Lawford Kidd, Personal Injury Solicitors

Expert claims & compensation solicitors. We can help you if you have suffered an accident or injury in Scotland. Call us on 0808 258 1233 or fill in our online contact form.

Office Christmas Party Accidents - Can I Claim Compensation?

Whilst the office Christmas party is supposed to be full of fun, the combination of bad weather, alcohol and space not designed for partying can lead to workplace accidents. This post looks at a number of accidents that can occur in the workplace and gives you some tips as to when you will be able to make a claim for a workplace injury.

I slipped on ice coming into the Christmas party, can I make a claim?

If your office Christmas party is being held at your place of work, your employer remains responsible for ensuring that all visitors are safe - this includes ensuring walkways are free from snow and ice.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, state that your employer is responsible for ensuring that access to and from your workplace are safe and without risk to employees or their guests. This includes all floors, footpaths and also traffic routes, so far as is reasonably practicable. The Code of Practice associated with the Regulations also specifically makes reference to snow and ice saying:

"…arrangements should be made to minimise risks from snow and ice. This may involve gritting, snow clearing and closure of some routes."

Your employer is therefore obligated to ensure they take action to prevent slips on snow or ice, especially if a party is planned in the workplace. If you have been injured as a result of ice or snow around your workplace, you may be able to make a compensation claim. Furthermore, if your office party is being held at a restaurant, bar or function space, you may also be able to make a claim against the premise’s owner or manager of you are injured as a result of slipping on snow or ice on the property they’re responsible for.

I slipped on ice leaving the Christmas party after a few too many drinks, can I make a claim?

Even if you have had a few drinks when you fall on snow or ice, you may still be able to make a personal injury compensation claim. The courts and insurance companies will assess each claim on its merit, and although alcohol may have been a contributing factor to your injury, this does not mean you cannot make a claim.

In order to determine if you are due compensation, it must first be assessed what caused your fall. If you slipped on ice, there is a good chance you have a claim and there is no rule barring your claim just because you are under the influence of alcohol. However, where you have fallen simply because you are drunk, and there is no apparent defect, you will not be able to make a claim as no one else was at fault. Our team can advise you of your individual circumstances.

I tripped over decorations that had fallen on the floor at the party, can I make a claim?

Slip and trip accidents are normally preventable if proper care has been taken. Employers are responsible for keeping the workplace safe - including identifying any potential tripping hazards. Christmas decorations should be identified by your employer as a potential hazard and as such they should ensure that all decorations are reasonably secure and will not fall causing a tripping hazard. However, it is not only your employer who has a duty to ensure health and safety in the workplace - you and your colleagues are under the duty too. Everyone in the workplace is responsible for ensuring that their actions do not harm those around them, including decorating the office. If you have suffered an accident as a result of a slip or trip in your workplace and unsure whether you can make a claim, please contact us.

I got food poisoning from the food at the office Christmas party, can I make a claim?

It is unfortunate that large events, such as Christmas parties, can lead to an outbreak of food poisoning - a very unpleasant illness to suffer around this time of year. However, if you have suffered food poisoning, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

The Consumer Protection Act 1987 makes it easier to claim food poisoning compensation so long as the poisoning occurred in the UK. The law under this Act details that food retailers must sell products that are free from harmful bacteria that could cause food poisoning. Where the source of the food poisoning can be established, the Act imposes what is known as ‘strict liability’. This means that normally it is not required to prove that anyone acted negligently; you only need to prove the following:

  • The food provided contained food poisoning bacteria and was thus unsafe
  • You were made ill by the food provided
  • The cause of your illness was the unsafe food

Where you have contracted food poisoning, you may bring your claim against the producer of the food, importers of the food or own brands who put their name on food products such as supermarkets.

If you have suffered food poisoning and think you may be able to make a claim, contact our specialist team today to find out more.

Contact Us

If you have been injured in the workplace or suffered from negligence or a breach of health and safety standards you could be entitled to make a personal injury claim. Contact us today to find out if you could be entitled to make a claim using our online contact form or give us a call on 0808 159 9292.

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