Workplace accidents involving falls from height are regrettably frequent. In 2008/09 there were 35 fatalities, 4,654 major injuries, and a further 7,065 injuries where the injured person had to take three or more days off work due to a fall from height.
In a recent case, a fitter who fell more than 15 feet from a ladder won compensation of more than £24,000.
The man was working with colleagues securing covers to the top of a large tank. He was trying to line up one of the covers so that it could be bolted in place. In order to do so, it was necessary for him to exert pressure on the cover. This caused the ladder to slip and he fell to the ground.
He suffered a spinal fracture and soft tissue injuries to his legs, back and hips. After the accident, he took time off work to recover, but the severity of his injuries meant that he was unable to return to his job and was forced to find work of a less physical nature.
The accident also had an effect on the man’s life outside work. He used to enjoy walking and visiting places of historical interest, but this is no longer possible as he has been left with permanently restricted movement. He is also unable to enjoy his hobbies of DIY and gardening without assistance.
A personal injury claim was brought on the ground that the man’s employer had not taken adequate steps to provide him with a safe system of work. The company admitted liability for the accident and the compensation settlement was agreed.