Slips and trips at work are extremely common, and at Express Solicitors we handle a large number of cases involving this type of accident. Injuries sustained from slips and trips in the workplace usually include; back pain, sciatica, fractured ankles/knees, broken arms and wrists, brakes to tibia and fibula, and bruising.
Likely causes of workplace Slips & Trips are:
- Loose wires
- Slippery wet floors and surfaces – with no warning sign
- Stairs with no grip strip or handrail
- Slips on ice
- Access to staircases that should be off limits (i.e through a door that should be locked)
- Stairs that are narrow and steep
- Oil on the floor
- Uneven ground/flooring
- Inadequate lighting
- Ice/snow in areas that should have been cleared
- Trips on rubbish left on the floor (i.e. wrapping/card board boxes)
- Falls over rubbish/objects near fire exits that should always remain clear
- Trips over objects that are protruding into the walkway
- Trip into holes/ pits where there is no safety rail
- Slips on ramps
An action against an employer may be brought on the basis of common law negligence and/or a breach of a statutory duty.
The relationship between an employee and employer is closely regulated by statute.
The employer may also be vicariously liable for his employees’ torts if committed in the course of their employment. (For example, if your colleague leaves boxes out where they shouldn’t have, then it is your employer that would be liable for their actions).
In relation to slips and trips the relevant regulations generally would be:
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
- The Provision and use of work equipment Regulations 1998
It is important to remember that it is your employer’s insurance that pays out – not your employer.
Most employers are required by the law to insure against liability, for injury or disease to their employees arising out of their employment.
Employer’s liability insurance covers the cost of compensation along with any legal fees.
An employer has a duty to take reasonable care of his employees’ health and safety in the course of their employment, and it is accepted that this includes the provision of safe premises.
Slipping and tripping cases are frequent causes of negligence claims at work, as shown by the amount of advice and preventative information available to employers from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
The employer must act reasonably to ensure that floors and means of access are reasonably safe. If they fail to do so and you suffer as a result, you will be entitled to compensation.