Building and construction site accidents

Building and construction sites are dangerous places to be. There are strict rules and regulations covering the industry with safety standards that must be respected and obeyed by the main contractor on site and all subcontractors. Hazards on building sites include power tools, falling building materials, and scaffolding. The list goes on. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work lists some of the injuries which are particular to construction and building sites. The most common include slip and trip injuries, falling from a height and injuries caused by machinery.

There are also occupational illnesses that are particular to the industry such as asbestos related illnesses, asthma and other breathing and dermatitis caused by chromium in cement. If you have an accident at work on a construction site you will be able to make a personal injury claim for compensation.



construction site accidents


Rights of Building and Construction Site Workers

Employers have a responsibility to protect their employees, contractors and visitors from injury and harm on a building or construction site.

Employers must;

  • Carry out risk assessments and devise safe working methods and processes which have to be updated as the work progresses.
  • Check scaffolding and hoists and make sure they are safe.
  • Provide workers with the necessary machinery and tools for their work. They must make sure that the machines and tools are maintained to a safe condition.
  • Make sure that the workplace is kept in a safe and tidy condition all floor surfaces and corridors should be clean and free from hazards.
  • Provide workers with suitable workstations and chairs.
  • Ensure that doors and gates are not obstructed.
  • Provide training to all employees who do heavy lifting to make sure that they know how to do this safely.
  • Provide workers with any safety wear (Personal Protective Equipment) they need to do their jobs safely.

Resources Available

How to win your claim for personal injury at work

How to prepare a discrimination schedule of loss for the employment tribunal

How to write a grievance about discrimination at work

How to use the discrimination questions procedure

Disciplinary action and capability

Health and Safety Dismissal

Surviving Capability and Performance Management

Employee Representative Guide for non-union workplaces



What you can do

If your employer does not do the above, and you are injured at work then you may be able to make a construction or building site compensation claim.  You can make a personal injury compensation claim if your injury was caused by the negligence of a colleague.

You will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. Your right to sick pay should be in your employment contract or your terms and conditions of employment.

Do not accept compensation from an insurance company acting for your employer without taking legal advice. You may find that you have settled for less than you are actually entitled to.

You will need to prove that your injury, occupational illness or disease was caused by the negligence of your employer. A

The Pre-Action Protocol

You start your claim using the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury (Employers’ Liability and Public Liability) Claims. The Employee Rescue Guide explains what you must prove, in order to be successful, such as;

  • Identifying that there is a person, company or organisation to make the claim against.
  • Showing that the person, company or organisation owed you a duty of care to avoid your accident and injury, and could have taken steps to avoid the situation.
  • Proving that your injury was caused by the failure of the responsible person or organisation to take reasonable steps to avoid causing your accident or injury.


Best of the web 

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work –  The main causes of accidents in the construction sector

Managing Occupational Health Risks in Construction

Construction Industry Advisory Committee

Hazards Magazine

Welding Health and Safety

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 

Health and Safety Executive on Personal Protective Equipment 

Respiratory Protective Equipment

Citizens Advice – Personal Injuries

Department for Work and Pensions – Compensation, Social Security Benefits and lump sum payments



This resource is published by Employee Rescue Limited. Please note that the information and any commentary on the law contained herein is provided for information purposes only. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. Employee Rescue accepts no responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this publication.

Further specialist advice should be taken before relying on the contents of this publication. You can send an e-mail to for such specialist advice if required.



Case Study

In the Scottish case of Collins v First Quench Retailing Ltd [2003], Ms Jacqueline Collins was awarded £179,000 from her employers when the off-license she managed was robbed. Ms Collins had been the manager of Victoria Wine, run by First Quench Retailing, for about ten years. When Mrs Collins started in the shop she had been concerned about security and raised this with management. Since 1977 there had been 13 reported crimes at the shop, including five thefts, one minor assault, one serious assault and one assault with intent to rob. There were two armed robberies in 1994 and four... Read More
Ms Jacqueline Collins was awarded £179,000 from her employers when the off-license she managed was robbed.Collins v First Quench Retailing Ltd
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