If a scaffolding injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward

Scaffolding accidents can occur in a variety of settings, including construction sites, industrial facilities, and residential areas. Accidents happen when workers fall from a scaffold that was not properly secured, or scaffolding collapses due to faulty construction or maintenance.

As with many injuries that involving working at height with tools and construction materials, scaffolding accidents can be devastating and life-changing for those involved.

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been injured in a scaffolding accident, we can help. Whether your injuries were caused by your employer, a co-worker or by a third party, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

In this article, we discuss the process of making a scaffolding injury compensation claim, including claim time limits and the steps you should take to start a claim. You can make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

You are not alone

Building sites are dangerous workplaces, as reflected in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics showing that 53,000 workers sustained non-fatal injuries at work averaged over the three-year period 2020/21-2022/23.

90 serious scaffolding accidents were reported in 2021, from a combined scaffolding workforce of 15,620 operatives (nasc.org.uk).

In 2022 there were 67 serious scaffolding accidents reported.

Despite this improvement, scaffolding accidents continue to cause serious injury, not only to scaffold operators and construction workers but also to passers-by and site visitors.

The majority of these accidents could be avoided with proper health and safety measures. Employers and occupiers who neglect their duty of care to staff, visitors, and the public may be liable for injuries resulting from these breaches.

If you were injured in a scaffolding accident, you can make a work accident claim or occupiers liability claim. Your solicitor will guide you through each step of the claims process, supporting you until you win your claim and receive the compensation you need to move forward.

Do I qualify for scaffolding injury compensation?

You will usually be eligible to claim compensation if you have been injured in the following circumstances:

  • within the last 3 years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.

Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.

What happens if I share some of the blame?

Figuring out who is legally at fault for an accident can sometimes be complex and nuanced.

According to our recent 2024 Work Injury Claimant Survey, 26.02% of injured workers thought that their actions could have contributed, either in part or wholly, to their injuries.

If you believe you were partly responsible, you may still have a claim. If you were injured at work, you should be able to claim compensation from your employer even if your actions, or the actions of a colleague, contributed to your injury.

Read more:

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

How much compensation can I claim for a scaffolding injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

Scaffolding injury compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated April 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

If it can be proved that your injury left you unable to work, special damages can be awarded for any lost earnings, loss of commission or bonuses, and loss of pension contributions. It may also be possible to claim for loss of future earnings, if the medical prognosis establishes that you won't be able to work for any period in the future.

These damages will also cover the cost of any medical procedures you might need to treat or recover from your scaffolding injury such as emergency care, diagnostic imaging tests, surgical intervention and physiotherapy.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

Mental health support after a work accident

Are you concerned about the mental and emotional impact of your injury? You are not alone.

Our 2024 Work Injury Claimant Survey shows how prevalent psychological injuries are in the workplace. 25.00% of claimants report suffering a psychological injury, 64.09% of which were related to a physical injury.

Injuries from scaffolding accidents often lead to acrophobia or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

You should not feel pressured to return to work before you are fully healed, including less obvious psychological injuries. A premature return could worsen your mental health, prolonging a full recovery.

Considering the potential for psychological harm following a traumatic incident at work is critical. Diagnosable psychiatric conditions, including PTSD, are recognised in the official guidelines for compensation awards, and it is appropriate to include the cost of mental health treatment and support when calculating your compensation.

Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.

Common causes of scaffolding accidents

Scaffolding should be used as a temporary structure to support workers and materials during the construction, maintenance and repair of buildings and other constructions.

When used correctly and within legal requirements, scaffolding is regarded as being a safer alternative to a ladder when working at height.

One of the most obvious dangers involved in the use of a scaffold is working at height. Another significant reason accidents occur is the incorrect assembly of the scaffold by an untrained worker, or the use of damaged or substituted parts. This can lead to collapse, partial collapse or movement of safety rails or boards.

Other causes of scaffold accidents include:

  • Incorrect manual handling of the scaffold
  • Using scaffolding when wet
  • Leaving tools and materials on the scaffold which can cause trip accidents or which could fall injuring someone below

The main types of scaffolding accidents include slips, trips and falls on the same level and falls from height.

These types of accident are responsible for many workplace injuries each year. An object falling from scaffolding is a common cause of injury to members of the public.

Typical injuries

Quittance's panel of injury solicitors have assisted with scaffolding accident claims for lacerations, broken bones, back injuries, neck, head and brain injuries.

In addition to the potentially serious injuries that can be sustained in a scaffolding accident, injured people also sustained other losses, having to pay medical bills and travel expenses and through loss of earnings.

Compensation exists specifically to account for the pain and suffering experienced and for these financial losses.

Legislation protecting workers

There are three main pieces of regulation in place aimed at protecting people from scaffold accidents in a work environment. These pieces of legislation also ensure that negligent parties can be held responsible when accidents do happen.

Work at Height Regulations 2005

Intended to prevent injuries caused by a fall from height, these regulations impose a responsibility on employers to make sure work is ‘properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people'. Employers should take into account all possible dangers and manage risk.

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

This requires that employers ensure all work equipment is suitable for use. Regular maintenance and inspection should be carried out. Employers should also take appropriate measures to provide adequate safety in terms of both hardware and training.

Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022

Where there are risks to health and safety that cannot be controlled in other ways, these regulations guide the correct provision and maintenance of suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as safety helmets, by the employer.

For scaffold accidents which involve members of the public who may have been injured when passing by, different rules apply. If, for example, they were hit by a pole falling which feel from the scaffold, they could sue the company responsible for the scaffold for negligence.

The duty owed by companies to the public to prevent injury by falling objects, scaffolding and other hazards, generally comes under the common law ‘duty of care'.

This legislation means that employers have an obligation to provide free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all workers, including workers who are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract.

Under the previous 1992 regulations, employers were only required to provide PPE to employees with a formal employment contract.

If you are injured at work and your employer failed to provide you with suitable PPE, you may be entitled to claim compensation - even if you are self-employed.

Proving liability in scaffold accidents

If any of the above regulations are not adhered to, an employer may be held liable and made to pay compensation for injuries sustained by the claimant. In order for this to happen, it must be shown that their action or inaction was the cause of the scaffold accident.

Evidence that would help prove negligence includes:

  • Medical reports
  • Witness evidence
  • Photographs of the scene
  • Accident books

Even with evidence, the process of making a claims be complicated. Many site contractors have their own legal team who will look for ways to counter the claim.

The employer dispute full liability by arguing that there was ‘contributory negligence. They could, for example, argue that the claimant played a part in causing the accident as they were following correct procedures at the time. If successful they would avoid paying the full compensation fee.

For injured members of the public, proving liability can be more straightforward, but negligence would need to be demonstrated in the same way.

How did your injury happen?

The claims process will vary depending on how your scaffolding injury happened. Click the icons below to learn more:

No win, no fee scaffolding injury compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim scaffolding injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

How we can help you with your work accident claim

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.

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If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee work accident claim, we are open:

Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9:30am-5pm

Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

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Case study

Kevin Walker obtains £80,000 for a construction worker's catastrophic hand injury

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Chris Salmon, Director

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Chris Salmon, Director