A Guide To Claiming If You Slipped At Work And Hurt Your Back

By Danielle Graves. Last Updated 8th March 2024. All employers in the UK have a legal duty to ensure their workplaces are safe and free of hazards.  A part of this duty is ensuring that health and safety policies are in place and up to date so that the likelihood of accidents can be reduced to the lowest level possible, thereby protecting employees from harm. Employers are also required to ensure that all new employees receive training on relevant health and safety procedures. If an employer fails in these or other duties and you, for instance, slipped at work and hurt your back, depending on the circumstances, a personal injury claim may be filed.

If you have suffered a back injury at work through an accident you believe was someone else’s fault, you may have valid grounds to make a claim for compensation. Making a claim isn’t as easy or straightforward, so speaking to an experienced legal team can be a great help. Our panel of expert personal injury lawyers can give you the assistance you need to make a successful claim. 

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A man sitting on the stairs holding his back in pain

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When You Could Claim If You Slipped At Work And Hurt Your Back

Your employer owes you a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to take reasonable measures to prevent you from coming to harm and help ensure your safety. This is their duty of care.

To help ensure they are maintaining their duty of care, your employer could:

  • Ensure that you have been provided with appropriate training.
  • Perform regular maintenance checks and risk assessments.
  • Ensure that all walkways are free of clutter and that any hazards that cannot be removed are signposted clearly.

However, you may be wondering, ‘I slipped and hurt my back at work, could I claim compensation?’. In order to have an eligible personal injury claim, you will need to demonstrate that your case meets the following criteria:

  1. Your employer owed a duty of care to you.
  2. They failed to adhere to their duty.
  3. This breached duty caused your accident and subsequent injuries.

Contact a member of our advisory team today to discuss your case today and receive free advice. If they deem your claim to be strong, they may also connect you with a solicitor on our panel.

Causes Of Slip, Trip And Fall Accidents In The Workplace

As can be seen from the statistics above, slip, trip and fall accidents are very common, particularly in the workplace. There are many reasons why slip, trip and fall accidents can occur and often they could be prevented. Potential causes of slip, trip and fall accidents may include:

  • Wet Ground Surfaces – If the floor is left wet either after cleaning or following a leak for example. In these cases, warning signs should be erected by the hazard to warn employees of a slip risk.
  • Spillages – Similar to the above, a liquid spillage or even a food spillage or any type of spillage that leaves the floor contaminated and therefore slippery, could result in an accident if it is not cleared immediately or warning signs erected until it is possible to clear the floor.
  • Icy Surfaces – If surfaces in work premises, such as in car parks and work entry and exit areas, are not treated to prevent ice from forming when required, an accident could occur.
  • Damaged Or Uneven Flooring – Flooring that is left damaged or uneven could result in a trip and fall accident. This could be especially dangerous if the defective flooring is in a stairwell, causing someone to fall down the stairs.
  • Lighting – Poor lighting or lack of lighting can contribute to an accident where someone could slip, trip or fall.
  • Untidiness – Work areas need to be kept clear of clutter to prevent trip hazards. If walkways are left with items in the way, such as trolleys, boxes,  or rubbish bags, for example, there’s likely to be an accident at some point. In factories and workshops, tools should not be left lying around. Good housekeeping is essential for preventing such accidents from happening.

What Is The Time Limit For Back Injury Claims?

Those eligible to seek personal injury compensation for back injuries in the workplace must start the process within the relevant limitation period. This is generally three years from the date of the accident that caused your injury.

However, exceptions can be made to the limitation period for back injury claims. For example:

  • Those who lack the mental capacity to handle their own claim. The time limit is suspended indefinitely in these instances. During this period, a litigation friend could handle legal proceedings on their behalf. However, should they regain this capacity, and a claim has not been made for them, they will have three years from the recovery date to start one.
  •  Those under the age of 18. The time limit is suspended until they turn 18. Prior to this, a litigation friend could make a claim for them. If a claim has not been made by their 18th birthday, they will have three years from this date to begin their own one.

Contact our advisors today if you have any further questions about claims for back injuries at work. They could also inform you whether you have enough time to start your claim.

Compensation for a Back Injury – Compensation Calculator

If you’ve slipped and fell on your back, you may be able to claim compensation if you can prove that your injury was caused by negligence. There are two types of damages you can potentially claim for.

General damages compensation relates to the suffering, pain and negative impact on the quality of life resulting from the injury. Aspects that can determine the extent of the compensation include:

  • The severity of your injury
  • If any permanent symptoms or health issues have been caused
  • Whether you’ve suffered any loss of amenity

If you’re making a back injury at work claim, the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) can provide you with a clearer idea of what you could receive for general damages. These figures (taken from the 2022 guidelines) are only meant to give you an indication of potential compensation.

Injury TypeSeverityDescriptionCompensation Bracket
Multiple Severe/Serious Injuries with Financial CostsSevere/SeriousCompensation for multiple serious injuries suffered, both mental and physical, and their financial costs such as lost earnings, travel expenses and care costs.Up to £250,000+
BackSevere (i)Cases in the top end of this bracket will involve severe spinal cord and nerve root damage. £91,090 to £160,980
BackSevere (ii)Special features of these injuries include damage to nerve roots that lead to impaired bowel and bladder function and unsightly scarring. £74,160 to £88,430
BackSevere (iii)Disc fractures or disc lesions that lead to conditions that are chronic in nature where, despite treatment such as surgery, disabilities remain. £38,780 to £69,730
BackModerate (i)Substantial risk of osteoarthritis is caused due to a crush/compression fracture of the lumbar vertebrae. £27,760 to £38,780
BackModerate (ii)Frequent back injuries are included in this bracket. This includes muscle and ligament disturbances that cause backache. £12,510 to £27,760
BackMinor (i)Where less serious strains and sprains recover without surgery within two to five years. £7,890 to £12,510
BackMinor (ii)Full recovery is experienced within one or two years without surgery. £4,350 to £7,890
BackMinor (iv)The injury takes up to three months to recovery from without surgery. Up to £2,450

Compensation figures are based on many different aspects which is why the figures above are not guaranteed. If you would like to get an estimate that relates to your injury, please contact our advisors for a free legal consultation. They can be contacted using the details above.

Slipped At Work – What Else You Could Be Awarded?

If you slipped at work, you might wonder what else you could be awarded in a successful claim. Another potential head of claim is special damages, which aims to compensate you if you suffered financially due to slipping at work.

Financial harm or losses you may suffer after a slip at work injury include:

  • A loss of earnings, which may occur due to you taking time off to recover from your injuries. A wage slip could be evidence of this loss.
  • Medical fees, such as paying for private treatment or medication. Receipts or invoices can prove these expenses.
  • Travel costs, which you may incur as a result of travelling to doctor appointments regarding your injuries. Retain any evidence, for example, bus tickets or receipts for petrol.

Continue reading to find out what evidence you should collect to improve your chances of securing personal injury compensation after a workplace accident.

A business man slipping next to a wet floor sign at work

I Slipped At Work And Hurt My Back – What Should I Do?

If you have been hurt or injured because you slipped at work and hurt your back, the first thing you can do is seek out any necessary medical treatment. Whether in the form of receiving first aid at the scene of the accident or seeking medical help at a later time, we recommend you treat your health as a priority.

If your accident was caused by negligence, another step you can take is to collect evidence of how you hurt your back at work, and evidence of the negligence that took place. This can be:

  • Recorded footage, such as CCTV, of the hazard that led to you slipping
  • Emails, or similar documents such as texts, that could show you had made your employer aware of the hazard and they had not taken sufficient action
  • The contact details of witnesses to either your accident, or to your employer’s negligence

While it is not a requirement to speak to a solicitor, getting in contact with a solicitor at an early stage of making a claim can also be helpful. Not only could a solicitor possibly advise you on the best evidence to collect and how to do so, but they could also request it on your behalf, and guide you through to ensure you are properly awarded compensation for your back injury at work.

Please reach out to a member of our team for more information about claiming compensation in accident at work claims.

No Win, No Fee Claims If You Slipped At Work And Hurt Your Back

Our panel of solicitors can give you the option of entering into a No Win, No Fee Agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The CFA is designed to offer claimants financial protection and the confidence to pursue justice. When claiming with a solicitor on our panel under a CFA, you will not have to pay any service fees upfront, nor will you have to pay any service fees during your claim either. And if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your case.

If your claim is successful, your solicitor may seek a small contribution towards their costs. This is known as a ‘success fee’ and would be deducted from the compensation awarded at the end of the claim. Don’t worry, the success fee is legally capped!

Contact Us Today

Contact a friendly member of our advisory team today if you slipped at work and hurt your back to see whether you could be eligible to make an accident at work claim. Our team of advisors can help answer any questions you may have about the personal injury claims process and provide you with free advice. If they deem you to have a strong case, they could also put you in contact with a No Win No Fee solicitor on our panel.

Contact them today:

Further Slip And Trip Accident Claim Resources

NHS Back Pain Guide – The NHS provides information here regarding back pain, causes and treatment.

Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries –  Information about spinal cord injuries is provided here by the Spinal Cord Association.

HSE Preventing Slips And Trips At Work – The HSE provides information here on how employers can help to prevent the occurrence of slips and trips at work.


Guide by KH

Edited by REG