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Shelving and racking accident claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Shelving And Racking Accident?

Whilst many of us work, shop or move through areas with shelving and racking systems, what is not commonly realized is that racking and shelving can be dangerous. A racking accident has the potential to take lives. In fact on average, eleven people are killed every year in accidents as a result of being trapped by something, something collapsing or overturning. Additionally, racking and shelving accidents can also lead to injuries to the shoulders or head if something falls from a height onto them. Accidents can also be caused by machinery and equipment such as forklift trucks or pallet trucks damaging the racking system.

Accidents generally occur when the rules for warehouse machinery and shelving are not followed correctly or when maintenance is not carried out appropriately. All of these accidents can occur in most warehouses, supermarkets, factories, or other environments. As such, the prevalence of these kinds of injuries should not come as a surprise.

Employees and the members of the public can sustain a variety of injuries from minor through to severe. As such, many racking accidents result in compensation claims being filed against an employer or another responsible party. In order for a claimant to make a successful case, claimants need to prove that they have been injured and that this is the result of negligence, improper maintenance or incorrect operation. If the operator has ignored correct maintenance or usage guidelines or has not followed health and safety guidelines, then the person who has been injured could have grounds for a successful compensation claim. The government has produced an excellent guide on how to keep safe when operating storage and racking systems.

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A Guide to Storage Racking Accident Claims

Racking accident

Racking Accident Claims.

We have put together a comprehensive guide to take you through everything you need to know about racking accidents, including warehouse racking accidents and pallet racking accidents. These accidents can occur at work, whilst you are shopping or in other locations. Included are links to relevant government information about legislation, employer responsibilities, and other information. We will also take you through the different kinds of accidents that can happen, their causes and the preventative measures that can be taken. We will also provide you with tips and information on how to put together a claim for storage or racking accidents. We can also help you to maximise the amount of compensation that you could receive when making a claim.

Broadly speaking, shelving and racking accidents fall into two categories:

  • Accidents where the injury was caused by a collapsing or dangerous racking/ shelving or by falling items which have been incorrectly stacked on the shelf. Accidents like these typically happen to employees as well as customers in places such as shops, libraries, and other establishments.
  • Manual handling accidents which happen whilst an employee is either loading or unloading goods from the racking or shelf.

Our guide will also walk you through the steps you will need to take in order to put together and make a successful compensation claim for retail, factory or warehouse racking accidents. We list the paperwork and evidence you need to collect, such as medical information about your injuries and proof of loss of earnings, to ensure your claim can be processed. We will also look at the likely amount of compensation you could receive if it is successful.

What Are Shelving and Racking Accidents?

Shelving and pallet racking accidents are caused by a variety of different factors. Pallet racking and shelving form the base for assembling, handling and storing as well as transporting a variety of different goods. Shelving, racking, and pallets are used in many industries and settings. Some large-scale retailers which operate ‘warehouse style’ retail environments (such as Ikea) also have customer facing areas which use these type of racking systems.

Due to the weight of these racking systems, as well as the size and weight of goods which are often stored on them, commercial and industrial racking accidents are very serious. Racking accidents can cause serious injuries and long-term suffering as well as losses of income. Injuries range from simple cuts and bruises to more serious lacerations resulting from sharp edges and splinters. Victims have also suffered broken bones and crush injuries. These are caused by falling pallets or racking. They can also be caused by the incorrect transport, handling, and placement of goods on the shelving. Consequently, recovering from a racking breaker accident can take time.

Accidents can be caused by racking damage and all racking systems should be correctly maintained and regular inspections by SEMA (Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association) accredited external staff should be carried out. Racking inspections should include the criteria listed below. If you have had an injury due to shelving or racking, these are also great questions for you to provide answers to for your solicitor;

  • Has the racking been erected on a sound and level floor?
  • Is the racking installed according to manufacturer’s specifications?
  • If the racking is secured to a building, has the been tested by structural calculations?
  • Is the racking system fixed in place correctly, i.e. to the floor or a wall?
  • Are any beam connectors fixed in place correctly?
  • Were the correct notices on maximum load weight displayed prominently and were these guidelines correctly followed?
  • Is the racking properly aligned?
  • Are the correct storage procedures being adhered to and are the correct type of pallet being used (if applicable).
  • Were there any obvious signs of damage to the racking?
  • If you are an employee, visiting a site or shopping was there sufficient protective equipment in place if required? This can include column guards and end of rack protectors to prevent damage caused by equipment and to prevent accidents such as cuts and lacerations.

Failure to follow these criteria and guidelines can be the cause of racking accidents. Poor adherence to the correct health and safety procedures have previously resulted in death. In 2009 a paper manufacturer worker was killed in a racking accident. The victim was standing next to the racking when the shelving collapsed. This resulted in heavy boxes with till rolls falling on top of her. The victim was partially buried beneath this and died shortly after. An inquest found she had sustained multiple injuries.

racking accident

racking accident

Other prominent cases include that of Edwards Transport warehouse. An employee was trapped for eight hours following a collapse of racking which contained 4,000 tons of cheese. Whilst the employee survived, it was only thanks to the cage on his forklift truck. In this instance, once one piece of racking collapsed it caused a domino-like effect through the warehouse which even damaged the outer walls of the warehouse. Fire crews had to use specialist cutting equipment and drones to access the building and free the trapped victim.

Cases like these highlight the importance of correctly following procedures to ensure people are not harmed by this kind of potentially dangerous equipment. Compensation payouts can help to cover any costs you may incur due to medical bills, travel and expenses, and loss of earnings. Legal Expert can help you to get the recompense you deserve.

Accidents Caused By Storage and Pallet Racking

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) keeps records of every type of workplace accident in the UK. The most common causes of racking accidents which lead to claims are;

  • Poor design, construction, or maintenance of the racking and shelving system.
  • Using inferior or non approved materials in a racking system.
  • Incorrect usage of pallet racking, using shelving and racking which is not suitable for a load type/ weight or improper handling procedures and methods.
  • Stacking goods improperly or too high, resulting in falling items or even whole stacks or pallets falling.
  • Using damaged pallets, shelving, or racking.
  • Using the incorrect type of system for an environment.

To avoid industrial racking accidents, managers and business owners should follow proper operational and health and safety guidelines. There are often a plethora of preventative measures which can be put in place to prevent these kinds of accidents from occurring

Shop Racking Accident Claims

Shop racking accident claims are one of the most common types of supermarket accidents. They generally involve products falling from a shelf, injuring a person or even a whole shelf collapsing. These accidents can happen to both customers and employees alike. These kinds of supermarket or shop accidents are usually caused by overloaded or inappropriately stacked shelves, shelves which have become top-heavy or unstable, poorly installed or maintained racking and shelf stackers not following correct procedures. There are cases where the supermarket or shops are not responsible for racking accidents. This could be when a customer places a heavy item back on the wrong shelf just before the accident and caused the collapse. If there was not enough time for the items to be removed before the accident occurred, the court may decide that the store’s owner(s) are not responsible for the accident happening.

If you have been injured in a shop, supermarket or other retail environment and the business is claiming it is not their fault, we will gather evidence such as witness statements and CCTV footage to help make your case stronger.

How To Claim For a Racking Failure Accident At Work

Once you have chosen the right solicitor and law firm to represent you in your claim, starting a racking accident claim should be easy. To get the best possible outcome you should work with a personal injury solicitor experienced in personal injury claims.

Winning a personal injury or accident at work compensation claim means being able to prove that the accident resulted in an injury, that you may also have had loss of earnings, and that the injury was the fault of someone else or caused by someone’s negligence.

As a claimant making a claim for industrial racking accidents, you could be an employee working in a shop, or supermarket, a warehouse or factory worker or a member of the public in any of these places. The principle we have highlighted is that you have suffered an injury which is not your fault. Employers and managers always have a duty of care to make sure that anyone (employee or member of the public) can move about their property in a safe manner. This means properly maintaining equipment such as shelving and racking and making sure staff as properly trained in loading/ unloading goods from said racking. If the business is not doing so, they may be held liable for damages.

We have a team of personal injury solicitors who have years of experience and who are dedicated to getting compensation for people in some of the most complex personal injury cases. Our highly qualified team can work with you to gather all the necessary evidence such as medical examinations and reports. These are important in ascertaining whether or not you will have any longer-term effects from your injury as well as the overall seriousness of your injury.

We ensure that all your paperwork is up to date and correctly filled out. Our aim is to take the stress out of making your compensation claim, leaving you the time and space to rest and recuperate. We ensure that from the first inquiry to the close of your case, we provide a hassle-free service.

We are also able to provide our legal services to you on a no-win no-fee basis. We begin by offering you free confidential legal advice over the phone or through our ‘chat’ feature. Before proceeding we will assess your case and whether or not your claim is likely to result in a win.

What to do if you have suffered a racking accident

If you have an injury as result of any industrial racking accidents, there are several steps you need to take in order to later make a successful claim. The first step is always to seek medical attention, get any treatment you need and obtain a copy of the doctor’s report. After this, these are the steps you should take;

  • Collect together all the evidence you can. Your medical report is one part of this. Other evidence which can help your case includes pictures of the accident which caused the injury and the item(s) which specifically did this. Also, try to get any witness statements from people who saw the accident happen.
  • Fill in an accident report form and get a copy of this. Whether you had a pallet racking accident or the racking accident happened in a warehouse, factory, industrial space or a retailer (such as a supermarket or shop), most businesses keep a log of any accidents which happen. Whether you are an employee or a member of the public it is a good idea to get a copy of this log. Such as log may also prove useful later in your case.
  • Document any financial losses, such as loss of income. Part of making a successful compensation claim is claiming for any loss of income and any expenses you incur. Keep a record of receipts and any other proof of purchase you have.

How Much Compensation Could Claim For a Racking Accident?

Whether you are claiming for a racking breaker accident or a type of industrial racking accident, the individual circumstances of your case, your injury and the cause will help determine how much compensation you may be entitled to. Estimating your compensation claim at an early stage can be difficult. Whilst two racking accidents or injuries may look the same on paper, they could be very different in real life. How successful your claim will be and how much you will be awarded will be affected by your medical notes and whether your injury will have short or long-term consequences. Below is a table of historical compensation awards for different injuries and body parts.

Roll cage compensation table

Part of Body Mild - SeriousAmount of CompensationComment - estimates are given depending on the type and severity of the injury.
Shoulder InjurySerious - Moderate£6,250 - £9,750Damage to tissue in the neck and shoulders, restricting movement in the arm or elbow for quite a while.
Hand InjuryExtremely Serious£46,300 - £151,250Compensation varies with severity. It can include both hands, a single hand amputation or the loss of use of one or both hands.
Back InjurySerious-Moderate£30,750 - £8,750Compensation amounts may cover damage to either ligaments or soft tissues in the back. It can also cover constant back pain and /or discomfort.
Knee InjurySerious-Moderate£20,250 - £33,200Higher payouts are awarded to disabilities such as muscular and cartilage damage and soft tissue damage. Claims also cover pain and suffering.
Arm InjuryMild Injury£4,500 - £30,250This amount covers injuries such as restricted movement and/ or disability over the arms. It covers injuries which will get better.
Neck InjuryMild Injury£1,800 - £ 6,200This covers injuries akin to whiplash. Payments depend on the severity and long term prognosis.
Finger InjurySevere - Mild£375 - £69,330This covers injuries such as the amputation of one or more fingers through to broken fingers that will make a complete recovery.
Foot InjuryExtremely Serious£64,000 - £152,750Higher payouts cover the amputation of both or one feet. These are severe injuries which affect a person’s life.
Back InjuryMild Injury£350 -£9,850This covers strains, soft tissue damage, muscle pain and slipped discs.
Wrist InjurySevere - Mild£2,550 - £44,500Ranging from wrist damage which will recover through to full loss of wrist functions.

As different accidents and injuries can have different results for different people, they can entitle you to different amounts of compensation for your pallet racking accident. As such, please note, that these are historical amounts from specific cases. They may not reflect the amount of compensation you are entitled to.

How to Start a Racking Accident Claim

Once we have reviewed your case and all the evidence for your claim the next step is to estimate whether you have a viable case. If so, we can then move on to finding the right solicitor for you. Filing your shelving or racking accident claim can be stressful with the wrong law firm. We aim to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible. If your shelving injury is still causing you pain we might recommend seeing another doctor or getting further medical attention. Once you instruct us to proceed, we will register your case with the business and courts and start to make your claim for you.

Why Choose Us for Your Shelving and Racking Accident Claim?

At Legal Expert, we are one of the UK’s biggest and best no win no fee accident claims companies. Clients choose us to represent them in claims such as racking accidents for numerous reasons. We work with you, providing a comprehensive range of help, advice and legal services. We can start by offering you a free consultation to help you establish your case and find out what type and size claim you may have. At Legal Expert, we strive to offer our clients an ethical, professional yet friendly service. Talk to us today to take advantage of our no win no fee service. We will be committed to fighting your case, helping you to get the recognition, medical help, and compensation you deserve.

No Win No Fee Shelving And Racking Accident Claims

One of the most difficult aspects many people face with racking accidents and the resulting injuries is their resulting financial situation. This can even dissuade people from making a compensation claim. Serious injuries can impact your ability to work, damage your earnings and leave you out of pocket before you even consider making a compensation claim in court.

To help clients through these situations, we offer a no win no fee agreement (also known as a conditional agreement). This means we completely remove any financial risks that you might incur when making a claim. This can help to remove a lot of the stress around hiring a solicitor and making a compensation claim.

Call For Free Advice And To Start A Claim

At Legal Expert our experienced solicitors handle all kinds of personal accident and injury claims on a regular basis. Whether you are an employee of a factory, warehouse or shop or a member of the public, if you have had a racking accident, we can organize a free consultation session in which you can talk about your case.

Get in contact with Legal Expert today. You can contact us by filling in our contact form or using the chat feature on our website. You can also get in contact with us by calling us today on 0800 073 8804. We are ready and waiting to talk to you today and start helping you with your racking accident claim.

Useful links

Warehousing and storage

Information from the Health and Safety Executing on health and safety in warehouses.

Injuries arising from accidents at work

This link has information and statistics from the HSE on workplace injuries

Warehouse Accident Claim – How Much Can I claim?

Find out how much you could claim for an accident in a warehouse.

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