For some, slipping or tripping at work sounds like a trivial occurrence, but in reality a high proportion of such accidents involve serious injury.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, of the 609 000 injuries reported as part of the Labour Force Survey during 2016/2017, 175 000 resulted in work absences of over 7 days and 434 000 required up to 7 days absence. And what was the major accident type? Slips, trips and falls on the same level were responsible for 29% of all these injuries. Previously, the HSE has estimated that 95% of major slips result in broken bones.
Furthermore, falls and slips & trips, combined, are responsible for around a third (31%) of all workplace injuries in the UK reported to RIDDOR and account for six in ten specified injuries (60%) and almost three in ten (29%) over-seven-day injuries to employees under RIDDOR. Finally, HSE statistics reveal that slip and trip accidents are responsible for a significant proportion of the 30.7 million working days lost each year to workplace injury or ill-health – it is clear that this type of personal injury accidenr is no trivial matter.
These accidents often occur as a result of various acts of negligence such as:
Slip and trip accidents by profession
According to Health and Safety Executive statistics (2013/2014 figures) the following industries have the highest rates of non-fatal slip, trip and fall accidents (figures given are per 100,000 workers):
- Water supply, waste – 444.1
- Transport & storage – 328.4
- Construction – 170.2
- Agriculture – 163.3
- Manufacturing – 142.4
- Accommodation & food – 134.4
- Admin & support – 118.4
- Health & social care
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
There are responsibilities placed on employers to provide a safe working environment to their employees, including preventing slips and trips. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 provide that every floor in a workplace and every traffic route in a workplace must be of a construction which is suitable for the purpose for which it is used.
These Regulations apply to 'workplaces' - and this generally includes premises that are made available to any person as a place of work. There are some exclusions including ships, construction sites, some means of transport and domestic premises. Importantly, the floor or surface of traffic routes within the workplace must also not be uneven or slippery so as to expose a person to a risk of injury.
The Regulations also provide that, so far as is reasonably practicable, every floor in a workplace and the surface of every traffic route shall be kept free from obstructions and from any article or substance that may cause a person to slip, trip or fall.
Claiming against an employer
If you suffer injury in a slip, trip or fall accident at work in Scotland you have important protection underpinning and supporting your right to claim compensation.
Firstly, employers are not legally allowed to terminate your employment if you claim for a work accident. Secondly, all must have Employers Liability insurance in place to ensure that workers have recourse to compensation in the event of work accident injury.
Thirdly, such claims are not made directly against employers. Instead, the cost of compensation is shouldered by your employer’s liability insurer.
Claim compensation with Thompsons solicitors
If you have had an accident, even if you are unsure whether you would be able to claim compensation, contact our No Win No Fee lawyers today on 0800 0891331. We can investigate matters for you and advise you on your first step towards receiving compensation.