Slipping or tripping is the single most common cause of major injury in UK workplaces. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that more than 10,000 workers suffered serious injury as a result of a slip or trip in the year 2009/2010. This figure excludes falls from height and falls down stairs.
In a recent case, a man who slipped on a patch of ice at work and injured his ankle won £64,500 in compensation from his employer.
The 49 year old man worked for a food distribution company at its warehouse premises. He was pulling a pallet truck in the cold area when the accident happened. Ice had formed where rainwater had dripped onto the concrete floor of one of the aisles and the man slipped and injured his ankle and heel.
The injury required surgery and then a long course of physiotherapy. During this time, the man also developed a cyst as a result of bruising to the cartilage surrounding his ankle bone.
A year and a half after the accident, he was still unable to walk more than a few hundred metres without suffering intense pain. Even three years after the accident, he was still experiencing pain every time he put his foot to the ground.
Eventually, the man’s employer accepted liability for the accident and agreed a settlement in compensation. This will cover the cost of a further operation that it is hoped will enable him to return to work.
Employers have a duty to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that every floor in a workplace and the surface of every traffic route in a workplace is kept free from obstructions and from any article or substance which may cause a person to slip, trip or fall.
If you have been injured after tripping or slipping because of the negligence of another person, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact us to discuss your claim.
The HSE has useful guidance on preventing slips and trips in the workplace. This can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg225.pdf.