What Are Common Examples Of Claims For Falling Down Exposed Areas?
The most common example of a claim for falling down exposed areas by far are cases where manholes have been left exposed and workers or members of the public have had the misfortune to trip and fall in, causing personal injury. Depending on the depth of the manhole, injuries sustained might range from mild bruising and grazing to broken bones, fractures, and even, in the worst cases, death. All of these complications can be avoided with the simplest of common sense health and safety precautions.
These would begin with simply making individuals aware of the risks they might face. In the case of employers, this would require that a thorough risk assessment be conducted of the working premises in order to accurately inform employees of the risks they face in day to day labour, which would, of course, include those exposed areas where falling is a risk. Appropriate PPE should also be provided to employees to protect them in the event of a fall, which would start with basics like a safety helmet to protect the skull, and might extend to appropriate rescue equipment. Further measures would include the installation of guard rails on which to hold while stood over manholes.
Where a manhole (or any hole in the ground) is exposed to the public, signs should be placed nearby warning of the risk, and the areas fenced off to avoid the possibility of an accidental fall. If work is not being performed in the manhole, it is the responsibility of whoever is organising work in that area to ensure that the hole in the ground has a cover. This is the case for any openings to exposed areas, as members of the public should not be held accountable for potential falls they may be exposed to due to negligent working practices.
Other cases of more employer-specific exposed areas claims include incidents concerning excavations like those commonly found on building sites, which may vary in scale and depth yet always pose a great risk of personal injury. Once again, the risks inherent with excavations must be explained clearly to employees by their employers. When falls into excavations occur, employees do not only face the risk of grave injury linked to falls from height or landing on equipment which may have pointed edges. In some cases, individuals have even been known to drown in deep excavations, where water tends to gather.
Employers have a responsibility to reduce the risk of worker injury wherever possible concerning the use of excavations, and are legally held liable when preventable injury occurs under their employment. The measures they are legally required to take may include:
- shoring or battering excavation zones to prevent accidental collapse of the sides,
- providing guard rails/toe boards or similar where it is possible to fall 2 m or more,
- installing barriers such as chestnut paling or similar may suffice where the excavation is shallower, preferably placed at least 1 m away from the edge of the excavation, though securely fixed marked covers may also be utilised.
- protecting openings, shafts etc from approaching traffic.
- planning and controlling the work so that back-filling may occur as soon as possible, minimising the length of time an exposed area can pose risks.
- where possible, abstaining from leaving the excavation open overnight
Where these duties are neglected and personal injury is caused as a result, a successful claim for compensation can usually be built.
How Do I Know If I Have A Falling Down Exposed Areas Claim?
Claims may be made in cases where it can be proved that an employer’s negligence of health and safety principles has resulted in avoidable injury to someone under their liability. There is ample literature in place which outlines their responsibilities to that end.
According to the law, employers must provide suitable training and equipment to keep their employees safe whilst working to minimise all risks as much as is humanly possible. In the past, it has been difficult to prove cases such as this one way or the other, but in modern times, the volume of protective legislation put into place is staggering, and may give an employee insight into their rights. Notable literature includes the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 as well as British and European standards, which all clearly outline and define an employer’s responsibilities to you. If employer negligence can be proven against these guidelines and you have suffered complications as a result, you will be eligible to make a slip at work compensation claim. The same applies if you are a member of the public who has sustained injury as a result of an employer’s negligent working practices – under public liability, they would be required to pay damages in cases of this type.
Our Falling Down Exposed Areas Claims Experience
At Asons Solicitors, we understand how injuries sustained as a result of a fall can be painful, traumatic, frustrating, and even, in some cases, debilitating. From bruises and bumps to bone breakages and fractures, more serious circumstances have even seen individuals can fall onto dangerous tools and equipment or into harmful substances with devastating consequences. Whatever the injury, it is likely that time off will be needed to recover which can result in a substantial loss of income. Victims may also suffer negative psychological symptoms from being let down by a trusted employer and may even wrongly blame themselves for a fall of this type, causing stress and other adverse effects. A successful falling down exposed areas compensation claim can help mitigate that loss of earnings, whilst paying towards medical treatment to ensure a full and healthy recover.
To maximise your chances of making a successful compensation claim, you should speak to Asons Solicitors today. We can act on your behalf to collate the required records and evidence to substantiate your claim – whilst providing expert support and advice every step of the way.
We deal with slips and trip claims every day, so we understand how hard it can be for sufferers to take this important and decisive step. The law protects those who come forward to claim compensation, so it is imperative that you do not fear for your job security when electing to make a claim. If an employer has been negligent in their duty to provide a safe working environment for you, or if their work has caused you injury as a member of the public and you have suffered as a result, compensation is the lawful way for them to make amends.
We understand that being the victim of a fall can be stressful, and that the resulting time off work and loss of income can be frustrating. No one knows this better than our expert personal injury solicitors. By speaking to us, you will be guaranteed to receive the utmost care and attention whilst we deal with your slip compensation claim.
Falls At Work Support
Our comprehensive guide to the problem of accidents sustained at work, called Workplace Accidents – The Occupational Hazard, details all types of common claims from falls to electric shocks to hearing loss, alongside remarkable statistics on their occurrence.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) provides plenty of helpful information for both employers and victims of slipping and tripping accidents. It provides brochures and printed material for use around the work place as well as guides and checklists for ensuring employee safety. It also includes directions to other support groups that deal with specific injuries so you may find added support and information there. Shattered Lives is a foundation set up to help victims deal with workplace incidents which cause them debilitating injury.