Injury At Work Caused By Stair Lift, Compensation Awarded Under Occupiers Liability Act
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Home > News > Ambulance Man Injured at Work Following Breach of Occupiers Liability Act

25th February 2008

Breach of the Occupiers Liability Act results in Injury at Work Compensation Claim

Under the Occupiers Liability Act 1984, an individual has a duty of care to protect visitors to their premises from accident or injury. In this case, the premises were the defendant’s home. Having suffered a stroke at his home, the occupier was being carried down the stairs by our client, a paramedic, and a colleague from the ambulance service, with the aim of transporting him to hospital.

On arriving at the premises, the two ambulance men had been advised that there was a stairlift but it was not working. Had it been in operation, they would have used that to bring the patient, who was an elderly and quite large man, downstairs. Instead, they decided to carry him in their carry chair. Had they been able to use the stairlift, this would have avoided this work related accident.

Being on the last flight of stairs before reaching the bottom, our client was startled when the stairlift, which was at the bottom of the stairs, started to move upwards towards him. Because of the already narrow access on the stairs, due to the stairlift rail, our client was unable to avoid the moving stairlift, which caught the bottom of the carry chair, causing our client to fall backwards and the carry chair, and the patient, to fall on top of him, resulting in this work related accident.

The stairlift then came to a stop, and our client had to manoeuvre the carry chair and patient up and around it to continue down the stairs. In doing so, he suffered a work related injury to his elbow, which caused him considerable pain and suffering for some months. Eventually, when steroid treatment and physiotherapy failed to improve his condition, surgery was required to resolve the situation. He was forced to take several weeks off work during a period of many months following the accident at work, and several months more following the surgery. Although his condition has improved considerably, he still suffers some pain and discomfort from this injury at work.

Although the precise cause of the stairlift moving was not determined, it was found that someone must have accidentally activated one of the several on-off switches, which were positioned at various points up the stairs and on the stairlift itself.

The judge found that the occupier, the defendant, should have prevented this work injury by ensuring the stairlift was completely disabled by isolating the power. This would have meant that even had the on-off switch been activated, the chair would have remained stationery. He rejected the defendant’s version of events that our client had stumbled and dropped the carry chair. The judge awarded damages to our client in this injury at work compensation claim.

Compensation Claim

Should you decide to instruct us to represent you in your accident claim, Clear Answers’ lawyers have teams of specialists waiting to help you. We have extensive experience in all types of accident at work claims, whether it was the result of negligence on the part of your employer, or some other cause.

Our lawyers will be happy to provide you with expert legal advice, talk you through the claims process in plain English and answer any questions you may have regarding your claim. If you or a family member has been injured in these circumstances, please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers. Alternatively, you may prefer to complete one of our on-line compensation claim forms and one of our representatives will contact you as quickly as possible.

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