According to the Health and Safety Executive 2018 annual statistics on slips, trips and falls (STFs) in the workplace, injuries from such incidents accounted for 29% of non-fatal injuries.
Despite it being said that such occupationally classified STFs accidents cost about £800,000,000 annually to the UK society, they are often not taken seriously.
So what are the legal duties that are applicable? The relevant legislation include the following:
- The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which requires employers to ensure the health and safety of all employees and anyone affected by their work, so far as is reasonably practicable. This involves balancing a level of risk against the measures needed to control that risk in terms of cost, time and trouble.
- The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. Regulation 12 states:
- Every floor in a workplace and surface of every traffic route in a workplace shall be of a construction such that the floor or surface of the traffic route is suitable for the purpose for which it is used;
- Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (i), the requirements in that paragraph shall include requirements that – the floor, or surface of the traffic route, shall 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 or safety; and every such floor shall have effective means of drainage where necessary.
- So far as is reasonably practicable, every floor in a workplace and the surface of every traffic route in a workplace shall be kept free from obstructions and from any article or substance which may cause a person to slip, trip or fall.
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 which includes duties for people in control of workplaces to assess risks and require appropriate arrangements for planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of any measures to safeguard health and safety as identified by the risk assessment.
- The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 for accidents that occur on or after 1st October 2013. Section 47 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 has been reversed to mean that any breach of regulations will not be civilly actionable unless specifically stated. The obligation is now on Claimants to prove negligence.
- Occupiers Liability Act 1957; occupiers also have a duty to lawful visitors to ensure all reasonable steps are taken to safeguard persons from known dangers or dangers the occupiers should reasonably know exist. The duty is to take such care as in all the circumstances is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes of which he is invited to be permitted to be there.
Domini David and Julian Monk, Personal Injury Lawyers, have many years of experience in dealing with claims arising from slips, trips or falls as well as any other accidents at work. If you or a member of your family has been injured as a result of such an accident, contact us today for a telephone conversation or a free, preliminary meeting.