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PriorityOne

Tripped and fell at work....

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Hi everyone, :-)

 

This is really not my area, so would appreciate some help.

 

Last week, I was walking into work and I tripped over some metal things that were sticking out of the ground. I don't know what they're called, but they're at the bottom of bollard type posts that can be lowered to the ground to let traffic over the top of them, when needed. When they're up, they keep traffic out... hope you can understand that. There were no signs warning of these metal things but if I was looking where I was going, I would have seen them, I s'pose.

 

It was a nasty fall and I crashed onto the concrete on both knees. One of my colleagues saw this and ran to help... we gathered up my things and I got up and walked into work. It was very painful, both knees were bruised and skin was off; despite having trousers on. I had no holes in my trousers though (strange?!)

 

I contacted HR and was told that I'd need to fill in accident report form, which I'll be doing over the weekend.

 

My knees are ok but I have joint problems. I have had these for a while but have never seen a GP about them because I'm aware that not much could be done anyway. I've had back problems for years but nothing really helps, so just haven't bothered going back. What I need to know though is..... where do I stand if problems develop with my knees or, if my existing ones get worse? I've not been to the GP with existing problems to do with my knees, as said.

 

This is the 2nd accident I've had. The first one was whan I fell in the heavy snow after my employer had failed to clear a pathway for us to get into the building. An accident report was filled in for this and filed but I did nothing about it.... because the path was cleared the same day. This last accident however was a very heavy fall and if I'm honest, I feel quite cross about it.

 

All advice welcome...

 

:-)

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Hi.... I would get the problem noted at your GP asap. Don't know what your goal is here as there could be a couple of routes that might play out. Obviously you could seek a solicitors advice and start some sort of action but the injury doesn't sound that serious therefore any damages would be minimal. However has it done something to aggravate the existing condition? has the first incident impacted on the condition too? You don't mention what the condition is so can only guess. What will be needed is an expert opinion as to what impact this and the first accident has had on the condition and what the prognosis is also and what percentage liability can be awarded to you from the accident. That may be nothing or everything and any number between. It really is in the expert territory though.

 

Another aspect is the liability for any benefit that you may be entitled to from the workplace. As we don't know what they are we can only speculate. But for example if you were in a position that this condition eventually makes working your job impossible retirement might be an option and those benefits may be affected by work related accident. Noting in the work place accident register is only part of the way to ensuring authorities know about these. You have to follow it up with reporting the incidents to the DWP and you need to fill in a form (number escapes me at present). That may make you entitled to Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit but whatever percentage they give you may not be enough at this stage for any actual money. However the condition may worsen in 20 years or so and then you can apply again especially if your mobility is severely affected, so it is worth ensuring they know about it.

 

What exactly do you want out of this?

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I'm trying to cover myself, to be honest. I've been intending to go to the GP for weeks about ongoing pains in my lower back and hips but haven't as yet... I just got on with life. A fall on my hip (1st time) and this fall on my knees (last week) isn't going to help me in the long term. That's what I feel anyway.

 

I don't want to annoy my employer with this by going to a solicitor and this was never my intention anyway but.... I don't want to just leave it and then find some months later that I've got bigger problems in my joints because of the fall. I'm able to do my job (teaching), so it's not effecting that but I was in a lot of pain last week after the fall and that isn't right.

 

I'm also not able to lift stuff.... and as an aside to this, I spent the last day of the Summer holidays moving furniture around at work (we had room changes) because there was no-one else to do it.... and it needed to be done. I even had a text message to come in and please sort my room out! The furniture was moved by the caretakers, but dumped any old how in the new rooms. The whole place is making me cross at the moment because of the way people are being treated.... which is why I'm posting this, I think. If I'd refused to go in and sort my room out, it would have made my life much more stressful because I would have had to go in and try to do my job in complete chaos!

 

I'm very aware that it's an employers' market out there and don't want to rock the boat for myself.... but don't know what else to do to cover myself re. these accidents (if anything) just in case I get problems later on down the line because of them.

 

Does that make sense?

 

:|

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Completely. Seems to me then you should make yourself go to the Gp and get all this logged in your medical notes. You must inform the DWP so the long term is covered. What strikes me is that if you do have a long term health issue that affects what you can safely do the DDA may be applicable to you. But that depends on the long term issue being noted on your medical notes. So say you have osteoarthritis and you are unable to do all that lifting you can reasonablby say to your head that your condition could be made worse or causes you pain so please can they get the caretakers in to re arrange things. If they know you have a problem but you are coping with it but need a little help every now and again they are obliged to do it.

 

I would have thought that teaching is a profession that has benefits for ill health retirement so best you get all your ducks in order in case you need to go that route.

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Hello there. This doesn't sound great, I'm sorry you're going through this. As Papasmurf says, it's important to make sure all the steps for reporting an accident are followed. I hadn't realised before reading this forum that the local authority it is, I think, also need to be informed. Have you looked at the HSE website for their information? I think it's worth a look and they also have a helpline. They may need to be told too.

 

The medical part could be harder to prove as you say, but I think maybe you should steel yourself and go to your GP.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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All good sensible stuff above. Get to the Doctor and see what he says. You also need to make the employer aware of the joint problems as this may then afford you certain protections under the DDA. The employer, where an employee has a 'disability' (there are certain criteria which would classify a condition as such under the DDA) would be expected to make reasonable adjustments in order to prevent aggravation of the condition or for you to suffer a detriment at work because of the condition. This would make it far less likely that you would have to move furniture around for example!

 

You must follow up the cause of the accident with the employer, as they need to take steps in preventing this happening again. Even if it is a matter of yellow paint or tape, the hazard must be assessed and remedial action taken. If you didn't take time off work with this, then it wouldn't be a reportable injury, but I think what HM is alluding to is RIDDOR whereby any event causing an absence from work for three days or more, or for a serious injury, needs to be reported to either HSE or the LA.

 

I appreciate what you say about not wanting to annoy the employer, but I can guarantee that many people have filed PI claims for far less and have continued to work with their current employers. You do have legal protection against any backlash, and it would be a matter for insurers, who are quite use to such claims, rather than the employer themselves. Your sentiments are admirable, but you really do have to think abaout the possible long term effects of any injury.

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Thanks for all your input.... it's really appreciated :-)

 

I'll make an appt. to see the GP on Monday and report back. I haven't taken any time off because of the fall (or the last one)... but could easily have stayed off on Friday, to be honest. Working with kids makes it difficult to take time off because I feel so guilty.... so I went in and got through the day. I'm not in any pain now because of the fall but my lower back and hips have been very painful for ages, so this is a good excuse for me to go and see my GP anyway, document the fall and tell him about everything else. I've thought for a while that I may have osteo-arthritis... it runs in the family and my mum had it in her back.

 

Do you still advise me informing DWP about this even though I've had no time off from work?

 

Thanks again... :-)

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Yes absolutely. Get it on record.

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Do you know how I inform DWP.... and which dept. I need to speak to?

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If you need any more help with the DWP aspect, although it seems straightforward, don't forget our own Benefits forum here. They'll help you if you need it.

 

My best, HB

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Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thanks everyone... :-)

 

Just had a thought... I assume that I don't have to do the RIDDOR report at the moment as I haven't been off work with this. What happens if I get problems later on and do need to take time off though? Would it be too late to do a RIDDOR report?

 

Also... is it too late to inform my GP of the first fall (in the snow) and get that one on record as well... as this happened in January?

Edited by PriorityOne
Thought...

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The accident record would suffice for the time being. It is the employer's responsibility to comply with the regs - if necessary they have to report it, not you. It has little bearing on what happens in the case, but they would be in trouble later if they had failed to act in accordance with HSE regs, so you don't need to concern yourself with RIDDOR.

 

The fact that you fell earlier will be relevant to your doctor, and his assessment of your condition, but would be outside the scope of workplace records, although may be worth mentioning in order to address any concerns ahead of another cold snap.


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The accident record would suffice for the time being. It is the employer's responsibility to comply with the regs - if necessary they have to report it, not you. It has little bearing on what happens in the case, but they would be in trouble later if they had failed to act in accordance with HSE regs, so you don't need to concern yourself with RIDDOR.

 

The fact that you fell earlier will be relevant to your doctor, and his assessment of your condition, but would be outside the scope of workplace records, although may be worth mentioning in order to address any concerns ahead of another cold snap.

 

Ok.... thanks for that....

 

I did complete an accident report at the time of the fall in January and was seen by one of the first aiders as well... the only thing I didn't do at that time was see my GP to log it with him.... so it is recorded at work. Does this mean that it's too late for me to log it now with my GP and with DWP and if it is, have I failed to cover myself in case of future medical problems to do with my hip (which I fell on)?

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Hi P1 ........ what happens is that you fill in the form and send it off to the DWP. They then merely log it until you decide that your injury should be assessed. They then send you to a DWP doctor and (usually harshly) they assess what degree of disability you have and whether the industrial injury is responsible. If they accept it is an II then they assess it at a particular percentage. have a look at this http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Industrial-Injuries-Disablement-Benefit.htm You can see that it is quite high degree of disability for you to be allocated the benefit. However that is not to say that your condition may not develop to that degree.... so that is why you need to note it.

 

I would say to tell your GP of both incidents and explain if it has got worse so you are concerned. I would submit two forms, one for each incident. If you feel you need to claim the money you need to submit an additional form. (You may wish to delay this until you are sure your disability is really bad to the degree it affects you incessantly and you may be also be considering ill health retirement from your work. Do you think this a possibility in the future? If so you need to know what the criteria for this is. I would have thought there are enhanced benefits if the retirement is due to an injury at work. Are there?

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No. The crucial thing in that case is that the fall was recorded in the workplace. The rest would be decided by GP opinion as to whether that may have caused or contributed to your current ailments. A bit like a bang on the head now could be an undiagnosed skull fracture (OK - a bit far fetched in this context) - something which was not seen as worthy of visiting the doctor now, but could be relevant to a deterioration later.


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Hi P1 ........ what happens is that you fill in the form and send it off to the DWP. They then merely log it until you decide that your injury should be assessed. They then send you to a DWP doctor and (usually harshly) they assess what degree of disability you have and whether the industrial injury is responsible. If they accept it is an II then they assess it at a particular percentage. have a look at this http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Industrial-Injuries-Disablement-Benefit.htm You can see that it is quite high degree of disability for you to be allocated the benefit. However that is not to say that your condition may not develop to that degree.... so that is why you need to note it. I see.... thank you :-)

 

I would say to tell your GP of both incidents and explain if it has got worse so you are concerned. I would submit two forms, one for each incident. If you feel you need to claim the money you need to submit an additional form. (You may wish to delay this until you are sure your disability is really bad to the degree it affects you incessantly and you may be also be considering ill health retirement from your work. Do you think this a possibility in the future? If so you need to know what the criteria for this is. I would have thought there are enhanced benefits if the retirement is due to an injury at work. Are there?

 

I don't want to claim any Benefit for this... I just want to cover myself in case I need to at some point in the future, that's all. I'm way off retirement age but am aware that I have joint problems and both of these falls won't have helped this situation. The lower back pains that I have now are quite severe and I didn't have these last year; not as bad as they are now. I don't think it's been caused by the first fall but I landed on one side (hip) and jolted my lower back during that incident (in the snow).... which is why I've been quietly kicking myself that I didn't log it with the GP when it happened. I don't want to risk doing that with this last fall (knees), which is why I'm trying to cover all angles.

 

No. The crucial thing in that case is that the fall was recorded in the workplace. Yes, the first incident was recorded and I have a form here to record this last one, which I'm completing today. The rest would be decided by GP opinion as to whether that may have caused or contributed to your current ailments. A bit like a bang on the head now could be an undiagnosed skull fracture (OK - a bit far fetched in this context) - something which was not seen as worthy of visiting the doctor now, but could be relevant to a deterioration later.

 

I've decided to take tomorrow off and see my GP. I'll let you know what he says....

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I understand P1... it is worth knowing the system. My wife and I have been through it a couple of times and have little confidence of the DWP doctors coming to a reasoned decision. It can do no harm for a work pension when it gets to that stage.

 

From a personal point of view, working with a disability is difficult and asking your employer to make adjustments is definitely a way forward for you, so a proper diagnosis and investigation is very important. Good luck at the doctors.

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Ok.... saw the GP this morning and he looked at my knees. He diagnosed bad bruising/swelling and gave me a prescription for pain killers. He told me to use ice packs every few hours and not to stand up too much or drive.... so I'm thinking of not rushing back to work too fast now and putting my own needs before the job for a change!! I'm sure my name will be mud within work circles for this.... but hey-ho. :|

 

While I was there, I also spoke about the severe pain in my back and hips and told the GP that arthritis is in my family, my mum had it in her spine (and spondylitis)... and that I can't ignore it any longer. I told him that I'd had an x-ray on my upper back some years ago which showed nothing and should I have an MRI this time? He said that he was reluctant to send me for an MRI because it's so much more powerful than an x-ray and he didn't like to send people to have one straight away. As I was now approaching him re. my lower back, he felt that I should start with having x-rays and see what they showed. So... I've had my lower back and hips x-rayed this morning :-)

 

He noted on my records that I'd had a work-related injury re. my knees and I also asked him to note that I'd had a previous incident in January when I slipped on an icy path while going into work and fell on my side.... although he said that it was too late to link the problems I have now with that incident because I'd left it too long before mentioning it, I assume.

 

So... that's it for now. I'm assuming that the only thing left to do to cover myself would be to complete the DWP forms for both injuries and have them logged. Is that right? I have to say though that having mulled over the events re. work for the last few days, the fact that my knees are in such a state has really p*ssed me off and I'm wondering about issuing a claim now but whether I'd be inviting trouble for myself in doing so.

 

What do people think?

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Do you mean a PI claim?

 

Great that your GP was so supportive. I don't think it matters too much at this time that he has not linked the two incidents, it will be an issue when you want to use it. Now you have X Rays you will be able to track the changes to your condition and potentially attribute any future incident to it.

 

You have 3 years from the date of the incident to start a PI claim. Personally I would wait to see what the treatment does for now and if you have a residual problem that is significant then perhaps you could consider it. Remember you have to link the problem with the incident and that mean basically that an 'expert' doctor will make an assessment to link them or otherwise. Perhaps you should wait for a change and deterioration in the condition. Difficult one to call at this stage.

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Do you mean a PI claim?

 

Great that your GP was so supportive. I don't think it matters too much at this time that he has not linked the two incidents, it will be an issue when you want to use it. Now you have X Rays you will be able to track the changes to your condition and potentially attribute any future incident to it.

 

You have 3 years from the date of the incident to start a PI claim. Personally I would wait to see what the treatment does for now and if you have a residual problem that is significant then perhaps you could consider it. Remember you have to link the problem with the incident and that mean basically that an 'expert' doctor will make an assessment to link them or otherwise. Perhaps you should wait for a change and deterioration in the condition. Difficult one to call at this stage.

 

Yes... a PI claim... My knees are very stiff today and I'm quite angry now that this has happened... in light of the fact that I fell in January as well AND was expected to move furniture around at the end of August. I wasn't intending to use all of this; it's just contributed hugely to the mood I'm in re. work at the moment. :evil:

 

An "expert" doctor.... hmm. I wonder just how independent these people really are. However, I haven't had any problems with my knees up until this incident, so if they do deteriorate, then I'll know why. If I do decide to take a few days off work this week after all, then work have to make a RIDDOR report as well, so would it be in my interests to do this, or will it not make any difference?

 

It wasn't my initial intention to make a PI claim and I certainly don't want to rush into it without knowing what I'm doing either.... but, I do want to protect my position if I need to refer back to the incident to support any claim I might make in the future.... or, if I need to take any more time off work re. joint problems.

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this would not come under the riddor option but the erica

 

did your employer record it onto the erica database

 

it must be recorded within 24 hours or 48 if a weekend

 

its a legal requirement

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this would not come under the riddor option but the erica

 

did your employer record it onto the erica database

 

it must be recorded within 24 hours or 48 if a weekend

 

its a legal requirement

 

I went up to see HR the same day it happened but have not yet given them my completed accident report form. What is Erica?

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Ok... I see (I think)... will have a more thorough read later.... thank you :-)

 

I don't think my employer will have logged anything under Erica but don't know for certain. I was sent away to "find" a First Aider in order to get an accident form; not for anyone to look me over. No-one contacted me about the incident after that or ask for the accident form and I was in work on Friday.

 

I rang in sick this morning and said I needed to go the GP following the fall I had on Thursday.... so the accident form has yet to be handed in. I could get a colleague to photocopy it and do this for me, if necessary. I could also email HR if necessary.... in fact, I'll probably have to because I've got no intention of rushing back.

 

:|

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