The health and safety implications of falls at work

What is termed a ‘same level’ fall (caused by a trip, slip or failure of balance) can be as catastrophic for the victim as a ‘fall from height’ and result in range of injuries that might incapacitate them for days, weeks or months, permanently disable or even kill them. The proportion of serious and fatal injuries caused by ‘falls from height’, are predictably, even higher than for same level falls but taken as a totality you are more likely to suffer a fall a work than almost any other mishap. Why is this?

The fact that the category of workplace accidents involving falls stubbornly retains its position near the top of the Health and Safety Executive’s list of most common workplace accidents is sad testimony to an on-going failing amongst some employers and businesses to consistently address the fundamentals of health and safety in an effective way. The blame for the continuing prevalence of workplace falls can usually be placed fair and squarely at the feet of employers who fail to grasp the importance of a health and safety aware workforce or embed a culture of employee safety at the heart of their businesses.

The steps it is necessary for a business to take in order to reduce the likelihood of falls occurring in the workplace are not onerous or extensive and spring naturally from underpinning health and safety processes such as risk assessment, the provision of appropriate equipment, the necessary maintenance of that equipment and an on-going commitment to staff training. A failure to undertake these steps on the part of the employer constitutes a major dereliction of their legal duty of care to their employees and places them in an acutely disadvantageous position when it comes to defending any personal injury claims from employees who have suffered a fall at work due to a health and safety failing.

Protecting employer and employees

Put simply, an effective health and safety regime protects both employer and employee; the potential fall hazards are identified and neutralised or minimised, employees are trained to identify and report those and other such hazards and to use their safety equipment and undertake safe working practices as a matter or course and their company sees a sharp reduction in claims for compensation for falls in the workplace made against them.

Contact our Work Injury Solicitors today

Time limits apply to Falls at Work Injury Claims – so it’s important to get the right legal advice early on.

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