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Putting The Spotlight On Unlit Walkways To Injury Compensation

17th December 2013
“When are they going to replace that flickering fluorescent tube?” is not such an uncommon question asked by distracted employees in a typical small business office or warehouse. A problem with faulty lighting or inadequate illumination can cause serious injuries from a slip, trip and fall, leading to a rightful compensation claim.

A modern, brightly lit company reception area creates a good impression with visiting clients but if there is a need to use the washroom , they will probably have to pass through corridors or stairwells where a blown bulb has been left for months on end.

Non-public areas

A more acute problem could be very evident in non-public areas such as the factory floor, stockroom / warehouse / dispatch areas. Access via stairs and corridors can be notorious for lack of sufficient lighting, especially in corners and recesses.

Large companies and organisations can also find themselves in the accident claims “spotlight” for failing to attend to injury risk caused by inadequate illumination.

Poorly maintained

One recent case involves a major infrastructure multinational and a 39 year old male worker working the night shift who was injured when he slipped on a poorly maintained and unlit flight of stairs. Subsequent investigation found that there was no lighting to guide pedestrians up an unevenly surfaced walkway during the night and a handrail was also loose with large pieces of cement missing.

As a result, the accident led to four operations with almost four months off work. The employee also lost the use of the top of a damaged finger and will need to take blood pressure tablets for the rest of his life.

Gaps instead of lighting

According to the Management of Health and Safety at Work 1992 (MHSW) regulations, employers are required to have arrangements in place to cover health and safety, including suitable and adequate lighting to meet the requirements of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

Where there is insufficient light shown in a specific work space, risk assessments should be regularly carried out to replace bulbs and clean light fixtures. In many instances, there are gaps instead of lighting, which should have been installed at regular intervals. More light fixtures will need to be added, and walls and ceilings should be painted in light colours to reflect light and eliminate shadows.