I wanted to claim compensation for tripping over cables in an office for a broken wrist, but my manager has told me that it is not possible as the cables were taped to the floor. Is this correct?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Your manager may not feel that you are entitled to make a claim for compensation for tripping over cables in an office as he had made a cursory effort to reduce the risk of tripping by taping the cables to the floor. However, although your manager took some action to reduce the risk of tripping it clearly was not sufficient to prevent an accident from happening. By placing cables across a walkway and failing to secure them properly, your employer may have been negligent and you should be within your rights to claim compensation for tripping over cables in an office.

Rather than taping cables to the floor to reduce the risk of tripping, it may have been more appropriate to route the cables in a different manner to avoid placing them across a thoroughfare in the office. Effective planning of cabling should have allowed the cables to be used in a fashion which did not create a trip risk for the staff. Were it not possible to route the cables in any other way, your employer should have placed a warning sign alerting staff to the risk of tripping.

As with any claim for compensation for a work accident, you will need to gather evidence of employer negligence. If the cables are still in place, you should take photographs of the cables at the point where you tripped. You should record the contact details of any witnesses to the accident who would be able to submit a written testimony that the cabling was dangerous. You should record the name, address and home telephone number of any witnesses. Claims for compensation for tripping over cables in an office may take many months to resolve, during which time staff may move on to alternative employment.

You should also file a report in your employers Accident Book detailing the circumstances under which the accident occurred, and any injuries which you sustained. This will be used as proof that the accident occurred in the workplace if you need to make a claim for compensation for tripping over cables in an office should you employer deny liability when asked for consent by the Injuries Board. You should also speak with a personal injury solicitor about your case at the earliest opportunity to confirm your eligibility to claim trip injury compensation for tripping over cables in an office.