Your rights after a slip and trip injury
Slips, trips and falls are a particularly common cause of injuries in the workplace. From lacerations and bruises to broken bones, head and back injuries, slips, trips and falls at work can have a significant impact on an injured employee's life and ability to work.
If you have been impacted by a slip or trip accident, we're here to help. If your injuries were the result of the negligence of your employer, a co-worker or a third party, you may have the right to seek compensation.
Slip and trip statistics
According to recent data, slips, trips and falls account for over a third of all reported major injuries in the workplace. The HSE Labour Force Survey estimates that around 50,000 people per year slip, trip or fall at work and need more than three days to recover. Around 17,000 workers are injured in a fall from a height.
Typical injuries also include complex fractures, sprains, dislocated joints, whiplash and concussion.
An injured worker may also suffer from psychological stress (PTSD) as a result of their accident. In some cases, this may lead to depression and other long-term emotional harm.
Causes of slips, trips and falls at work
Slips, trips and falls may be caused by equipment or objects left in unsuitable places, trailing wires, uneven flooring, spills, or other adverse environmental conditions. Poor maintenance practices, including dirty or wet floors that haven't been properly marked, or a haphazard cable management, are likely to cause accidents.
Hazards also exist when the correct PPE and other equipment(such as non-slip footwear or a suitably steady ladder) has not been provided, or where the employee has not received adequate training.
Most accidents are preventable if an employer adheres to the:
- Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
Under the regulations, an employer has a 'duty of care' to protect the 'health, safety and welfare' of their employees as far as is reasonably practicable. This legal duty extends to temporary, and self-employed workers, and anyone else on their premises such as clients, visitors and the general public.
Employers must carry out risk assessments to identify potential hazards and put in controls to reduce or eliminate them. Staff should then be trained to manage and minimise any residual risk.
The employer must ensure the premises are in good repair by securing floors and floor coverings, stairways and handrails, and sealing leaks to prevent slippery surfaces.
If leaks are unavoidable. anti-slip mats, anti-slip coatings or anti-slip footwear should be provided.
Equipment such as ladders should be checked by the employer, but also checked each time they are to be used by the person using them.
Although adverse weather cannot be prevented, employers should take measures to ensure that surfaces under their control - such as staff car parks and outdoor walkways - are free from ice and snow, by treating with salt or grit.
What to do if you have a slip, trip or fall at work
Get medical attention
Your health should be your primary concern. Anything else can be dealt with afterwards. Even if you are initially attended to by your company’s first aider, you should still visit your GP or A&E, as appropriate.
Make sure you keep a copy of the medical report as it may be vital evidence of your injury if you decide to make a compensation claim.
Write everything down
Even if you don’t plan on making a compensation claim, it is still a good idea to keep a record of what happened, including any company correspondence, an account of what happened in your own words and witness contact details. You should also take as many photos of the scene as possible.If you pursue a claim, a written account of events will make it easier for your solicitor to build a case.
Report your accident
Your company should record your injury in their accident book. The report should include details of the cause of the incident and your injury. The report may include witness statements.
The accident book report will also provide evidence if you decide to claim compensation in the future.
Am I eligible claim?
You may be eligible to make a slip, trip or fall claim if you were injured while at your place of work, or during the course of your employment.
A claim should be started within three years of your accident, although it will usually be easier to make a claim if you start sooner.
If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to claim financial support. Your options include:
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Work accident compensation
In some cases, you may also be entitled to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). ESA is available to workers who have made National Insurance contributions in the last two years and is also available if you are self-employed.
Will my employment status affect my eligibility to make a 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 will I get for a slip, trip or fall?
Injury compensation awards are calculated based on two factors:
- The injuries or illness you have suffered (called general damages)
- The financial costs you have incurred (called special damages)
Injury compensation is worked out with reference to the official Judicial College tables of guideline amounts. Your solicitor will arrange for an assessment of your injuries to determine which table values are applicable.
Our calculator uses the official guidelines to give you an idea of the compensation you could receive.
No win, no fee
Legal aid is not available when claiming compensation from an employer. Instead, a slip or trip accident compensation claim can be made through a solicitor under a No Win, No Fee agreement.
Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, you pay nothing upfront, and nothing at all if you don't win your claim.
If you do win, your solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation after you receive it. Solicitor's success fees are restricted to a maximum of 25% of your settlement or award but maybe less.
Compensation awards are, however, increased for claimants on a No Win, No Fee agreement in order to reduce the impact of the success fee.
Our work injury advisors will:
- Offer free, impartial advice
- Explain how No Win, No Fee works
- Recommend the right solicitor