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Cherry picker accident - How much compensation can I claim?

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Howard Willis

Panel Solicitor

A guide to making a No Win No Fee cherry picker accident claim

An estimated 3% of all fatal construction accidents involve cherry pickers. Health and Safety Executive data shows that in 2014 several thousand workers were seriously injured in a fall from height.

Work accident claims represent the majority of claims for injuries involving cherry pickers, but claims involving?injury to members of the public are also made.

Cherry pickers are also referred to as boom lifts, man lifts or basket cranes, and are widely used in the construction industry, as well as various other industries where people are required to work at height, like window cleaning and fruit picking. Scissor lifts and similar machinery are also used in similar circumstances, and is as likely to cause injury. Collectively, these machines are referred to as 'mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs)'.

Who is responsible for cherry pickers?

Usually someone will operate a cherry picker in the course of their employment.

The employer is primarily responsible for the cherry picker including ensuring that operators are appropriately trained. The employer is liable for injuries that result from an operator's negligence. The mechanism by which employers are held responsible for the acts of their staff is 'vicarious liability'.

Causes of cherry picker accidents

There are a number of ways accidents commonly occur when working with cherry pickers.

Inappropriate use

Accidents can occur when the cherry picker is used by an untrained person, or when it is used for a task which causes a breach of the applicable workplace safety regulations. The risk of an accident is greater when the cherry picker is used for a task it is not intended for.

Examples included use of a cherry picker for an extended time period when scaffolding would be more appropriate, to reach across a gap, or in a dangerous environment involving live wires or other hazards.

If you have been injured in a cherry picker accident as a result of poor or unsafe use, you should have a case to make an injury claim.

Faulty or badly maintained cherry pickers

It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that any equipment used is maintained to a high standard. If a badly maintained cherry picker results in an accident, the employer may be at fault and liable to pay compensation for injuries that result from the fault or poor maintenance.

Negligence of cherry picker operator

Those operating cherry pickers have a level of responsibility to ensure that they are used safely and do not put others at risk. There have been cases of workers being crushed against equipment, buildings and other structures due to the negligence of a trained cherry picker operator. In these cases, the Courts will examine all of the evidence to establish who was responsible and therefore potentially liable to pay compensation.

Insufficient training of cherry picker operators or users

Working at height has a level of risk associated, and necessary safety precautions should be in place to prevent accidents. The cherry picker should always be secured on level ground, and only used by fully trained operatives.

Anyone using a cherry picker should be sufficiently trained in operating the machine safely. If you were not sufficiently trained before being allowed to operate a cherry picker, and this resulted in an injury, you may have a claim against your employer for failing to ensure that you had sufficient training.

If someone else was operating the cherry picker and was not fully trained, and you were injured as a result, you should also have a claim against the operator or the employer. The Courts will look at all of the evidence in order to decide who was responsible for the accident.

Can I claim for a cherry picker accident?

If you have been injured in a cherry picker accident at work, in public, or were injured when visiting a property you should have a claim.

A member of the Quittance panel of solicitors will confirm your eligibility to claim and will guide you through the process. Call 0800 612 7456 to find out more.