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Injuries Working in Construction

It is your employer's responsibility to keep you safe and protected when on a construction site, abiding to the health and safety regulations of UK and European law.

There are various regulations:

  • Working height regulations: if you are working above ground level you must be provided with the correct equipment and assistance, for example the right type of ladder.
  • Risk of falling objects: all workers must be provided with safety equipment such as hard hats. Even contractors and agents must wear a hat on site.
  • Protection from defective and dangerous premises: it is your employer's responsibility to make sure any dangerous areas such as holes or unstable structures are fenced off with appropriate warning signs.
  • Defective machinery and work equipment: your employer is liable if you have an accident due to defective equipment you are using.
  • Manual handling of objects on building sites: manual handling is when you are required to handle objects on a regular basis. Your employer must carry out a risk assessment to ensure your safety. If you are injured as a result of the repeated motion and it keeps you out of work for 3 days or more, the Health and Safety Executive must be notified by a RIDDOR report.
  • Excessive noise exposure: noise exposure includes loud bangs (explosive or metal collisions) and constant loud noise (power drills, diggers, tools, diggers).
  • Injury from work vehicles: if you operate a vehicle you must be given assistance and guidance on safety.

So, if you have an accident on a construction site it is important to keep in mind these regulations when making a claim.

Reconstruct your life after a building site injury

If you have had an accident on a building site, it is important to know when you should claim, what you can claim for and who exactly is entitled to compensation. You can only claim compensation for a building site accident if you are an employee, a contractor, self employed or a visitor. You can claim if you have an accident overseas.

Your employer is responsible for your safety, so on a building site it is their duty to properly train you and provide you with any protection and equipment that is necessary. As a contractor, you are in a similar position to an employee in the fact that your employer is responsible and should provide any necessary safety equipment. The same can be said if you are self-employed - the company has control of your working environment so they have the same duties.

It is important to know that you do not have to be working to be entitled to compensation, and in fact there are cases where visitors or even trespassers have had an accident and are entitled to compensation. If you are visiting the site with permission, you should be protected from having an accident. With a rare case of a trespasser entering the site and having an accident, they still may be able to claim compensation. For example, if a child wished to enter the site, found a hole in the fence and had an accident, it would be the responsibility of the employer to ensure the fence is sealed off in the first place.

If you have an accident overseas you can still claim compensation. Depending where you are, you can claim according to that country's compensation scheme.