All jobs entail a degree of risk, however minor this may be. Individuals who operate at height are often in particular danger. After all, what would be relatively minor incidents if they happened at ground level can turn into life-threatening events when they occur high up.
If people suffer injuries due to accidents while working at height that they believe were not their fault, they may be entitled to personal injury compensation. To see whether they have a case, they can get in touch with specialist law firms. In order to achieve the best results, it is important that individuals select legal representatives with the necessary skill and experience. This makes the process smoother and it boosts people’s chance of getting the compensation payments they are after.
One man who knows exactly how distressing falls from height can be is Geoffrey Burt. In January last year, he was helping to pull up a floor at premises in Coxide when he tumbled 2.3 meters down a void. He sustained fractures to his ribs, shoulder blade and spine, as well as severe cuts to his head.
A subsequent investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the worker had been told to examine rot on the floor of a small, disused industrial building beneath layers of vinyl and carpet. This had revealed a drop of 2.3 meters between the concrete plinths that had been covered over to create the floor.
The next day, Mr Burt was asked to help remove the floor. As he was kneeling to do this, his free hand slipped on wet vinyl and he plummeted head first into the space below. Despite his injuries, the 59-year-old had to walk around seven meters inside the void to attract the attention of another worker.
The HSE found that while the company involved had taken some measures to prevent people approaching the void, it had failed to take any steps to protect workers from falls. In addition, there was no evidence of a written risk assessment or method of working for the removal of the floor.
During a recent hearing at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court, the firm pleaded guilty to health and safety failings and was handed a fine of £10,000. It was also ordered to pay costs of £5,000.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Annette Walker said: “Mr Burt’s injuries have caused him a great deal of distress and pain and could easily have been avoided if his employer had simply provided a board to cover-up the hole.
“This incident was entirely foreseeable and highlights the need for employers to take their responsibilities for the safety of their workforce seriously, especially when there are known risks. The company should have ensured there were adequate safety measures to guard against falls and that their employees had suitable instructions and equipment for the work and were properly supervised.”
People who feel they may have been the victim of workplace accidents that were not their fault can now head online to pursue their personal injury compensation claims.
About the Author – Anna Longdin is a freelance blogger who contributes regularly to a wide range of personal injury sites, including What’s My Claim Worth.