Accident at Work*

Cherry Picker Accident Claims*

Cherry Pickers are mainly used in the construction industry and are used to allow people to work at a height. Scissor lifts are also used for this purpose. These machines are commonly known within the industry as Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs).

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Types of Accidents

Many accidents happen while the person operating the machine is elevated hence why falling from a height* is one of the most common cherry picker accidents*. It is not just employees that can be involved in these accidents* but also members of the public who may sustain an injury while passing by.

Employers Liability

All employers have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of employees while at work. A breach of this responsibility could result in workplace accidents and injuries*.  Employers may be found liable if it is found that there was a breach of their duty of care. It is important that all health and safety regulations are followed by both employers and employees so that the chances of injuries are reduced. Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 employers have certain duties which allow for the safety of all employees and visitors to the workplace. These duties include;

  • Manage activities in a way which prioritises health and safety
  • Provide employees with adequate training and personal protective equipment
  • Put safety measures in place to help prevent accidents
  • Ensure that the working environment is practical that the work that is to be carried out

Employees also have a duty of care to both themselves and their co-workers to ensure that they do not act in a negligent manner which may lead to injury. If it is found that they were acting in a negligent manner they may be found liable.

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Work at Height) Regulations 2006

These regulations are in place to ensure the safety of those who are required to work at a height. These regulations state that working at a height should be avoided if possible. If it is necessary for this work to be carried out employers have a duty of care to ensure that the work is done in a safe way using the correct equipment and tools. If a cheery picker is to be used all those who will be using the machinery should be trained on how to use it in a safe manner. This also ensures that the correct procedures are followed in the case of an emergency. Employers should also ensure that there are safety measures in place to ensure that there are no injuries sustained by members of the public.

Safety regulations should be followed by all in the company to ensure that nobody sustains injuries* that could have been avoided.

Common Injuries

Some of the common injuries sustained from a cherry picker accident include:

Causes of Cherry Picker Accidents*

Inadequate Training

There is a certain risk associated with working from a height so it is important that employees are properly trained on how to correctly use equipment and machinery. Inadequate training can lead to accident and injury* of both employees and members of the public. Insufficient training is a common cause of workplace accidents* so it is important that employees attend any training that is provided to them prior to completing a job.

Negligent Behaviour

If an employer is acting negligently during the course of their work it is likely that an accident will occur. The chance of an accident occurring is greater if the cherry picker is not used for the purpose intended. If you have been injured while using a cherry picker and it has been found that you were acting in an unsafe manner, it is likely that you will be found liable. Another example of this is if the cherry picker is hit by another vehicle operated by another employee.

Faulty Equipment

It is the responsibility of an employer to ensure that all equipment and machinery used in the workplace is maintained to a high standard to ensure the safe use and health and safety of employees. A poorly maintained cherry picker could result in an accident which the employer may be found liable for.

Objects Falling From a Height

As those using a cherry picker will be up at more of a height than others it is likely that items may fall from the cherry picker injuring other employees or members of the public. It is important that precautions are in place to reduce the risk of items falling if they are not secured properly.

Overturning

If a cherry picker was to overturn, it can not only affect the person operating it but also people that are working close by.


What to do after an accident at work*?

Following an accident at work*, there are a number of steps you should follow:

  1. Seek medical attention

    Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after an accident at work*, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries and seek the relevant medical attention. If you have sustained a serious injury ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.

    For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.

  2. Report the accident

    It is critical to report the accident to your superior, i.e. a supervisor or manager on site. It doesn’t matter how small you think the accident may be. By law, accidents at work* are required to be reported if the person is injured and can’t perform their daily work tasks for more than three days. Make sure to fill out an Accident Report Form. This can be used in reference to any medical examination and will also prevent any similar accidents that could happen in the future.

  3. Identify any witnesses

    If possible, try to collect the contact details of anybody that witnessed the accident. This may be of use if you do decide to pursue a workplace accident claim*. It is also useful to find out if there is any CCTV in the area where the accident happened.

  4. Document the incident

    It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:

    •  How the accident happened
    •  Details of any witnesses
    •  If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident
    • Take pictures of where the accident happened and what caused the accident
  5. Speak to a workplace accident solicitor*

    If you are considering moving forward with a workplace accident claim* for any personal injuries sustained it is advisable that you speak with a workplace accident claims solicitor* as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. A workplace accident solicitor* can help you in preparing your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.

    It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim.

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Call us today on +353 1 649 9900 or contact us online.

How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist workplace accident* solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your workplace accident claim* it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of who/what caused the accident
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Who did you report the accident to?
    • Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident?
    • Details of your injuries
    • Details of hospital or GP attended
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    As a solicitor is aware of the workplace accident claim* process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    One of the most important document in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or Hospital details so he can obtain a report on your injuries. This report will then be used to allow us progress your case.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your workplace accident claim* will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. You solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and your employer accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or your employer reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus of your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey’s we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your workplace accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a workplace accident claim* you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a workplace accident*.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the workplace accident*, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases* is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident* to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors

We draw on more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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