Fallen off a ladder and making a personal injury claim – here’s how
Using ladders at work can be hazardous if proper precautions are not taken. Ladder-related accidents are a common cause of workplace injuries. In the UK, falls from ladders account for almost a third of all injuries and cost the UK economy £60 million every year.
In the USA, in 2020, there were 161 fatal work injuries from which ladders were the primary source. There were 105 deaths specifically from movable ladders in 2020 and 5 deaths from fixed ladders.
What are the most common mistakes when using ladders at work?
To mitigate these dangers, employers should provide proper training on ladder safety, conduct regular inspections of ladders, ensure employees use the right ladder for the job, and establish a culture of safety in the workplace. It's essential for workers to be aware of the risks and to follow safety guidelines diligently when using ladders to prevent accidents and injuries.
What rules should apply when using ladders at work?
Laws and regulations related to the use of ladders at work in Northern Ireland primarily fall under the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 and its associated regulations. Here are some key aspects of ladder use in Northern Ireland:
How can falls from ladders at work be prevented?
Preventing falls from ladders while at work is essential to ensuring workplace safety. Here are several key steps and safety measures you can take to help prevent falls from ladders:
By following these safety measures and promoting a culture of safety in the workplace, you can significantly reduce the risk of falls from ladders while at work, ultimately protecting the health and well-being of employees.
What are my employer’s legal responsibilities at work?
All employers have a duty of care to their employees to ensure that that they have a safe working environment. If employees are exposed to potential risks to their safety at work, then the employer must ensure that they take whatever steps are necessary to remove them from such dangers (for example by supplying personal protective equipment). Employers are expected to carry out risk assessments to determine how great the dangers are and what steps can be taken to lessen or prevent same.
If employers fail to recognise the risks employees face or fail to take steps to prevent employees being harmed, then employees will have a claim for compensation against such employers.
If an employee commits a wrongful act or causes harm to another person while carrying out their job duties or acting on behalf of their employer, the employer may be held legally liable for the employee's actions, even if the employer did not directly participate in or endorse the wrongful conduct. For instance, if an employee negligently did not foot a ladder properly and the employee on the ladder fell from it, then the employer will be held liable to compensate the injured employee. This is called vicarious liability.
How long do I have to take a claim for personal injury in Northern Ireland?
In Northern Ireland, the limitation period for personal injury claims is typically three years from the date of the accident or the date when the injury occurred. This means that you generally have three years from the incident's date to issue proceedings in a personal injury claim.
However, there are some exceptions and nuances to consider:
Date of Knowledge: In cases where the injury or its cause was not immediately apparent at the time of the accident, the limitation period may start from the date when you first became aware of your injury and its connection to the accident. This is known as the "date of knowledge."
Under age of 18: if an injured party is a minor (under 18 years old) at the time of the accident, the three-year limitation period typically begins on their 18th birthday. So, they have until their 21st birthday to file a claim.
Mental Capacity: If the injured party lacked the mental capacity to make legal decisions at the time of the accident, the limitation period may not start until they regain capacity.
Death Claims: In cases where a personal injury results in death, the limitation period for the deceased's estate to make a claim is typically three years from the date of death.
Extension of Time: In exceptional circumstances, the court may have the discretion to extend the limitation period, but such extensions are not common and are granted sparingly.
It's crucial to consult with a solicitor as soon as possible after an accident. They can provide you with accurate advice on the limitation period that applies to your specific case and help you take the necessary steps to pursue a claim if it is within the statutory time frame. Waiting too long to file a claim can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Do not delay in seeking legal advice.
What steps should I take if I fall from a ladder at work?
If you have fallen from a ladder, it's important to take the following steps to ensure your well-being, report the incident, and protect your rights:
Seek Immediate Medical Attention (if necessary):
If you are injured and require medical attention, prioritize your health and safety. Get medical assistance as soon as possible, either by calling 999 (or 111) for emergencies or by seeking treatment from a designated first-aid provider or medical professional on the worksite.
Report the Accident to Your Supervisor/Employer:
Notify your immediate supervisor, manager, or employer about the accident as soon as possible, even if your injuries seem minor. Provide details of the accident, where it occurred, and any witnesses. Ensure that the incident is documented.
Document the Incident:
Write down your account of the accident, including the date, time, location, circumstances, and any contributing factors. Include descriptions of injuries sustained and any safety hazards that may have played a role.
Gather Witness Statements:
If there were any witnesses to the accident, ask them to provide statements about what they saw. Witness statements can be valuable in determining liability and supporting your claim.
If it's safe to do so and if you have access to a camera or smartphone, take photographs of the accident scene, any hazards, and your injuries. Visual evidence can be important if you need to prove the conditions at the time of the incident.
Request an Accident Report:
Your employer may have a standard accident report form that you should complete. Ensure that this report is filled out accurately and thoroughly. Keep a copy for your records.
Consult with a solicitor:
If you have been injured, consult with a solicitor to understand your legal rights and any potential claim.
How is my compensation assessed?
We divide compensation into a number of headings:
Will my case go to Court?
Few cases go to a full court hearing. Most cases are dealt with or settled by us without the necessity of a full hearing.
Why should you instruct the Kearney Law Group?
We, at the Kearney Law Group, are ready to assist you and have the knowledge and expertise you need to make a successful claim for compensation. We have an expert team ready to deal with your claim for personal injury arising from your fall from a ladder. We will ensure you recover compensation for your injuries and loss, swiftly and professionally.
We only do personal injury law and are experts at it.
The content of this blog is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice. No solicitor/client relationship or duty of care or liability of any nature shall exist or arise between the Kearney Law Group and you and we refer you to our disclaimer on our website.
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