How common are falls in the workplace?
According to the HSE, falls from height at work accounted for 8% of non-fatal injuries to employees in 2019. Around 50 people are killed each year in a fall from height.
The most common fall from height accidents at work involve:
- Ladders - overreaching, faulty ladder mechanisms, lack of anti-slip feet and stabilising devices, improper use (e.g. on an uneven or sloping surface), lack of training etc.
- Scaffolding - where coupling joints have not been tightened of fitted properly, use om adverse weather conditions, slippery surfaces, climbing whilst carry in tools or loads instead of using a hoist, unchecked wheels on a rolling scaffold, accidents during erection
- Vehicles and, machines - e.g. when entering or exiting high vehicles such as tractors, combines, cherry pickers, cranes and HGV's
- Missing safety barriers or guards - where no safety barrier exists to protect employees from a drop
What to do if you have suffered a fall at work
Make a doctor’s appointment
Seeking medical attention, even for seemingly minor injuries, should be your first priority.
Even if you don't think you have hit your head in the fall, the effects of a head injury can make it difficult to remember details of your accident. It is possible you sustained a head injury even if you don't remember it happening, and it is possible to suffer serious concussion even if you didn't hit your head very hard. It is extremely important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible under these circumstances.
Some of your injuries may have healed by the time you consider making a compensation claim. Without doctor’s notes, this can make it more difficult to prove (or remember accurately) how serious the injuries originally were.
Find out more: Key things you need to do when getting medical help for a work injury
Any compensation you receive will reflect the impact that your injuries have had on your life and work. It can be difficult to remember the full impact you felt at the time of your accident.
Having a written file to hand can make it easier for your solicitor to build a case and ensure you get the correct amount of compensation. Gather your notes, photographs of the incident, witness contact details and medical reports and keep them in a file.
Find out more: Gathering evidence after a work injury - checklist
Reporting a fall at work
Although employers are only required to report more serious accidents, reporting any accident or injury at work is best practice. It is important to report any fall, even if you weren't seriously injured. Your employer should record the details in the accident book and you should ask for a copy.
Can I claim injury compensation for a fall at work?
If you were injured in a fall at work, you have three years to start an injury compensation claim.
You can also usually claim under circumstances where your employer was not directly responsible, such as a fall caused by a negligent co-worker, or by a third party.
What support is available after a fall at work accident?
After a fall, you may be able to claim for SSP and other benefits if your injuries mean you are not able to work.
You may not be able to claim certain benefits if you are already receiving Jobseeker's Allowance or Universal Credit payments.
You may also be able to make a work accident compensation claim. If you are unable to cover the living costs of you and your dependents after the accident, you may be able to get an interim payment ahead of your compensation award.
What impact will my job status have on my fall accident claim?
Contractors, agency workers and employees on zero-hours contracts are all still entitled to claim compensation. How compensation is calculated, and who the claim is made against, however, may vary.
Find out more:
How much can I claim for a fall at work?
The compensation you can claim following a fall at work will depend on what injuries or illness you have suffered, and how serious those injuries are.
The final amount will also factor in:
- Pain, suffering and loss of amenity
- What impact the injury or illness has had on your life and ability to work
- Any financial losses or expenses that were caused by your injuries
The Work Accident Advice Centre online calculator sets out what you can claim for, and how much compensation you could claim.
How to make a No Win, No Fee claim
Work accident claims can almost always be made on a No Win, No Fee basis. No win, no fee means that if your claim is not successful, you will not have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.
When you formally instruct your solicitor, you sign a 'Conditional Fee Agreement', or 'CFA'. This CFA sets out the details of how No Win, No Fee works. The CFA also sets out what your solicitor will be paid if the claim is successful and you are awarded compensation. Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, a solicitor will receive a success fee of up to 25% of a claimant's compensation.
Our work injury advisors will:
- Offer free, impartial advice
- Explain how No Win, No Fee works
- Recommend the right solicitor