Employers Can Be At Risk Of Huge Claims For Damages From People Injured On Their Premises
Posted: Oct 27, 2018
If you are an employer, you have certain responsibilities to your staff and also to any member of the public who visits your premises for any reason. If you run a retail store, for example, you want as many of the public in your premises as possible, so that is a lot of people every day coming int your store.
All this is fine, as long as you don’t have a problem with your floors – or anything else such as faulty shelving which could collapse and drop heavy items on to a passing customer or staff member.
Floors are a particular problem, because according to the Health and Safety Executive there are approaching 1,000 injuries a week in the UK as a result of slips, trips, and falls, and of these some are fatal. Others can result in very serious injury. However, those figures are only the ones that are reported. There are many more slips, trips, and falls which go unreported.
As an employer, you have certain responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This Act states the following: It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.
It further states – among other things - Without prejudice to the generality of an employer’s duty under the preceding subsection, the matters to which that duty extends include in particular:
And follows with this: (d)so far as is reasonably practicable as regards any place of work under the employer’s control, the maintenance of it in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and the provision and maintenance of means of access to and egress from it that are safe and without such risks;
As you can see, this includes the condition and safety of the floors that your employees and/or visitors walk on in your premises. Anyone who has a slip, trip, or fall on your premises and is injured can sue you for damages – and that includes members of your staff, not just the general public.
And sue you they will, because they can claim a nice chunk of money in damages and it is not going to cost them anything to do so. There are legions of solicitors out there who advertise for people who have been injured in slips, trips, and falls, and offer to sue you on a "no win, no fee" basis.
A 25% Fee
Here is something you may not know: the average solicitor working this way, which is known as a contingency basis, charges 25% of any money he wins for his client. So if he wins £50,000 - which YOU have to pay – he collects £12,500. Ker-ching! Thank you very much! Now you can see why there are so many people just waiting to sue you for the slightest fault that you caused – albeit unknowingly.
Fortunately, there are floor safety specialist companies who will carry out floor safety testing for you in order to determine the level of safety of your floors using the British Standards test known as the pendulum test, which is the only test accepted by the British courts. You may be shocked at the safety level, or rather the lack of safety, of your floors. However, there can be a lot of money at stake here, so it is well worthwhile having your floors tested.
Those same companies will be able to carry out floor deep cleaning for you if it is necessary, and they can even deep clean tile floors.
Slips, trips, and falls are not confined to indoor spaces: they can equally occur outside. A brick path may have bricks which have sunk, leaving others which can easily produce a trip. You could also have a surface which becomes particularly slippery after rain. Luckily there is a range of different anti-slip coatings which can be applied to floors after they have been cleaned in order to increase the level of safety and prevent slips and falls. Again, these can be applied to internal or external flooring, and one will be used which is appropriate to your particular floor surface.
It is most certainly worth getting all your floors checked over: if there is nothing wrong with them, at least you will have peace of mind.
4Earth Solutions is a floor safety specialist company that can test your floors using the pendulum test. It can also carry out deep cleaning and apply one of a range of specially designed coatings and anti-slip floor treatments where appropriate.
With our range of environmental friendly products like sealers and anti-slip coating, slips and falls are no longer an issue.