Scaffolding injuries can be very serious. As a worker, if you fall from even a moderate height because of bad scaffolding it’s possible to sustain multiple injuries or even a fatality.
As a member of the public coming into contact with scaffolding, the steel tubes and components can be very hazardous if not properly secured or handled. So what steps can you take to be compensated after injuries like these?
This guide will discuss scaffolding accidents and what injuries they may cause and we look at who can make a claim. Also, how you can use our compensation calculator to calculate a compensation amount from a liable employer if you were harmed through their negligence.
Please read the sections below for more information and click on the highlighted text for further details about this topic. Or if you would like to talk to a member of our team right now, you can:
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Select A Section
- Types Of Scaffolding Injuries
- Your Right To A Safe Working Environment
- What Should I Do After Suffering Scaffolding Injuries?
- Scaffolding Health And Safety
- Compensation For Scaffolding Injuries – How Is It Calculated?
- Why Contact Us For Claims Advice?
Construction and scaffolding sites are tightly regulated areas where health and safety law protects both the workers and members of the public from accidental harm. However, scaffolding can often overlap with areas that the public freely use such as pavements or overhead areas. With this in mind, scaffolding injuries can apply to those who work on them and people who may encounter scaffolding.
- A slip, trip, or fall on poorly assembled scaffolding can cause multiple injuries, leaving the worker with possible fractures or spinal damage if they fall
- Steel components can fall when scaffolding is faulty and strike a worker on the head causing concussion or traumatic brain injury.
- Poor maintenance can render scaffolding unsafe creating cuts, bruises, and other soft tissue injuries.
- Multiple injuries can happen in a scaffolding collapse because those that erected it were not trained.
Members of the Public
- Head injuries can result if scaffolding components fall from above
- Low level scaffolding can cause head injuries.
- As above, multiple injuries can result in a scaffolding collapse.
If you suffered scaffolding injuries as a direct result of hazardous scaffolding practices or missing health and safety provisions, speak with our team today to discuss your options.
Statistics on Construction Injuries
Certain accidents at work need to be recorded by the Health and Safety Executive HSE, who are responsible for governing workplace safety. The statistics below show fatal injuries to workers in construction for the period 2016/17-2020/21 according to RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013)
Whether you are a construction site worker, a visitor to a site, or a member of the public who encounters scaffolding on the street, there are laws that protect your right to be safe. In the workplace, core legislation called The Health and Safety At Work, etc Act 1974 requires all employers to reduce or remove the risk to employees as much as is reasonably practicable.
Safety guidance explains how scaffolding must be erected, altered, and dismantled in the safest way possible. In addition to this, the Work At Height Regulations 2005 clearly describes the legal requirements of employers who operate any business in which their staff are at risk of falling.
After scaffolding-related injuries, it’s essential to seek medical attention, particularly if you have fallen from a significant height. As you recuperate and have time to consider the circumstances of the accident that caused your scaffolding injuries, you could consider whether your accident could have been prevented.
If your scaffolding accident was caused because of employer negligence or lapses in health and safety you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim for any injuries suffered. To prove liability you will need to gather evidence.
You could do this more easily with the help of a personal injury solicitor and the checklist below offers suggestions of the type of evidence that can help:
- An independent medical assessment to get a full picture of the injuries – which a solicitor can help to arrange in your local area.
- Access your medical records
- Ask witnesses if they would consider giving a statement at a later date
- Request CCTV footage if available
- Or take photos of the accident scene yourself
- Ensure the appropriate record of the accident was logged
- Start to consider how legal advice could help your scaffolding injuries claim for non-fault compensation
Scaffolding sites must comply with particular requirements regarding health and safety for the workers who use them or the general public that may encounter them. Some of these essential requirements are as follows:
- Scaffolds should be erected, designed, dismantled, or altered only by competent people.
- Under Section 169 of the Highways Act 1980, any scaffolding that encroaches onto a highway or pavement requires a license from the relevant local authority
- Footpaths may need closure
- Scaffolding must be on firm, level ground
- The strength and stability of the scaffolding require carefully calculation
- Scaffolding decks should be of appropriate size and strength for the tasks expected
The Risks Of Working At Height
In addition to the health and safety requirements specific to scaffolding, employers can protect employees working at heights by safeguarding against risks by:
- Trying to avoid working at heights if possible and if practicable, working from the ground
- Using the right type of equipment that is stable and strong enough for the job
- Ensuring that employees can get safely to where they need to work at height
- Do not over-reach or overload
The first step in your calculation for scaffolding injury compensation is a medical assessment. A GP or specialist can deliver a report on what they find which can be used as evidence to support your claim. Speak with our team if you would like help arranging an appointment.
By using a guideline compensation tool such as the Judicial College Guidelines, the pain, suffering, and loss of amenity caused by your scaffolding injuries can have an amount attributed to them like these:
|Body area||How severe?||JC Guidelines||Supporting notes|
|Head||Moderately severe brain damage (b)||£205,580 to £264,650||This person will be severally disabled and there will be the need for constant care.|
|Head||Moderate brain damage (c) (i)||£140,870 to £205,580||Injuries that leave a severe deficit of intellect and no employment prospects.|
|Head||Less severe brain damage (d)||£14,380 to £40,410||Good overall recovery but some persisting concentration or memory problems|
|Back||Severe (a) (i)||£85,470 to £151,070||Serious spinal cord or nerve damage, incomplete paralysis and severe pain.|
|Back||Moderate (b) (i)||£26,050 to £36,390||Lumbar compression or crush injuries, with continuous pain and need for surgery|
|Pelvis||Severe (a) (i)||£73,580 to £122,860||Extensive dislocations or fractures, bladder or bowel complications|
|Pelvis||Moderate (b) (i)||£24,950 to £36,770||Although a significant injury, no major permanent disability|
|Leg||Severe (b) very serious (ii)||£51,460 to £85,600||Injuries that leave permanent mobility problems, deformity and arthritis|
|Knee||Severe (a) (i)||£65,440 to £90,290||Awards that reflect gross ligament damage causing considerable loss of function and pain|
|Ankle||Very severe (a)||£46,980 to £65,420||Extraordinary soft tissue damage and possible risk of future below-knee amputation|
Important to note is that these amounts are not cast-iron guarantees. In practice, any compensation award amounts given could vary widely.
As well as these general damages amounts, you might be eligible for special damages. Can you present documentation to show the financial costs forced on you by the injuries? For example, you may have missed work or needed to pay for long-term health care needs like physiotherapy. Or did you need a carer at home as you recovered? Speak to our team to see what other costs you could include with the right proof.
Have you considered using legal help to start a claim for scaffolding injuries but feel discouraged about the cost and complexity? If so, a No Win No Fee agreement could help. At Advice.co.uk, we could connect you with a member of our panel of personal injury specialists offering this service. They could take up your case (well within the time limit for personal injury claims), meaning that:
- You don’t have to pay upfront fees to hire their services
- Or pay anything as the case progresses
- If the case fails, no fee to the solicitors is due
- And a successful outcome needs only a fixed maximum percentage (of 25%) to be payable.
So why not learn more about No Win No Fee legal representation today by getting in touch? You can start right now when you:
In addition to claims for scaffolding injuries, the resources below offer further help:
- Details about building site accident claims
- More information about claiming after falling down stairs at work
- Or details about compensation for the self-employed
- More information about slips and trips
- Scaffolding rules from the Government
- And lastly, more reading concerning working at height
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Published by AL.