I was seriously injured in a fall at work and want to claim roofer injury compensation. My employer was sympathetic but told me I cannot claim compensation as I should have worn a safety harness, but he did not provide me with one. Can I make a claim?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

It is your legal right to claim roofer injury compensation if you have been injured in the workplace, provided that your accident and injury could have been avoided had your employer fulfilled his duty of care to protect you from coming to harm.

Your employer has a legal responsibility to ensure that all practical steps are taken to reduce the risk to employees under various legislative acts; however roofing is covered specifically under the Work at Height Regulations (2005, 2007). Due to the danger of working at a height and the seriousness of falls from a height, employers must ensure that all work is properly planned and appropriate work equipment is used to “minimise the distance and consequences of a fall should one occur.”

Your employer is correct in stating that you should have worn a safety harness; however it is your employer’s responsibility to provide one to you. You should not be expected to provide your own safety equipment in order to work safely. As such it is likely that your employer has been negligent with regards to your personal safety, and you should therefore be entitled to make a roofer injury compensation claim against your employers liability insurance policy.

However it is your responsibility to establish that an employer has breached his duty of care and has been negligent if you want to claim for roofer injury compensation. As such you should speak about your case with a personal injury solicitor. A solicitor will determine whether under the circumstances your employer was negligent, and you will be assisted with gathering evidence to support a roofer injury compensation claim.

What you must certainly do is to make sure that a report of the accident is made in your employer’s accident book. This is a vital procedure if you are to make a roofer injury compensation claim as this report will serve as evidence that the accident occurred in the workplace.

However, if your employer fulfilled all his obligations under the Work at Height Regulations and provided all of the appropriate safety equipment but you chose not to use it, you will be unable to claim roofer injury compensation. Your employer´s legal representatives would argue that you had been negligent with regards to your own personal safety and your accident and injuries were primarily your own fault.

Consequently, it would be in your best interests to speak with a personal injury solicitor and resolve any doubts about your entitlement to claim roofer injury compensation at the earliest practical opportunity.