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Jonathan Speight

Panel Senior Litigator

A guide to making a No Win No Fee building site accident claim

Construction sites are inherently dangerous places to work, and these dangers are reflected in the official workplace accident statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive ('HSE').  

Although only around 5% of the UK workforce is employed in the construction industry, 32% of all fatal workplace accidents occurred in that sector in 2013/14. Likewise, the construction sector accounts for a disproportionately high number of workers who sustain serious injuries in the course of their work. 

A person may be able to claim compensation if he or she sustains personal injury on a building site due to someone else's negligence. 

Health and Safety legislation

A strict legislative framework governs health and safety on building sites. This includes the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, which covers both the design and operation of construction sites.

The HSE is responsible for overseeing and enforcing workplace safety regulation. The duties of HSE officers include:

  • Conducting site inspections;
  • Issuing guidance to construction site operators; and
  • Bringing prosecutions against those who breach workplace safety regulations*   

The HSE does not, however, bring or handle claims for compensation made by persons injured on a building site. 

*Except in Scotland, where the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service is responsible for bringing prosecutions.

What sort of accidents can occur on building sites  

Workers on construction sites are at risk from sustaining injury from a variety of causes, including:

  • Falls from scaffolding or ladders;
  • Falling down a hole or shaft or falling on uneven or dangerous ground;
  • Being struck by falling objects, such as tools or masonry;
  • Faulty or defective machinery;
  • Electrocution;
  • Lifting and handling heavy or awkward loads; and
  • Being struck by a vehicle. 

In 2013/14, falls from height were responsible for over 30% of the most serious injuries (including fatal injuries) to construction workers. The most common overall causes of injuries on a construction site are, however, lifting and handling accidents. 

Injuries to visitors

Although most people injured on construction sites are employees or contractors of the site operator, injuries to visitors are also fairly commonplace. These can include serious or even fatal injuries. In the ten years up to and including 2013/14,  46 visitors to UK construction sites were killed in accidents.

Many of the health and safety regulations which apply to workplaces do not cover visitors. However, visitors to a workplace, including a building site, are still covered by both the common law and by legislation such as the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and, in Scotland, the Occupiers Liability (Scotland) Act 1960. 

Common types of injuries sustained on construction sites.

The variety of hazards present on a building site can give rise to a large number of different types of injury, including:

  • Back and neck injuries;
  • Burns;
  • Fractures;
  • Amputation of a hand or finger(s); and
  • Head injuries. 

What to do if you have been injured on a construction site

It does not matter whether you are an employee, contractor or visitor, you may well be able to claim compensation if you were injured on a building site in an accident that was not your fault. 

Our panel of expert claims solicitors can guide you through the claims process and ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Call us on 0800 612 7456 or arrange a call back at a time that suits you. 

How much compensation can I get for a building site injury?

Amounts for claims for compensation refer to the seriousness and nature of your injuries resulting from the accident or illness.

Upper and lower figures for each injury or condition are recommended in the Judicial College guidelines (formerly the Judicial Studies Board guidelines).

Courts will use these guidelines to calculate compensation awards. Insurers and their solicitors will also use the guidelines when making a settlement offer.

Travel expenses, lost earnings and the cost of medical treatment and ongoing care can generally be compensated. These are defined in legal terms as special damages.

No Win, No Fee building site injury claims explained

No Win, No Fee agreements, called CFAs or Conditional Fee Agreements, are a crucial part of the vast majority of personal injury claims.

A Conditional Fee Agreement is, in essence, the terms between you and your personal injury solicitor.

The agreement explains the work provided by your solicitor, and crucially, a percentage-based "success fee". This will be the fee to be taken from your compensation award if the solicitor wins the case.

Get peace of mind with the knowledge that that there is nothing whatsoever to pay if your claim is unsuccessful. There will be no hidden costs when choosing a Quittance personal injury solicitor.

Next steps

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Quittance's expert team look forward to helping you. If you have further questions, you can phone 0800 612 7456 or request a free callback.