I was injured on a wet floor in an office when a colleague slipped and knocked me over. I severely sprained my ankle and injured my shoulder when I fell over. Do I claim compensation against her or my employer?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
There are many reasons why slips and falls occur in the workplace; however claims for being injured on a wet floor in an office are always made against a negligent third party who was responsible for an accident. In your case, although it was your work colleague who caused you to be injured, the reason for her slipping and falling was the wet floor. It is therefore likely that a claim for being injured on a wet floor in an office will need to be made against your employer, as maintaining the floor and keeping it free from slip hazards is an employer’s responsibility.
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act (2005), an employer must ensure that the workplace is safe and that risks are kept to the minimum practical level. Temporary hazards such as wet floors must be quickly identified and mopped. If a floor is left wet, a warning sign should be placed over the hazard or the wet area should be cordoned off to prevent staff slipping and being injured on a wet floor in an office. When you make a claim for being injured on a wet floor in an office you must be able to establish that the hazard existed for an unreasonable timeframe in order for your employer to be deemed to have been negligent. Failure to address a hazard in an appropriate time frame is negligence and would be grounds for claiming compensation for slipping on a wet floor in an office.
Even if it appears that your employer was negligent, you should seek legal advice about making a claim for being injured on a wet floor in an office. A solicitor will help to determine if your employer has been negligent and will assist you with gathering evidence of negligence. Your solicitor should arrange to speak to as many people as possible who witnessed the accident in an attempt to prove that your employer has been negligent and this was the reason for you being injured on a wet floor in the office. Establishing employer negligence and obtaining proof of this from work colleagues can be potentially awkward and difficult without the assistance of a personal injury solicitor.