Working in the construction industry carries inherently more risk than most other sectors, according to Health & Safety Executive statistics.

Unsafe scaffolding can present a particular risk to construction workers given that by its very nature it requires them to work from height, so a simple trip on a loose board can cause serious injuries.

Sometimes a scaffolding accident is no-one’s fault; however, if your scaffolding associated injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation, as Martin White, a Partner in the Personal Injury department at WBW Solicitors in Exmouth explains.

Scaffolding can be involved in construction accidents in a number of ways, including:

Collapse: scaffolding needs to be erected by trained professionals. If it is not put up correctly, it can collapse causing injuries to you or someone passing by below. Your employer has a duty to regularly check that the structure is safe and has not been weakened by bad weather or alterations.

Falls from height: you could fall due to an incorrectly assembled scaffold, missing handrails, or because your employer did not provide you with the right personal protective equipment or training to carry out your job safely.

Slips, trips or falls: you could fall over tools left lying around on scaffolding, trip over uneven scaffold boards, or slip on wet or icy surfaces if you are forced to work in bad weather conditions.

If your employer had failed in their duty under health & safety laws to do everything reasonable to keep you safe and you are injured as a result, you could have a valid claim for compensation.

To help your specialist personal injury solicitor make your claim as robust as possible, you should try to gather all available evidence of how you sustained your injury. This could include obtaining:

  • A copy of the accident logbook entry;
  • names and contact details of any witnesses;
  • photos of the scene of the accident and your injuries;
  • medical records;
  • a written statement outlining how the injuries have affected you.

Your solicitor will also arrange for you to be examined by a medical expert who will assess your injuries and the effect they have had on your life and they will prepare an official report for use in your compensation claim.

Even if your injuries were partly your fault you may still be able to make a claim for compensation, as long as someone else’s negligence was also to blame. However, the amount you receive would be reduced depending on how much the judge  decides you were to blame.

The amount of compensation you get will depend on the seriousness of your injuries and your long-term prognosis. However, it could include:

  • out-of-pocket expenses – prescription costs, medical treatment, transport and accommodation costs, and loss of earnings due to your injury;
  • damages for your pain and suffering – including the psychological and emotional effects, as well as the way your injury has impacted on your hobbies and social life.

If your injury leaves you with a long-term disability, you might also be able to claim compensation to make any required adjustments to your home and vehicle.

For more information on claiming compensation for a scaffold-related injury, or any other personal injury issue, contact Martin White in the personal injury team on 01395 272241 or email martinwhite@wbw.co.uk.

WBW has offices in TorquayPaigntonNewton AbbotExeterBovey Tracey,  Exmouth,  Honiton,  Sidmouth,  Launceston,  AxminsterChard and Seaton.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.