I tripped on a loose carpet in the office and fell and fractured my wrist and want to know if I can claim compensation. My employer said that there was no money to fix the carpet on many occasions. Does this mean there will be no money available to pay compensation?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

As you tripped on a loose carpet in the office which your employer had already acknowledged as being in need of repair, there should be no obstacle to making an injury claim for tripping and falling on a loose carpet at the office.

As your employer should be aware, the workplace must be regularly checked and inspected and all potential risks to health and safety should be identified and remedied in a suitable time frame. A failure to identify risks or to take prompt and appropriate action to correct health risks is considered negligence and a failure in a duty of care to staff. As an injury has been sustained as a result of a failure in a duty of care, you will be eligible to make an office trip injury compensation claim.

The fact that complaints had previously been made about the state of the carpet indicates that your employer was aware that there was a health and safety risk and that this risk was ignored. Despite the financial climate at your place of work, cost saving can never place the health and safety of employees at risk and your employer should have made the repair or the removal of the loose carpet a priority.

The financial implications to your employer of you making a claim for office trip injury compensation will depend on the level of excess he has on his employer´s liability insurance. Settlements of injury compensation for having tripped on a loose carpet in the office are usually made by your employer´s insurers and, in this respect, there should be no issues about there being adequate funds to pay compensation.

However, if your employer has a large excess on his employer liability insurance policy, this may create a problem with the personal relationship you have with your employer. By law, employers are not allowed to penalise you in any way for making an injury claim against them when they have been clearly neglectful of your health and safety but, to ensure that there are no repercussions in the workplace, it would be in your best interests to discuss your claim for falling and tripping on a loose carpet at the office with a personal injury solicitor at the first practical opportunity.