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Falling Down Exposed Areas Claims

Falling down an exposed area like a manhole is more common than it seems and the chances are that if you have come across this page, it has happened to you or someone you love. Openings and excavations are a great risk to members of the public and their injuries can range from mild to severe, depending upon the depth of the opening and what is inside.

Where it can be proved that an employer’s negligence has resulted in avoidable injury, they may be eligible to make a falling down exposed areas claim.

What is a Falling Down Exposed Areas?

The Heath and Safety Executive states very clearly the different types of exposed areas that pose a risk: excavations, manholes or other holes in the ground; open edges – stairwells and open floor edges.

Most claims tend to involve a member of the public or an employee who has unfortunately fallen down or tripped into an exposed manhole during construction works that have obstructed the pavement or has not been signposted properly.

To prevent accidents like this, employers have some quite common sense health and safety regulations to adhere to, as their legal duty of care extends to both their employees and the public equally.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 stipulates that it is an employer’s responsibility to complete a full risk assessment which will identify the hazards within and outside of the site perimeter, assess and eliminate the risks, and implement security precautions. This should then be communicated to all employees, and members of the public by erecting signs that warn them to keep their distance.

Other safety precautions that employers could take that will reduce the risk of injury include:

  • Keeping precautions at a height so to not obscure the view of pedestrians and drivers
  • Providing guard rails and/or toe boards where it is possible to fall 2m or more
  • Having appropriate barriers for shallower excavations, ideally 1m from the edge
  • Shoring or battering excavations to prevent accidental collapse of the sides
  • Using securely fixed and marked covers for exposed areas
  • Protecting openings from approaching traffic
  • Avoiding leaving opening exposed overnight

Common injuries from Falling Down Exposed Areas

Falling down or over exposed areas can be a traumatic experience and there is no sure way of knowing the severity of a person’s injuries until they have been lifted out and taken to hospital.

On the more serious end of the scale, a person could land awkwardly, causing detrimental spinal cord injuries that could leave them paralysed, temporarily or permanently disabled. A blow to the head could give them concussion so that others on the outside are unable to communicate with them and if there is water underneath, an injury like this could lead to drowning and prove fatal.

How to make a Falling Down Exposed Areas Claim

If you have suffered from injury as a result of an employer’s failure to meet appropriate health and safety regulations our solicitors can help you to make a falling down exposed areas claim.

To make a Falling Down Exposed Areas Claim Freephone 0800 193 88 88
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