Slips and Trips
Slips and trip claims can be made against a number of different parties, including employers, property owners and local councils. In order to make a claim, you will need to show that the person or organisation responsible for the accident failed to take reasonable care to prevent slips and trips from happening.
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While slips and trips might not seem like a big deal, they can actually lead to some serious injuries.
Slips and Trips in Public Places
A large number of accidents in public places are caused by trips and slips. They often occur when there is a wet or uneven surface, or when there is an obstruction in the path. In public places, these hazards can be even more dangerous, as there are often more people around who could be injured. It is therefore important to take care when walking in public places and to be aware of potential hazards such as if you are walking in wet or icy conditions, take extra care to avoid slipping. By taking simple precautions, you can avoid slips and trips in public places.
It is the responsibility of the local council to keep public areas clean and free of obstructions. This means sweeping up any debris, mopping up spills, and ensuring that paths are clear. It is also important to provide adequate lighting so that people can see where they are going. By taking these simple steps, the number of slips and trips in public places can be reduced significantly.
Slips and Trips at Work
Slips and trips are the most common type of accidents in the workplace. They account for a third of all major injuries and are responsible for over half of all reported accidents. Slips and trips usually happen because of a build-up of dirt or grease on floors, poor lighting, or wet weather conditions.
Employers owe their employees a duty of care to ensure that the workplace is kept clean and tidy. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 apply to most workplaces and impose strict duties on the employer. The Regulations state that the workplace must be maintained “in an efficient state, in efficient working order, and in good repair”. The flooring and the type of surface should be “suitable for the purpose for which it is used” and in particular, floors should have “no hole or slope, or be uneven or slippery so as, in each case, to expose any person to a risk to his health and safety”. Further, “every floor in a workplace and the surface of every traffic route in a workplace shall be kept free from obstruction and from any article or substance which may cause a person to slip, trip or fall”.
“No two cases are the same and the facts of each case have to be considered in order to assess the merits.”
-Melanie Lidstone-Land | Senior Associate in Medical Negligence and Personal Injury-
A common cause of a slipping accident is when an area has been cleaned but not mopped up properly so as to leave a slippery surface or, where liquid has been spilt, just left. The situation is made worse if there are no warning signs in place. Your employer has a duty to ensure that cleaners are appropriately trained and that employees know that if they spill something, they should take immediate steps to clean it up and to ensure that a warning sign is in place.
During busy times, commercial kitchens are hectic and it is all too easy for individuals to forget to clear up greasy food or water that has been spilled. Slipping in kitchens is a common cause of accidents. Your employer has a duty to ensure that all risks have been assessed and that procedures are in place for such spillages to be cleaned up.
Your employer must ensure that appropriate systems are in place to ensure that the workplace is free from obstructions that may be a tripping hazard. For example, your employer must make sure that there are no trailing cables or wires. In a factory environment, this would mean that appropriate arrangements must be made for electric power tools; in an office environment, for example, computer cables must be properly managed and not trail across the office floor.
This duty applies to all workplaces including offices, factories, warehouses, commercial kitchens etc. – indeed, every workplace.
Injuries suffered as a result of slipping and tripping accidents usually involve fractures or tendon/ligament damage. Such injuries are debilitating and can lead to a long period of time spent out of work.
Your employer is legally obliged to take out insurance cover known as Employers Liability Insurance to cover themselves in the event of an accident. Therefore, it is the insurers who would pay the compensation and not your employer. Your employer is not allowed to discriminate against you simply because you are making a claim. Obviously, we cannot guarantee how your employer will react although, in our experience, it is very rare indeed for the employer to be difficult. In fact, most employers are anxious to assist the injured employee to recover and aid a speedy return back to work.
The best way to determine if you have a valid claim is to speak to one of our personal injury solicitors. We offer assistance under a No Win No Fee Agreement. We’ll be able to assess your case and let you know if you’re eligible to make a claim. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to help prevent slips and trips from happening in the first place. For example, always be aware of your surroundings and try to avoid wet or slippery surfaces. If you do find yourself in a slips or trips situation, remember to stay calm and act quickly to avoid further injury.