Unsafe Workplaces

Up until recent changes in the law brought about by section 69 of the Enterprise Act 2013, claims arising out of defects in the workplace were usually quickly admitted by the insurers. This is because regulations that impose very high duties upon the employer or occupier of the workplace, sometimes imposing no-fault liability, could be relied upon by the worker in their civil compensation claim. That changed on 1st October 2013.

It is now effectively necessary to prove negligence on the part of the employer – an altogether more difficult task.

For the future therefore it will be necessary to show that the employer failed to take reasonably practicable precautions.  Risk assessments, or their absence, will become even more important.  There may also be a greater reliance upon expert evidence to establish liability.

That is certainly not to say that these claims cannot be won – though it is even more important now to have on your side a solicitor who knows the law and knows how to use it to your best advantage.

In some circumstances it may be possible to rely upon European health and safety Directives to impose liability  – i.e. where the employer is a public sector employer, or a body providing a public service under the control of the state.

Subject to that it is now necessary to prove fault on the part of the employer. For example:

Slippery floors

So, for example, floors which frequently become wet need to be slip resistant. If they are not, the employer will be liable for resulting accidents.

Spillages and obstructions

Similarly, if it is reasonably practicable to prevent or remove spillages or obstructions from floors, an accident resulting from a failure to do so will give rise to liability.

Dangers in the workplace

Unmarked steps, lack of a handrail on stairs, failing to grit ice in works car parks – further examples of situations giving rise to liability.

No win no fee

We can offer you a no win no fee agreement for such cases, backed by legal expenses insurance, so you needn’t worry about ending up out of pocket.

Learn more about the representation we provide by contacting us online or ring 01157 270 140 to arrange your initial consultation.