Scaffolding injury claims

Introduction

Updated: October 8, 2018

Data published by the National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) states that the number of accidents involving scaffolding reported by its members rose 9% in 2014.

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Many scaffolding accidents result in injury to the scaffold operator or construction worker using the scaffolding. Some accidents injure innocent passers-by or site visitors.

Work accident claims and occupiers liability claims on behalf of passers-by and visitors can usually be made in each case.

The majority of scaffolding accidents could be avoided with the correct health and safety measures in place. Employers and occupiers who fail in their duty of care to staff, visitors and the public are likely to be liable for injuries that arise out of accidents resulting from these breaches.

Scaffolding

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If you have suffered a scaffolding injury in the last three years and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.

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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.

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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.

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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 Regulations 1992

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'.

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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 may look to prove ‘contributory negligence' in their defence, disputing full liability. 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.

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Making a no win no fee scaffolding accident claim

A no win no fee arrangement (technically referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement) is entered into between the claimant and a PI lawyer.

The no win no fee agreement is in essence the terms under which the solicitor represents the claimant.

It outlines what the lawyers will do and how the solicitor will be remunerated if the case is won.

If you use a Quittance solicitor for your scaffolding accident compensation claim there will be no extra fees , nothing to pay up-front and the reassurance that you will not be out of pocket.

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Calculate my scaffolding injury compensation

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

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Meet the team

The national panel of QLS solicitors take on all types of work accident claims, from relatively minor claims to catastrophic injury. Our lawyers are selected on the basis of their track record in winning cases and their specialist knowledge.

To meet more of our team, click here.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Emma Bell Employers and Public Liability Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

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.

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