Can you tell me if it is possible to claim compensation for tripping over extension cables in an office?
A claim for compensation for tripping over extension cables in an office is possible, provided that you can establish and prove that your accident was caused by the negligence of your employer and your injury resulted from a failure in a duty of care.
An employer owes all workers a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act (1974). Under this legislation employers must ensure that risks to the health in an office are kept to the minimum practical level. The office must be kept safe at all times and employees should not be placed at an excessive risk of sustaining an injury at work.
Since the passing of this act the workplace has changed considerably. More electrical equipment is used and computers, printers and other electrical devices mean that there is a greater need for electrical cables to be used in offices. Since electrical cables pose a serious trip risk, employers must be particularly careful that when they are used they are kept out of walkways and office thoroughfares.
Due to the increased risk to workers, further legislation was introduced in 1992 placing greater responsibilities on employers to keep offices safe. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations specifically covers floor surfaces and the need for them to be kept free from trip hazards such as electrical extension cables.
If an extension cable had been used, and it crossed a thoroughfare in the office, your employer should have assessed whether it represented a trip hazard. The cable should have been taped to the floor or a cable protector should have been used in the very least to minimise the risk of tripping. Ideally the extension cable should have been routed to an alternative plug socket to ensure that there was no risk of an employee tripping and falling.
If your employer allowed a trip hazard to be created in the office and you were placed at a high risk of tripping and sustaining an injury this would be classed as a failure in a duty of care and negligence of your employer and this would make a claim for tripping over extension cables possible.
In order to make a successful claim for a trip over cables in an office it must be established that your employer was to blame for the accident and there was a failure to maintain the minimum health and safety standards in the office. The easiest way to do this is to record the contact details of any workers who could confirm that the position of the extension cable was dangerous.
You must also record your trip over cables in an office in your employerâ€™s accident book. The cause of the accident should be noted and the position of the cable. You should record the injury you sustained and the names of any witnesses to the accident. The accident book report can be used to substantiate your claim and prove that you were injured in the office.
We also recommend speaking with a personal injury solicitor about recovering compensation for tripping over extension cables in an office. A claim for tripping over extension cables has potential to cause awkward situations with work colleagues and your employer, and it is easier to avoid these if you let a solicitor pursue your claim.
A solicitor will also ensure that all aspects of your injuries are factored into your claim for compensation for tripping over extension cables in an office and will negotiate with your employerâ€™s insurance company to obtain a suitable compensation settlement.