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How much compensation can I claim for a walk-in fridge freezer injury?

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Jonathan Speight

Panel Senior Litigator

A guide to making a No Win No Fee walk-in fridge freezer injury claim

If you have been injured in an accident at work in a walk in fridge or cold storage unit, you may be able to claim compensation.

For people who work in the kitchens of cafes, restaurants and canteens, walk in fridges and freezers are essential pieces of equipment. Shops that sell chilled and frozen food and drinks also count these items as vital to the successful and safe running of the business. It is easy to assume that using walk in fridges and freezers is relatively risk free, but employees should not be complacent about their safety. Accidents at work involving cold storage are relatively common.

What accidents can occur when using walk in fridges or freezers?

If due care has not been taken by employers, walk in fridges or freezers can cause personal injuries to staff. Examples of this include:

  • Falling as a result of slipping on ice or water that has collected on the floor
  • Slipping on spilt or leaked liquids or food items
  • Falling or banging your head because of stock being stored incorrectly
  • Injuring your back, neck, legs or arms from lifting boxes, bottles or bags of stock
  • Inhaling or ingesting toxins from produce that is unsafe for consumption
  • Cutting yourself on glass from broken bottles or containers

What precautions should employers take to prevent injuries from using walk in fridges or freezers?

Employers have a duty of care to their staff. This means that they are responsible for minimising any potential risks to safety, and for ensuring that employees know how to use equipment in ways that are unlikely to result in injury. Steps that they can take to mitigate the risk of harm include:

  • Fitting the floor of the fridge or freezer with a non-slip surface
  • Ensuring that staff are wearing footwear that is appropriate for the kitchen environment
  • Erecting warning signs in the case of a hazard that cannot immediately be resolved
  • Maintaining a regular routine for the maintenance and inspection of equipment
  • Providing staff with appropriate training for the safe use of equipment and lifting of bulky items
  • Ensuring employees have access to tools (such as ladders) that enable them to access stock safely

What should you do if you have suffered a personal injury in a fridge or freezer at work?

If you have been injured while using equipment like this, your employer is likely to be responsible for what has happened. Employers are required by law to insure themselves against accidents sustained by their employees, so you should have a case for making a claim for compensation. To increase your chances of success, you should do the following:

  • Inform your supervisor or line manager what has happened as soon as possible
  • Seek medical advice, either by visiting your GP or local hospital
  • Contact an experienced solicitor for advice and guidance, such as one on the Quittance panel
  • Take photographs of the injuries you have sustained
  • Keep a record of the time, date and location of the accident.

If you had noticed a hazardous situation in the walk in fridge or freezer before the incident occurred, and you reported this to someone in charge, you will have an increased chance of a successful claim.

What to do if you have had an injury in a walk in fridge or cold storage

If you have been injured because of an incident in a walk in fridge or freezer, you may well be entitled to claim compensation. Quittance's panel of solicitors can guide you through the process, and ensure that you are reimbursed for your suffering as well as any losses incurred.

Call us on 0800 612 7456 or arrange a call back at a time that suits you.