Our experience helping injured workers
We have assisted employed, self-employed and contract workers injured working in all areas of the construction industry, including:
- Building Construction - general construction of buildings, including new work, repair, additions and alterations;
- Civil Engineering - general construction for civil engineering works, including road and railway construction, and utility projects;
- Trades - including electricians, plumbers, joiners, plasterers, painters, bricklayers and glazers.
Common causes of injury and illness
HSE data suggests that more than half of injuries in the construction industry result from slips, trips and falls.
Lifting and handling is the second most common risk factor and a significant cause of non-fatal injury
Being struck by a moving vehicle accounts for around 10% of fatal and 2% of non-fatal injuries, and 5% of construction injuries are from machinery or tools.
Claims for back and neck injuries, head injuries, fractures, dislocations, amputations and burns, are very common.
How common are occupational disease?
Respiratory problems resulting from frequent exposure to dust from stone, cement, bricks and concrete are common.
Building site workers also run the risk of exposure to cancer-causing material like asbestos and silica.
Other conditions that may affect construction workers include tinnitus, occupational deafness, hand-arm vibration (HAVS), vibration white finger (VWF) and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
What should I do after an injury on a building site?
Seeing a doctor
Even if you feel your injury is minor, you should get medical attention as soon as possible after your accident. Seeking professional medical advice will make sure that your injuries are fully recorded. Any problems can be addressed at the earliest point.
Find out more: Key things you need to do when getting medical help for a work injury
Keep a record of your accident and injuries
A record of your accident will help you to:
- Claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and benefits
- Make an injury compensation claim
Even if you don’t plan to claim anything right now, it is a very good idea to make a record while you still clearly remember what happened.
Find out more: Gathering evidence after a work injury - checklist
Reporting a building site accident
Whether you are an employee, contractor or site visitor, the way you report the accident will usually be the same. You should tell the construction site manager or safety representative about the accident as soon as possible. If you are unable to report the accident, someone else can do it for you.
Can I claim injury compensation for a building site accident?
As a basic rule, If you were injured in the last 3 years and someone else was to blame, you may be able to claim financial compensation for a building site injury.
Common reasons for a claim
You can make a building site injury claim if your accident happened for reasons like:
- You were told to do something that you have not been trained for
- Another worker, contractor or site visitor did something dangerous
- You were not given suitable PPE
- You were injured by poor-quality or broken equipment
Financial assistance if you are unable to work
After an accident on a construction site, you may be able to claim for SSP and other benefits if your injuries mean you are not able to work. You may also be able to make a work accident compensation claim.
Find out more: What financial support is available after a work injury?
Will my employment status affect my right to claim?
Whether you are employed, self-employed, on a zero-hours contract or employed through an agency, a claim should still be possible. There are however a number of things you need to be aware of.
Read more about claiming if you are:
How much compensation can I claim?
Compensation is calculated by adding Special and General damages together and deducting any success fees you may have agreed with your solicitor.
Calculating special damages is straightforward. Any losses or expenses you incur as a result of the accident are simply added up.
General damages compensation for work injuries is more complicated, especially if you have multiple injuries. is calculated with reference to a published guide used by lawyers. The guide is called the ‘Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College’.
The guide is not consumer-friendly and is hard to navigate.
Our calculator gives a good idea of how much compensation you could expect to receive.
Making a No Win, No Fee claim
To make a claim for an accident on a building site, you will need to appoint a solicitor.
Work injury claims in the UK are usually made on a No Win, No Fee basis as Legal Aid is no longer available for accident claims (except in exceptional circumstances).
Your solicitor will ask you to sign a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA)’ which is the legal term for ‘No Win, No Fee’. The CFA will set out the terms and conditions of the agreement, what your solicitor will do for you and what success fees they will receive if you win. Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, a solicitor will receive a success fee of up to 25% of a claimant's compensation.
Read more about: Making a No Win, No Fee work accident claim
Our work injury advisors will:
- Offer free, impartial advice
- Explain how No Win, No Fee works
- Recommend the right solicitor
Understanding the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015
Although recent years have seen a reduction in the number and rate of injuries to construction workers, serious ill-health issues continue to affect workers in the construction sector. The law recognises the need to protect workers in the construction industry, and their right to claim compensation for a construction-related accident.
To help improve health and safety in the construction industry, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) were introduced on 6 April 2015, replacing the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.
The term 'construction industry' covers a wide range of occupations, some more hazardous than others.
Whatever the worker’s role within the industry the regulations set out working practices to ensure that any risks of workplace accidents are managed from start to finish.
- Sensibly planning the work required to minimise risks
- Ensuring the right people are available for the right job at the time they are needed
- Co-operating and co-ordinating work with others
- Having the correct information about any risks and how the risks are to be managed
- Making sure information about the risks is effectively communicated to all who need to know
- Consulting and engaging with workers about the risks and how those risks are being managed
How are the CDM regulations set out?
The CDM Regulations 2015 consists of five parts.
The first part deals with the legal aspects of the regulations - the law that applies to the whole construction process on every project from start to finish – and what each duty holder must do to comply with the law to ensure projects are carried out in a way that secures health and safety.
Part 2 explains the duties of construction project clients, whether they are commercial or domestic clients – although under the regulations the duties for domestic clients usually pass to other stakeholders.
The health and safety duties and roles of other duty holders are covered in part 3. Other duty holders include:
- Principal contractors
- Principal designers
Part 4 contains general requirements for all construction sites.
Part 5 contains transitional arrangements and revocations.
What is the role for each duty holder in managing health and safety?
The commercial client is defined as one who has construction work carried out as a part of his business. The work could be as diverse as a manufacturing company having additional premises; a service company having new offices built; or a school having a new roof.
Commercial clients include property developers, housebuilding management companies, individuals and partners in a company.
The client’s main duty is to make sure his project is suitably managed to ensure the health and safety of anyone who might be affected by the work - including the public.
The contractor is the one in charge of carrying out the construction work, whether building, demolition, maintenance or alteration work. The contractor may be an individual or a business.
The contractor’s main duty is to ensure the health and safety of anyone who may be affected by the construction work by planning, managing and monitoring the work. The duty includes the safety of the public as well the workers people directly employed or subcontracted by the contractor.
Where projects involve more than one contractor a principal contractor is appointed to co-ordinate the management of health and safety during construction work.
Designers are individuals and organisations who draft and modify drawings, designs and specifications for construction projects - such as architects, engineers and draughtsmen. Other duty holders include quantity surveyors and those responsible for creating bills of quantity or design calculations.
A designer’s duties are to assess any risks that may arise either through the construction work or through the use and maintenance of the building after the work’s completion, and to eliminate, reduce or mange those risks.
On projects with more than one contractor a principal designer may be appointed by the client to co-ordinate, plan, manage and monitor health and safety during the pre-construction phase - when most of the design work is carried out.
What about the individual construction workers’ responsibility?
If you are a worker on a construction site you also have a duty to ensure your own health and safety and that of your co-workers.
Workers include individual tradesmen such as plumbers, bricklayers, electricians, decorators and scaffolders as well as their supervisors, chargehands and foremen.
Whether you are building, altering, maintaining or demolishing buildings or structures you should always co-operate with your employer and the other duty holders involved in the project.
If you notice anything that could affect your health and safety, that of others, including the public, you should report it to any of the duty holders.
You must also be regularly informed of any matters that may affect your welfare, health and safety.