Can I make a claim for cuts and bruises in an accident at work? I slipped and fell and fractured my hip on ice at the entrance to the office.
Work injury compensation claims have potential to be highly complicated, as in order for a claim for cuts and bruises in an accident at work to be successful, you must be able to prove that the work management have been negligent.
The presence of ice and the fact that this caused you to slip and fracture your hip doesn’t automatically give you the right to make a claim for cuts and bruises in an accident at work. However, if the work manager failed in a duty of care to allow you to make your way in safely, and it can be established that action should have been taken to prevent the formation of ice at the entrance to office, a claim for an accident at work should be possible.
A duty of care is a legal term used to describe a responsibility to others to take all reasonable practical steps to prevent a foreseeable accident from occurring and an injury being sustained to an innocent third party. Occupiers of public buildings are bound by the Occupiers Liability Act (1957) to ensure buildings and grounds can be used ‘reasonable safely’ by visitors.
This duty of care also applies to the entrance and also the car park of your office. Due to the risk of slipping and falling on ice, management should follow the weather reports to be aware of particularly cold spells and prolonged sub-zero temperatures.
If ice and snow were forecast, your employer should have made sure sufficient levels of rock salt and grit were available to cover the entire cold spell. Grit or rock salt should have been applied to the entrance to the office as a priority if there was a risk of ice forming. Gritting should have continued throughout the day if necessary, to reduce the risk of employees slipping and falling. A failure to grit could be grounds for making a claim for cuts and bruises in an accident at work.
Employers are required by law to conduct risk assessments to identify potential hazards and, during cold weather, regular inspections of the entrance and car park should have been conducted to monitor the conditions and action should have been taken to prevent the build-up of ice and snow.
Of course it may not have been practical or even possible for the entire car park to have been gritted and cleared of all snow and ice, but ensuring the entrance to the building was safe should have been a priority. The entrance should not only have been gritted before the office opened, but also throughout the day if the conditions demanded this. A failure to do this would be classed as negligence and work injury compensation claims should therefore be possible.
If you believe you are entitled to claim for cuts and bruises in an accident at work, speak with your personal injury solicitor as they will be able to inform you as to how you should proceed with your claim for compensation.