An incident which took place earlier this year has prompted WorkCover NSW to issue a warning about the dangers of working around cellar doors.
A worker was injured severely when they fell from a height of 2.5m through an open cellar trapdoor.
There were no signs letting the worker know that the door was open, nor any barriers to stop them from accidentally falling through.
As a result of the fall and the extent of the injuries suffered, the worker won’t be ready to return to work for at least six months, according to WorkCover NSW.
The safety authority found that safety systems in place at the premises were insufficient and so were unable to prevent this sort of incident from occurring.
It has therefore called on all workers and business owners who work on premises where there is a risk of falls due to the presence of a cellar door to minimise or eliminate this hazard.
A range of possible solutions have been suggested for those who work around cellar doors.
Adaptive solutions include installing stairs where possible, self-closing or permanent barriers and/or a built-in guard around the cellar trap door.
Alternatively, WorkCover suggests that workplaces may want to consider using an above-ground storage solution rather than a cellar.
In all cases, businesses are encouraged to regularly assess the safety of their work environment.
Whether as a result of poor workmanship, poor safety standards or other causes, victims of slips or falls in public or private places may be entitled to make a public liability injury claim.
Many may associate public liability more readily with filing a supermarket injury claim after slipping and hurting themselves on the wet floor in the fruit and veges aisle, there are in fact a wide range of circumstances for which slip and fall injury claims can be possible.
Because this can be a complicated area of law, it is important to seek expert legal advice in order to clarify the actions available to you, should you find yourself in this situation.
Injury compensation lawyers in Sydney can provide you with a free consultation about your legal rights and can lend their experienced perspective to an assessment of your situation.
Some lawyers work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning that if they agree to take on your case, you will only pay for their services if your claim is successful.