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Working at Height

Your guide to injuries sustained while working at height

Your Legal Friend client Mr Dowse

They acted in a sympathetic and professional manner and resolved my case very efficiently.

Mr Dowse
Leeds

Working at height injuries explained

If your job involves working at height, you are at most risk of suffering a serious or fatal injury. A fall when working at height is still one of the main causes of major injuries and fatality in the workplace. Every year, falls from height cause 29% of fatal injuries, around 80 major injuries and over 230 absences over 3 days long. The most common falls from height are:

  • From a ladder
  • From vehicles
  • From machinery, plant or scaffolding
  • Through a fragile roof

In many cases accidents are entirely preventable if the work to be carried out is:

  • Properly assessed, planned and supervised
  • Employees are provided with full training
  • Employees are adequately protected

You can still be at risk if you work in a building such as a multi-storey warehouse or storage depot, where guardrails are loose or missing. Maintenance often requires climbing on top of large machinery to gain access or working in awkward spaces. Wherever you are required to work at height, your employer – or “any person who controls the work of others” - has a responsibility to protect you from the risk of a fall.

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Our expert team will call you...

Alison Saul, Director of Personal Injury leads our Personal Injury and Road Accident teams. A fully qualified solicitor with over 15 years of experience and expertise, Alison is dedicated to achieving the highest levels of compensation for her clients as well as ensuring high quality client care.

Working at height compensation team

Alison is assisted by her team managers, Philip Waters Lee Quinn, Jenna Hargreaves, and Kathryn Langton. Philip, Lee, and Jenna lead legal teams focussing on Road Traffic Accident cases while Kathyrn leads our Personal Injury team. Together they have a wealth of experience in personal injury compensation.

Philip, a qualified solicitor, has over 18 years’ experience in personal injury compensation. Having previously worked for a large insurance company, he has extensive insights in how to engage effectively with insurers to achieve the level of compensation our clients deserve. Philip deals with cases of high value, complex cases, and recently secured £1.6 million in compensation for one of his clients who suffered catastrophic injuries in a road accident.

Lee has over 15 years’ specialist experience in Personal Injury claims and also manages a wide variety of high value, complex cases. Lee has extensive experience of working with insurance companies, acting for both claimants and defendants, and so understands how to secure the highest levels of compensation for the victims of road traffic accidents.

Jenna is a qualified solicitor and has studied to become a barrister. Jenna leads the internal reviews of our case management processes to ensure excellent, efficient case handling and high levels of client satisfaction.

Kathryn, also a qualified solicitor, specialises in accidents at work, public liability and accidents abroad. Kathryn deals with a wide variety of cases, often including accidents that involve serious, complex injuries.

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Request a callback that suits you

When would you like us to call?

There are many people injured in accidents each year through no fault of their own and the circumstances will be different in each instance. Our team has extensive experience of successfully managing a wide range of personal injury claims, so we can help you secure the maximum compensation you deserve.

Alison Saul

Director of Personal Injury

What our customers say

Mrs. Vora's portrait

“I found the staff to be friendly, helpful, courteous and they kept me well informed on a regular basis”

Mrs. Vora,
Loughborough

A photo of Mr Dowse

“They acted in a sympathetic and professional manner and resolved my case very efficiently”

Mr Dowse
Leeds

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

10 simple steps to claim

Step
1
Obtaining a full description of your accident
Step
2
Obtaining your medical records
Step
3
Contacting the company responsible for your accident
Step
4
Arranging your medical assessment
Step
5
Collating details of your financial loss
Step
86
Negotiating the maximum settlement possibleProviding you with our valuation of your losses
Step
7
Sending your valuation to the other party's insurer
Step
68
Providing you with our valuation of your lossesNegotiating the maximum settlement possible
Step
9
Issuing Court proceedings
Step
10
Sending you your compensation payment

Your questions... answered

What are the typical causes of accidents when working at height?

Using a stepladder

  • When not appropriate for the task
  • In an unsafe manner (you need to maintain three points of contact at the working position) 
  • Not ensuring that the ladder is properly footed (secured on the ground and capable of carrying the maximum intended load without settling or displacement)
  • Placed at a too steep or too shallow angle
  • Unsafe for the purpose – rungs/safety locking are broken or missing

Using a tower scaffold  

  • That has not been erected properly

Failing to fit toe boards, edge protection, and guardrails along the edge of platforms when a scaffold is erected

The most serious or fatal injuries frequently involve falling

  • From temporary walkways
  • Through skylights
  • Through hidden or unguarded cracks, gaps or holes in a roof
  • From scaffolding, ladders or a moving platform
  • Over roof edges
  • From machinery

Fragile roofs and skylights are two of the most common risks faced when working at height on roof repairs, renovations or cleaning. Potential problem areas are:

  • Fragile roof lights
  • Liner panels (horizontal support struts) on built-up sheeted roofs
  • Non-reinforced, fibre cement sheets
  • Corroded metal sheets
  • Glass (including wired glass)
  • Rotted chipboard
  • Loose slates and tiles
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What industries are workers are more at risk of falls when working from height?

These include:

  • Roofing / roofing repairs
  • Roofing insulation
  • Commercial cleaning
  • Building / construction / engineering
  • TV aerial / dish installation

I was injured when working at height – do I have a claim?

The Work at Height Regulations 2005/07 are intended to protect everyone who has to work at height whether you are in a harness hundreds of feet above the ground or standing on a chair in an office changing a light bulb. If your normal work does not involve working at height but a task looks like you need to do so, your employer should assess the risks and think about how the task can be carried out safely without the need to work at height.

Your employer has a duty of care to ensure you are protected from harm when working at height. A failure to carry out thorough safety checks, risk assessments or training often results in a fatal or serious, life changing accident that can leave a victim permanently disabled.

Read less

Using a stepladder

  • When not appropriate for the task
  • In an unsafe manner (you need to maintain three points of contact at the working position) 
  • Not ensuring that the ladder is properly footed (secured on the ground and capable of carrying the maximum intended load without settling or displacement)
  • Placed at a too steep or too shallow angle
  • Unsafe for the purpose – rungs/safety locking are broken or missing

Using a tower scaffold  

  • That has not been erected properly

Failing to fit toe boards, edge protection, and guardrails along the edge of platforms when a scaffold is erected

The most serious or fatal injuries frequently involve falling

  • From temporary walkways
  • Through skylights
  • Through hidden or unguarded cracks, gaps or holes in a roof
  • From scaffolding, ladders or a moving platform
  • Over roof edges
  • From machinery

Fragile roofs and skylights are two of the most common risks faced when working at height on roof repairs, renovations or cleaning. Potential problem areas are:

  • Fragile roof lights
  • Liner panels (horizontal support struts) on built-up sheeted roofs
  • Non-reinforced, fibre cement sheets
  • Corroded metal sheets
  • Glass (including wired glass)
  • Rotted chipboard
  • Loose slates and tiles
Read less

These include:

  • Roofing / roofing repairs
  • Roofing insulation
  • Commercial cleaning
  • Building / construction / engineering
  • TV aerial / dish installation

The Work at Height Regulations 2005/07 are intended to protect everyone who has to work at height whether you are in a harness hundreds of feet above the ground or standing on a chair in an office changing a light bulb. If your normal work does not involve working at height but a task looks like you need to do so, your employer should assess the risks and think about how the task can be carried out safely without the need to work at height.

Your employer has a duty of care to ensure you are protected from harm when working at height. A failure to carry out thorough safety checks, risk assessments or training often results in a fatal or serious, life changing accident that can leave a victim permanently disabled.

Read less