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Falling object compensation claims

If you are hit by a falling object at work you can suffer a serious injury. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) being struck by a falling object is one of the major causes of serious injury, particularly in the food and drink sector. However, falling objects can hit workers in many different sectors including in the construction industry where objects dropped by individuals working at height can cause devastating injuries.
Your employer has a duty of care to prevent this happening. To avoid injury from falling object the HSE recommends:
  • Ensuring that items stored above ground level are stable and unlikely to fall if disturbed
  • That care is taken when stacking, handling and moving goods to prevent items falling
  • Making sure tall free-standing objects such as gas cylinders or barrels, or objects leaning against walls are either secured, or are stable if knocked.
Your employer should take steps to ensure that adequate training is given on avoiding injury from falling objects, and that suitable and effective safeguards are in place to protect you. The appropriate personal protective equipment, such as hard helmets, must be available to employees who are at risk of injury from falling objects. Warnings must be given to staff about the risk of falling objects which can be verbal and through the use of signage. 
Whenever a load is moved employers should ensure that these are not lifted, lowered or swung over anyone’s head. Workplaces must be kept clean and tidy, and tools kept in the correct storage area once they have been used.

Falling object case studies


Falling ceiling panels

The accident at work team represented Carlos Moriones in a claim against ISS UK Ltd. 
Mr Moriones was asked by his employer to cleaning commercial offices. As part of his duties, he was required to clean the ceiling for which he was provided solely a flat head mop to use.
He was cleaning a ceiling when panels became dislodged and fell on top of him causing him head, neck and shoulder injuries. He suffered repeated convulsions in the ambulance on his way to hospital.
His employer argued that they had correctly assessed the risks involved in Mr Moriones’ work. However, their risk assessment had noted the likelihood of falling objects thus indicating that he should have been provided with head protection and suitable training. 
Mr Moriones was provided with neither and, following a judicial application for disclosure of further documentation, his employer accepted a breach of their duty of care to him. His employer still refused to make settlement offers to him, suggesting that his injuries were not caused by this incident. 
Leigh Day issued civil proceedings and secured a successful settlement for Mr Moriones who made a full recovery.

Falling steel frames

We represented Mr D, a Polish national, who was living and working the UK and was seriously injured when pallets containing steel frames fell on him. The pallets had not been stacked safely, and he had been offered no health and safety training. 
Mr D sustained a very serious head injury.  He suffered from both neurological, ENT and psychological symptoms.  After he returned to Poland we were able to secure a number of interim payments which allowed him to undergo a course of treatment in Poland.  These payments also paid for Mr D to be flown back to the UK to be assessed by medical experts. 
Mr D‘s claim was complex. His loss of earnings was considerable, based on the fact that he would have remained in the UK if he had not been injured. The team had to issue court proceedings after which the case was successfully settled for £250,000. 
If you have been injured by a falling object in your workplace and would like to speak to our accidents at work team about starting a compensation claim, please call us on 0161 393 3530 and someone will get back to you.  If you are not well enough to come to our offices our lawyers are able to visit you at home.

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