mats or markings.
- Where there is a change at surface level, ensure excellent visibility and lighting, provide handrails and provide tread markers or other floor markings if needed.
- Clean up all spillages immediately. If there is a wet floor, use appropriate signs to tell people that extra caution is needed or use another route until the wetness is gone.
Other actions you can take include:
- Ensure rugs or mats are securely fixed and that edges cannot cause a trip hazard
- Avoid cables crossing walkways and use cable guards to cover anywhere required.
- Make sure a reporting system is in place to ensure that if there are any risks, they are identified and addressed as soon as possible.
A risk assessment should also be completed at any time where anything new has been implemented in your workplace. This also applies for when you have a new employee starting at your workplace; if they have a pre-existing condition, you should ensure the workplace is as safe and accessible as possible (for example, if someone is has a sight impairment.)
You have been injured at work or in a public space, what should you do?
Trying to make a compensation claim for slips, trips and falls can be stressful, and it can take a long time to go through the process. If you are currently not attending work due to a health issue caused by your injury, it can be tough to find the funds to be able to pay for legal fees. It would be beneficial for you to find a legal service that offers No Win No Fee agreements, so if you do not win your case in court, you will not be expected to pay any legal fees.
Two types of people can claim compensation and sue for this type of accident. The person who experienced the accident can claim, and the friends and family of the person who suffered the accident can claim on their behalf.
If you decide you want to through with claiming compensation, the process will take a while and can bring back trauma related to the accident, even if you only experienced a minimal amount of pain. It is crucial that whichever legal service you use makes you feel as comfortable as possible and makes the process as easy for you to manage as possible.
You will first need to seek out legal advice before going through with the claim. A lot of legal services can usually provide a free 30-60 minute consultation. In the meeting, you will be advised on how the process of a compensation claim works and how a No Win, No Fee agreement can work in your favour.
Generally in the free legal consultation, you will be asked the following questions, so it is good to make sure you can collate as much evidence as you can before you start the process of making the compensation claim.
This will include questions such as:
• In your own words, what happened when the accident took place?
• Where did the accident take place?
• Do you feel you did anything that could have caused the accident?
• Have you experienced any health issues as a direct result of the injury you incurred?
• Have you had to take time off sick at work due to the accident?
Once you have had the consultation, if you intend to carry on with the legal service who provided the consultation for you, they will provide more information on what happens next. You will then be assigned a lawyer who will manage your case; it is highly likely that they will progress your case to a compensation claim.
What issues can you claim for in a Slips, Trips and Fall claim?
What and how much you can claim for all depends on the circumstances of the accident, the injuries you incurred due to the accident and how the accident happened.
However, you would usually be able to claim compensation for the following:
- General damages – physical and mental pain and hardship, health issues and other general damages.
- Care costs – if you need to be cared for as a direct result of your accident.
- Medical expenses – that were incurred as a direct result of your accident, for example, for an ongoing illness that was a result of your injury.
- Travel expenses – incurred as a direct result of your accident.
- Loss of earnings – if you had to take time off sick or if you’re no longer able to work after your accident.
How much will you get as compensation for your injury?
These are estimates that legal services have provided to their clients. There is a vast difference in compensation amount due depending on the severity of the injury.
For example, someone who had been left paralysed due to their injury and was no longer able to work and maybe have to have a full-time carer now may get a lot more compensation than someone who may have had their nose fractured and was able to return to work after a few weeks.
Below is the estimated compensation amounts:
- Minor neck injuries to very severe injuries to the neck -£2,700 to £12,000
- Fractured nose from a slight injury to permanent damage – £1,300 to £18,440
- Minor knee injury to a very severe injury to the knee – £11,820 to £55,590
- Minor wrist injury to a very severe injury to the wrist – £5,920 to £47,720
- Minor shoulder injury to a very severe injury to the shoulder – £6,290 to £38,280
- Minor elbow injuries to very severe injuries to the elbow – £12,480 to £43,710
- Minor arm injuries from mild to very severe injuries to the arm – £5,280 to £104,370
- Minor ankle injury to a more severe injury to the ankle – £10,960 to £39,910
Slip, Trip and Fall accidents can occur virtually anywhere; supermarkets, shopping centre, on the pavements/road or at work. If it happened at work, you might be asking the questions of who is responsible for that loose cable or wet floor?
If you have been injured in a non-fault slip, trip or fall, one of our professional and highly experienced personal injury solicitors could help you secure the maximum compensation you deserve!
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