Falls From Height

Falling from a height is one of the most common types of work accident, with low-level ladder accidents alone causing an average of 13 deaths per year. However, there are in fact stringent regulations employers must follow to prevent falls from height occurring. This article explore what these regulations involve, and what you can do if you have been injured in a fall from height at work.

Work at Height Regulations 2005

The procedure for working at height is laid out in the Work at Height Regulations 2005, which came into force on 6 April 2005. The legislation places a legal duty upon employers and those who control the work of others (such as a facilities manager) to ensure:-

  • Work at height is thoroughly planned and organised;
  • Competent individuals are employed to work at height;
  • The risks of working at height are assessed;
  • Reasonable measures are implemented to reduce the risks;
  • Fragile surfaces are properly controlled;
  • The necessary equipment for work at height is provided;
  • The equipment is safe and regularly inspected.

The regulations also include a step-by-step process for selecting the appropriate equipment for work at height. This goes as follows:-

1. If possible, avoid work at height;

2. If work at height cannot be avoided, use work equipment and other measures to prevent falls. This is known as collective fall prevention and can include tools such as guard rails and working platforms;

3. If the risk of a fall from height cannot be entirely prevented, use equipment or measures to reduce distance and severity of fall, should one occur. This is known as collective fall arrest and can include tools such as airbags and nets.

Employee Injury

Therefore employers have a legal responsibility to protect their employees while at work. If it is necessary for staff to work at height, employers must take reasonably practicable steps (as outlined above) to prevent a fall from occurring. Whether an employee is working at 10 feet or 40 feet, these regulations must be strictly obeyed.

If an employer fails to comply with the regulations, employees will be put in danger of suffering a serious injury. This can be anything from broken bones to head, brain and spinal damage. Putting an employee at such risk is unacceptable in the eyes of the law.

But what happens if an employer neglects work at height regulations and a member of staff suffers an accident? The simple answer is that if an employer has breached their duty of care, an employee will be able to make a work accident claim. This will allow the injured victim to claim compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of expenses he/she has experienced because of the fall.

Work Accident Solicitors – call today

If you have fallen from a height at work which was a direct result of your employer’s negligence, you need to speak to a work accident solicitor without delay. We will be able to listen to the details of your case before using our legal expertise to suggest what action you should take next.

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