I was told that compensation for slippery office floor accidents can only be claimed if an injury resulted in time off work for more than 3 days. I broke two fingers but returned to work the next day. Can I still make a claim?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

The person who told you that you would not be able to claim compensation for slippery office floor accidents appears to be confused about personal injury claims law. If an injury has been sustained at work, there is no law stating that a claim for a slip on an office floor can only be made if the injury was of such a severity that time off work was necessary. However in order to claim for a slip on an office floor, the injury must have been severe enough for medical treatment to have been sought. If you broke two fingers, it is likely that these were diagnosed at hospital by X-ray. Your medical records will therefore be updated with details of your injuries. This is a pre-requisite before any claim for compensation for slippery office floor accidents can be made.

It is likely that there has been some confusion over claiming compensation for slippery office floor accidents and when accidents need to be reported to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) in Ireland. If you are injured at work and your injury results in an absence from work of more than 3 days, the accident must be reported. If you have been prevented from performing your normal duties for 3 days or more by returning to work with broken fingers, this is similarly reportable. However you do not need to report an accident to the HSA in order to be eligible to claim compensation for slippery office floor accidents.

Although you have suffered an injury in an accident at work, it does not necessary give you the right to claim compensation for slippery office floor accidents. In order for a claim for compensation for slippery office floor accidents to be possible, the accident in which you were injured must have been caused by the negligence of your employer or another third party who owed you a duty of care. If the floor at work was slippery, your employer may have been negligent for failing to install non slip flooring or for lapses in health and safety standards – such as wet mopping the floor without the use of warning signs. Establishing and proving employer negligence for office slips and falls can be complicated, and it is strongly advisable to contact a solicitor for legal advice about doing so. A solicitor will also confirm eligibility to claim, and will answer any questions you may have about claiming compensation for a slip on an office floor.