Falling At Work

Low level falls can be just as dangerous for workers

A recent case where a worker was injured falling from just 10 feet has highlighted the dangers of low level falls. Most people assume that falling from above five metres will result in serious injury, but it is often assumed that falling from a lower level will not result in anything other than a few bumps and bruises. But this recent case, where a worker suffered head and rib injuries falling from a racking storage unit he was assembling, has brought home the truth of the matter – even a low level fall can cause serious injury.

The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of over £7,500 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The court was told that there was no edge protection to prevent a fall and consequently the man suffered broken ribs and head injuries.

It drives home the fact that companies cannot afford to be complacent about ‘quick jobs’ at any height. Whenever any worker is required to work at height, employers need to be aware that there must be adequate protection around the edges of raised areas to warn of the dangers and prevent falls. It is something that is easily implemented and could easily save both money and lives. Falls from height still constitute the biggest number of injuries at work every year, particularly in the building trade. And while employers are very aware of the risks involved when working at heights above five metres, lower level working is often regarded as ‘not that much of a risk’. This is completely the wrong attitude to adopt, as any fall, even from a low level carries the risk of injury or even death.

The HSE have made it very clear that they will not accept any excuses for injuries sustained from falls from any height. Employers have a duty of care and a responsibility to protect workers in every aspect of their working environment, whether that’s 30 feet up a ladder or 10 feet on a racking storage unit. The truth is that any fall can lead to an injury and if there hasn’t been adequate safeguards installed by the employer, they are leaving themselves wide open to an injury at work claim for compensation. There is always a risk working at any height, but safety measures to minimise the risk should always be employed, no matter how ‘silly’ it may seem. Although working at 10 feet probably won’t require the use of a harness, for example, it certainly requires that the employer protect the worker’s health and safety by ensuring that there are adequate edge guards in place to prevent a fall.

The human body doesn’t take impacts very well. It is easy to cause serious damage from a low level fall, and the HSE is concentrating on making employers and employees aware of the risks. On average, 13 people die every year as a result of falling from a ladder, and nearly 1,200 are seriously injured. And that’s just from ladders – what could be considered as ‘low level’ falls. It’s up to employers to ensure that number is reduced through the implementation of fundamental and very basic safety measures. Those who suffer as a result of any lapses in that duty of care are fully justified in pursuing a compensation claim for injuries sustained with the full force of the law.

The Work Accident Solicitors – fall injury compensation claim experts

If you have sustained injuries in a fall accident at work which was not your fault, it is only fair that you are compensated. The Work Accident Solicitors can help you recover compensation for the pain, suffering and financial loss that you’ve experienced.

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