Scaffolding Accidents & Injury Compensation

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    Scaffolding Accident Claims

    “Scaffolders, when erecting, altering or dismantling scaffolding are regularly exposed to the risk of a fall.” – Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

    “Employers have a responsibility to ensure that adequate measures are provided for employees to eliminate or minimise the risks involved.” – National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC).

    (Source: SG4:15 Preventing Falls in Scaffolding Operations)

    Have you or a family member suffered a scaffolding injury at work?

    If you can show employer’s negligence resulted in an accident involving scaffolding – you could have a strong case for claiming compensation.

    You could receive:

    • £2,210 to £12,770 for a minor brain or head injury
    • £91,090 to £160,980 for severe back injuries (Type 1.)

    (Source: Judicial College Guidelines, 16th Edition, published April 2022).

    Top 4 Causes of Scaffolding Accidents

    If you have suffered an injury as a result of a scaffolding accident, it’s highly likely it was caused by one or more of the following:

    Scaffolding Collapse

    A total or partial collapse of scaffolding structures, such as a walkway gantry can result in the most serious injuries for construction site workers. Other casualties of scaffolding accidents are third parties, such as contractors, and public passers-by.

    Slips Trips and Falls

    Falls from scaffolding and working platforms resulting from slips and trips can be common injuries, caused by:

    • Faulty / improper or negligent construction.
    • Unstable/ incorrectly positioned planks.
    • Lack of adequate safety barriers / handrails.
    • Minimal or no personal safety equipment.

    Falling Objects

    Other common injuries can be caused by tools, work equipment and building materials /debris dropped or fallen from scaffolding or work platforms. A construction site worker can be struck at a lower level, or at ground level, including a member of the public.

    Inadequate training

    Employer fails to provide sufficient training – or even any training at all – in the correct methods of scaffolding construction and safety procedures.

    Other causes of scaffolding accidents include:

    • Lack of risk assessment and safety inspections
    • Lack of safe working systems and practices
    • Unstable / faulty scaffolding
    • Lack of correct personal protective equipment

    Claim scaffolding accident compensation

    Have you or a family member suffered a fall from height / scaffolding accident?

    Do you believe it was caused by somebody else’s negligence?

    You may have strong grounds to make a scaffolding accident claim for personal injury compensation.

    Even if your scaffolding accident happened last year or the year before. You have up to 3 years from the date your accident to start your personal injury claim for an accident at work, including a scaffolding accident claim.

    Our partners provide trained legal services advisers who will answer your questions.

    They will put you in touch with an expert ‘no win, no fee’ personal injury lawyer who will build the strongest possible case on your behalf.

    • Call now for a free, initial consultation: 0800 234 6438

    • Request a call back

    Accident Statistics

    Reported falls from scaffolds

    Scaffolding accidents continue to be a potential risk when working at height in construction. 81 incidents were recorded in 2020 by the NASC, with a rise in the number of reported falls from scaffolds / working platforms at or above 4m (13.12 feet).

    Falls from height can result from scaffolding accidents, and the cause of a fatal injury. Half (50 per cent) of all fatal injuries in construction industries are falls from height (Source: RIDDOR, 2016/17-2020/21).

    Scaffolding injuries

    In other cases, a scaffolding injury claim will seek compensation for the most serious, life-changing physical injuries, which can often include head injuries, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injuries.

    In some instances, a scaffolding accident will result in some form of longer-term psychological trauma for scaffolding accident victims. Nearly one in five (19 per cent) of all non-fatal injuries in construction industries are falls from height. (Source: RIDDOR, 2016/17-2020/21).

    Common types of scaffolding-related injuries can include:

    • Limb fractures and dislocations.
    • Severe skin lacerations, cuts and bruising.
    • Penetration and damage to internal organs.
    • Sprains and strains.
    • Loss of consciousness.
    • Loss of sight.

    Employer’s Legal Obligation and Duty of Care

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) state: “Small builders are at most risk of injury… on construction sites, and suffer the majority of construction fatal accidents each year. Most deaths involve falls from height including: ladders, scaffolds, working platforms, roof edges, and falls through fragile roofs or rooflights”.

    (Source: HSE, Are You A Small Builder)

    Your employer has a legal duty to ensure all scaffolding structures are safely erected, used and dismantled. Appropriate measures must be taken to minimise the risk of a scaffolding injury caused by any aspect of using scaffolding equipment.

    Different act acts of law are in place which aim to protect the health and safety of employees from an accident at work. In particular, construction workers at a building site.

    Legislation referred to during court proceedings for scaffold accidents injuries can often include:

    Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015)

    CDM 2015 governs the planning of construction projects, of all sizes and types. It involves any building, civil engineering or engineering construction work including temporary structures. Principal employer contractors have specific duties including:

    • Ensuring suitable site inductions are provided.
    • Workers are consulted and engaged in securing their health and safety.

    Regulations 9 and 11 consider the risks to health and safety of those who ‘erect, alter
    and dismantle temporary works, and those who use the equipment’.

    National Association of Scaffolding Contractors (NASC) advise:

    Where appropriate, fall protection measures should be put in place to form part of the finished scaffolding structure, such as:

    • Scaffolders’ guardrails.
    • Board-bearer transoms for non-working lifts.
    • Guardrails for internal fall hazards.

    (Source: SG4:15 Preventing Falls in Scaffolding Operations)

    Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSW, HSWA, HASWA 1974)

    HSWA 1974 is the primary legal framework for occupational health and safety in Great Britain, typically referred to during personal injury claims. The Act sets out the key duties of employers, employees, business owners, contractors and managers to provide:

    • Sufficient, appropriate training – which is designed to ensure health and safety procedures are understood, and complied with by all employees.
    • A safe and properly maintained working environment – to minimise the health and safety risk of any operations on-site.
    • Access to freely available, and relevant information – provides clear and easily understood instruction and supervision.

    Work at Height (Amendment) Regulations 2007

    Specific duties are placed upon employers, self-employed, and any person who controls the work of others to ensure:

    • All work at height is properly planned and organised.
    • A suitable Risk Assessment is carried out.
    • Appropriate work equipment only is selected and used.


    Regulation 5 requires any person working at height, e.g. a construction worker, should be regarded as competent by their employer.

    Competence is defined as:

    • Relevant practical and theoretical knowledge, training and experience.

    Construction Industry Scaffolders’ Record Scheme (CISRS) Card

    Under the CISR scheme, scaffolders should be selected who have appropriate attitude, aptitude, fitness, training knowledge and experience for the particular work to be completed. CISRS cards should be relevant to the work being undertaken (e.g. Scaffolder or Advanced Scaffolder).

    Under Section 6, Part 3:

    Where work is carried out at height, every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury”.

    (Source: Work at Height (Amendment) Regulations 2007 – Gov.UK)

    Additional items of legislation

    Scaffolding accident injury claims solicitors can also refer to additional legislation. Further instruction is provided to protect employees from potential harm in particular workplace environments, and any operations and tasks involved, including:

    Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

    Under Clause 3 (1)

    • Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of –

    (a) the risks to the health and safety of his employees, to which they are exposed, whilst they are at work.

    The Regulations require appropriate controls for minimising potential risks to the health, safety and welfare of employees (and others).

    Personal Protective Equipment Regulations (PPE) 2018

    Regulations referring to PPE place a duty upon an employer to supply appropriate equipment which will avoid the risk of harm to employees, in specific working environments.

    The intention is to reduce the potential risk of harm when it cannot be reduced by any other means.

    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes, but is not limited to:

    • High-visibility clothing.
    • Protective footwear.
    • Safety helmets.
    • Eye protection.
    • Safety harnesses.
    • Respiratory protective equipment (RPE).

    Occupiers Liability Act (Amendment) 1984

    Legislation amending the 1957 Act which imposes a common duty of care on occupiers to lawful visitors, regarding potential dangers caused by the state of a premises, or to actions undertaken, or failed to be carried out.

    Under 1(3)(a):

    The Act applies “not only to land and buildings but also extends to fixed and movable structures, including any vessel, vehicle or aircraft”.

    Manufacturers & Suppliers of Scaffolding Structures

    Manufacturers and suppliers of scaffolding systems also have a legal duty to test their products, and to provide information and instructions.

    They must ensure their scaffolding equipment:

    • Can be used safely.
    • Complies with ‘Work at Height Regulations’.
    • Meets any other statutory requirements or industry guidance.

    In addition, scaffolding manufacturers should carry out a product risk assessment to ensure all instructions and guidance for safe installation, altering, use and dismantling is supplied.

    Scaffolding contractors must ensure that scaffolding structures are installed, altered and dismantled in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions for safe use.

    Particular attention should be given to the use of suitable anchor positions for personal fall arrest equipment.

    Personal fall protection equipment

    Fall arrest equipment is used to prevent a worker on a building site (or other construction work environments) from hitting the ground, other surfaces or structures.

    The fall arrest equipment and anchorage points must be capable of withstanding and minimising the forces involved to an acceptable level.

    All scaffolding contractors and others working at height are always strongly advised to wear and use personal fall arrest equipment (harnesses etc.) at all times, in accordance with training and instruction received.

    How To Prepare For Scaffolding Injury Claims

    Collecting evidence

    At a court proceedings the success of your compensation claim for a scaffolding accident will depend on:

    Providing evidence to show that the accident was caused by somebody else’s:

    • Action(s).
    • Failure to take action(s).
    • Negligence. i.e. required regulations not in place.

    The required proof is regardless of whether you are a scaffolder, another on-site construction worker or a member of the public.

    At the outset, an investigation into the construction site where the accident occurred will need to clearly show key items such as:

    • Ownership of the property / premises / site.
    • Construction / contractor company.

    4 Types of supporting evidence

    FOUR main areas of evidence collection will need to be provided in support of a scaffolding accident compensation claim:

    Written evidence

    Whenever workplace accidents occur, they should always be reported to your employer. There should be a procedure in place for accurately writing down all the details in an on-site or company ‘accident book’.

    In circumstances where no accident book is available you will need to write down exactly what happened and give this document to your employer.

    It’s important to make a copy and retain for your records. It will form part of the written evidence needed to be shown to personal injury solicitors at the start of all scaffolding accident claims.

    Visual evidence

    Photographs and video should be taken as soon as possible after an accident occurred involving a scaffolding structure.

    Witness evidence

    The names and contact details of any witnesses to the accident are also important. Reliable testimonies are always required in support of scaffolding injury accident claims.

    First-hand accounts witnesses may also be reinforced by:

    • CCTV camera footage.
    • Proof of employee training records.
    • Risk assessment reports.
    • Equipment inspection reports.

    Medical evidence

    You will need to provide full medical report from your doctor and / or hospital of the injuries suffered as a result of your scaffolding accident.

    Detailed medical evidence is essential for working out exactly how much compensation you will be awarded for your scaffolding accident claim.

    Personal injury claims include calculations based on individual parts of the body, and whether you suffered minor injuries, a serious injury, or the most severe, life-changing injuries.

    How to make your scaffolding accident compensation claim

    First step to claim compensation

    When accidents happen in the workplace it’s not always an easy decision to make a claim for damages against your employer.

    If a scaffolding accident occurred you may believe it was simply your own fault. You may think you simply lost your footing or tripped over the planking. But the cause could be somebody else’s negligence.

    • It may not always be clear in knowing who is legally responsible, or liable for an accident.

    Taking the first step to seek advice from specialist solicitors in scaffolding accident claims is essential.

    In many cases, an employer can be found to have breached health and safety regulations, such as failing to provide adequate training, personal protection equipment or supplying a faulty scaffolding structure.

    Was it your employer’s fault?

    It’s important to know that a scaffolding accident by itself will not automatically make you eligible for receiving personal injury compensation.

    • A successful claim for a scaffolding accident will depend on showing that your employer was responsible for causing your injuries.

    Scaffolding accident claims are classified as personal injury claims.

    To succeed in any compensation claim for a personal injury will require specialist solicitors with extensive knowledge and experience of scaffolding injury accident claims.

    ‘No Win, No Fee’ claims solicitor

    Appointing a ‘No Win, No Fee’ claims solicitor has several clear and important advantages in helping you succeed in winning maximum compensation for your scaffolding accident claim.

    The No Win No Fee claim was first introduced in the 1990s. It then became known as a conditional fee arrangement (CFA) in 2013. This would be different from a damages-based agreement (DBA), sometimes called a ‘contingency fee’.

    The big advantage of a CFA to a claimant is:

    • Solicitors’ costs are only payable if the client is successful.

    For anyone making a personal injury claim for a scaffolding accident there is:

    • No financial risk
    • No payment of solicitor’s fees upfront

     If your ‘no win no fee’ claim is successful

    You will only be required to pay:

    • A solicitor’s ‘success fee’ of 25 per cent the other party will pay most of your legal costs.
    • Any remaining costs are deducted from your final compensation award, for which, you will be given advance notification.

    If your case is unsuccessful

    • You will not have to pay any legal fees – either to your own solicitor or to the other party.

    This means that a No Win No Fee solicitor:

    • Bears all the risk if they decide to represent you and your scaffolding accident claim.
    • Pays for all legal and court costs up-front.
    • Will need to fund all costs if the claim is unsuccessful.

    What this means for you…

    A no win, no fee lawyer will only take on a personal injury case:

    • If they know they have a good chance of winning. 

    Your initial free, no-obligation consultation with trained advisers is the first all-important step in answering all your questions about making a scaffolding accident claim.

    From there, you would next be talking with a solicitor’s personal injury team, experienced in handling scaffolding accident claims.

    • Call now for a free, initial consultation: 0800 234 6438

    • Request a call back

    Real chance to win scaffolding accident claim compensation

    Deciding to go ahead with a personal injury claim, whether for a scaffolding accident or another type of accident at work can be daunting.

    Entering into a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement with a personal injury solicitor offers much-needed reassurance. It’s a real chance to win maximum compensation for your accident and injury.

    Your solicitor is unlikely to take on a personal injury claim potentially running into six figures or more without first carrying out a detailed risk analysis.

    A no win no fee solicitor will only champion your cause and fight on your behalf if they believe they will succeed in winning compensation for your scaffolding injuries.

    No Win No Fee Insurance Policy

    Another important reason why a ‘No Win No Fee’ solicitor is all-important to claim scaffolding compensation is the added reassurance of their Insurance policy.

    Scaffolding injury claims normally involves a personal injury solicitors taking out an insurance policy on your behalf.

    This type of policy is designed to ensure you are fully protected should your claim be unsuccessful.

    How Much Compensation For a Scaffolding Injury Accident?

    Providing an accurate estimate of how much compensation you will get for your scaffolding accident claim is not straightforward.

    It will be necessary for your personal injury solicitor to assess different factors to calculate the value of your scaffolding claim, including:

    • Severity of your scaffolding injury.
    • Long-term effects of the injury suffered.

    Fatal Claims – scaffolding death personal injuries

    Compensation claims for fatal accidents will usually be in accordance with:

    • Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934

    The Act deals with claims for:

    • Pain and suffering – suffered by the deceased between their accident and death.
    • Past lossesincluding, care costs, aids and equipment costs, and loss of earnings.

    Past losses are calculated in the same as any other personal injury claim. The amount of compensation which can be awarded would be in accordance with Judicial College Guidelines.

    • Fatal Accidents Act 1976

    The 1976 Act is focused on the loss of dependency.

    Only one ‘dependent’ is allowed to claim compensation for the following:

    • Funeral expenses – if not claimed under the Law Reform Act, 1934.
    • Bereavement damages – limited to spouses or civil partners.
    • Loss of income and services dependency – includes, spouses, civil partners, cohabitees and former spouses or former civil partners.

    Personal injury award – payment guidelines

    “Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases” are published every year by the Judicial College, the official body for training, control, and direction of judges and magistrates.

    The document provides judges and magistrates with a specific calculation for amounts to be awarded as general damages for the injuries you might suffer as the result of a personal injury:

    The 16th Edition, published 11 April 2022 provides the following examples:

    Injury Compensation

    Minor injury

    • £650 to £1,290 – 28 days recovery period.
    • £1,290 to £2,300 – 3 months recovery period.
    • Up to £650 – 7 days recovery period.

    Types of Damages Awarded

    How much compensation settlement you may receive is normally based upon two types of awards:

    General damages

    Compensation is payable for “pain, suffering and loss of amenity”. Caused by the injury or illness sustained, either physical and/or psychological.

    The amount of compensation awarded is usually a lump sum. This is based upon :

    • Type and severity of injury or illness.


    • Limits imposed on future life / work capability and financial security.

    Compensation for Types of Brain, Head or Back Injuries

    • £2,210 to £12,770 for a minor brain or head injury.
    • £282,010 to £403,990 for very severe brain damage.
    • £7,890 to £12,510 for minor back injuries (Type 1.)
    • £91,090 to £160,980 for severe back injuries (Type 1.)

    Compensation for Neck injuries

    • £4,080 to £7,410 – 1-2 years recovery period.
    • £2,300 to £4,080 – 3 months to 1 year recovery period.
    • Up to £2,300 – Within 3 months recovery period.

    Compensation for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

    CRPS occurs after a severe trauma to an arm or a leg, which can include a serious injury or a fracture.

    • £52,500 to £84,010 – severe injury
    • £28,030 to £52,500 – moderate injury

    Compensation for other pain disorders

    • £42,130 to £62,990 – severe injury
    • £21,070 to £38,490 – moderate injury

    (Source: Judicial College Guidelines, 16th Edition, published April 2022).

    Special Damages

    These are the actual “financial losses incurred” as a direct result of the injury.

    The compensation awarded here is intended to ensure no financial loss is suffered as a result of a personal injury caused by an accident at work, such as a scaffolding accident.

    Special damages covers immediate expenses such as:

    Loss of earnings

    A personal injury claim does not depend on:

    • An injury resulting in taking time off work.


    • Loss of earnings because of receiving full pay or company sick pay.

    Even if you were able to continue working, you can still claim compensation for:

    • Pain and suffering – caused by the actual scaffolding injury sustained.
    • Future loss of earnings – if no longer able to work or a reduced ability to earn a living.
    • Travel costs – to help with covering immediate costs of travelling to and from a hospital and ongoing visits, whether the journey is made by private car, taxi, bus or train.

    Medical costs

    (i) Short-term medical expenses 

    Immediate and urgent, short-term medical expenses will include|:

    • Doctor’s consultation fees.
    • Hospital charges.


    • All other expenses related to medication, diagnostic tests and hospital treatment.

    (ii) Long-term care, support and rehabilitation

    In a case of a serious injury there is also likely to be a need for long term physiotherapy, training, and other types of rehabilitation.

    Typical examples are costs of a wheelchair and other equipment aimed at helping to cope and live a better life after your accident.

    • Any alterations to the home or a vehicle.

    Early compensation – Interim payments

    Early compensation payments are also known as interim payments. The award can be made if the third party accepts responsibility for the accident.

    The amount can help pay for:

    • Ongoing care costs.
    • Medical treatment.
    • Travel costs.
    • Other necessary expenses.

    It’s important to know – interim payment amount(s) are deducted from the final compensation awarded.

    Limitation period

    There is a time limit imposed for making a compensation claim for a work-related personal injury such as a scaffolding accident.

    Under Section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980 (LA 1980), you have a ‘limitation period’ of up to 3 years after a confirmed diagnosis for starting your compensation claim.

    This means… it is not enough to simply instruct solicitors. Under the rules of the Limitation Act you are required to take the formal step of actually issuing court proceedings within 3 years of your accident, and injury diagnosis.

    • Can I start a claim for a scaffolding accident after 3 years?

    If your scaffolding injury claim is not started within the 3 year limitation period it will become ‘statute-barred’.

    You will then need to seek the permission of the court, which is subject to very strict conditions, and is not guaranteed.

    It is, therefore, extremely important for scaffolding accident claims to be made within the 3 year period.

    • I no longer work at the company – can I still claim for my scaffolding accident?

    Yes – you can still start a claim for an accident that took place up to three years ago at a company where you no longer work.

    • The company is no longer in business – can I still claim?

    Yes – an application can be made to the Register of Companies for the company where you worked (and where your accident took place) – to be restored for a claim to be made.

    Supportive, Understanding and Professional claims process

    Personal injury solicitors understand how your accident injury can have a long-lasting impact on normal home life, social life, work and finances.

    They are sensitive to the levels of suffering and stress and will always handle your scaffolding injury claim with sympathetic and professional respect throughout.

    Your claim process will be made as straightforward as possible with all your questions answered and explained every step of the way.

    The aim of a personal injury solicitor acting on your behalf is to ensure you are awarded the maximum amount of scaffolding injury compensation as quickly as possible.

    Start your scaffolding accident injury claim now

    If you or a family member suffered a fall from height such as a scaffolding accident, you may have a strong case to make a claim for scaffolding injury compensation.

    Your accident may have been the result of employer negligence or that of a third party.

    Your first step is to find out if you are eligible to claim for personal injury compensation. Our partners provide trained legal services advisers who will answer your questions.

    They will put you in touch with an expert scaffolding accident injury claims solicitor. Their team will build the strongest possible case on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.

    Call now for no obligation, free advice: 0800 234 6438

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