A Guide to Claiming Cleaner Injury Compensation
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
The following article sets out everything you must know about making a successful cleaner injury compensation claim.
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.
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 at fault.
It may be that, for example, the accident happened more than 3 years ago, or that you were partly at fault. If so, you may still be able to make a claim.
To get an impartial answer, speak to a legal expert on 0800 612 7456.
A short call will confirm whether you have a claim. We will not put you under any pressure to pursue a claim.
Alternatively you can try our Online Claim Checker.
What if the injury was diagnosed years after the event?
Typically, the dates of the injury and accident are the same. However, some injuries manifest themselves months or even years after the accident or exposure.
In this case, the clock starts ticking on the date of discovery (the date of diagnosis) of the injury rather than the date of the accident.
The amount of money you could claim for your cleaner injury will depend on:
- the extent of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your cleaner injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in general damages and special damages.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
See a list of what you can claim for:
Examples of special damages include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Find out what your claim could be worth now
Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.
If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.
Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your cleaner injury case from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
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.
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.
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.
How can Quittance help?
Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.
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 612 7456 or arrange a callback:Call me back
No Win, No Fee
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 will my claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.
For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.
Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.
Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:
Personal injury claim type
Estimated claim duration*
4 to 9 months
6 to 9 months
12 to 36 months
12 to 18 months
6 to 9 months
3 to 4 months**
12 to 18 months**
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s 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 interim compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim interim compensation payments.
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.
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert