Cleaner Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an injury or illness at work we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered an injury or illness at work and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
cleaner injury compensation:
Cleaners can be exposed to hazardous cleaning chemicals in the course of their work. A wide range of work accidents can also injure cleaners as they must navigate steps, stairs and furniture while carrying and using vacuum cleaners and other bulky cleaning equipment.
Working to tight schedules and in poorly-maintained buildings, as cleaners are often required to do, may also increase the likelihood of accident and injury.
Anyone working as a cleaner who is injured as a result of their working conditions may be eligible to claim compensation. Claims are likely to either be an accident at work claim against an employer, or an occupiers liability claim.
Cleaning products and chemicals
Cleaning products contain chemicals that may be hazardous if inhaled, ingested or splashed on the skin. Injuries such as chemical burns, allergic reactions and contact dermatitis are relatively common among workers who regularly use cleaning products. Acute or long-term exposure to harmful chemicals can also induce chronic respiratory problems such as asthma.
Under The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations employers have a duty to eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals in the workplace. If this is not possible, then the employer must train the employee on the safe use of the chemical and provide personal protective equipment such as goggles, overalls and gloves.
Failure to provide suitable protective equipment may be evidence of an employer's negligence.
Manual handling injuries
"Manual handling" describes the pushing, pulling, lifting and carrying of items. Cleaners regularly move vacuum cleaners, floor polishers and furniture in the performance of their duties, all of which are types of manual handling activity.
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 are designed to protect employees from injuries caused by manual handling at work.
Employers must eliminate any non-essential manual handling activities and take reasonable steps to make the remaining tasks as safe as possible. This includes training staff on how to lift and carry safely.
Exposure to asbestos
Working in older buildings may expose cleaners to asbestos. When lagging and asbestos-containing insulation materials become damaged they tend to create a dust that cleaners may inhale when sweeping up.
The health conditions associated with asbestos may take many years to develop. Provided that the illness can be shown to have been caused by exposure to asbestos fibres, compensation is likely to be available.
Claims for historic exposure may be brought against a former employer, even if the employer has gone out of business. These usually will be paid out by the employer's insurance company (at the time of the accident). Your solicitor will be able to identify the relevant insurer.
Lacerations and needlestick injuries
Broken glass, scalpels and syringes are capable of causing cuts and needlestick injuries if they are negligently disposed into ordinary waste bins instead of special "sharps" bins. Cleaners are also at risk of needlestick injury whilst cleaning public areas such as public toilets, parks and stairwells where syringes have been discarded.
Employers must provide cleaners with heavy duty, cut-resistant gloves to minimise the risk of injury. They must also ensure that machinery with blades, rotating parts and motors is maintained in good condition and training is given on the proper use of the equipment.
Employers who fail to observe these health and safety standards could be held liable under a range of legislation for failing to protect an employee from avoidable harm. This includes the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
Do I have a cleaner injury claim?
It should be possible to make a cleaner injury claim if you were injured:
- in the last three years and;
- someone else was to blame.
Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.
To find out for sure, speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 376 1001.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
No win, no fee, no risk
No win, no fee removes the risk from making a cleaner injury claim. If you don't win any compensation, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.
Our no win, no fee guarantee
If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a cleaner injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my cleaner injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my cleaner injury claim?
If your cleaner injury claim is not successful then you will not have to pay any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Cleaner injury FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make a cleaner injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the cleaner injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your cleaner injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a cleaner injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim cleaner injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a cleaner injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.