Claim for a Work Injury from Falling Off an Office Chair

My employer told me I cannot make a claim for a work injury from falling off an office chair as the accident was not his fault, even though my chair was faulty. Is this correct?

You would not be entitled to make a claim for a work injury from falling off an office chair if you were primarily responsible for the accident. Since your chair was faulty, there is a strong possibility that your employer will be liable for your injury. It is only possible to claim compensation for falling off a chair in an office if the injuries sustained were severe enough to warrant medical attention being sought. If you have not yet visited a doctor for an examination it is vital that you do so as a matter of urgency.

Your employer owes you a duty of care to keep you reasonably safe at work, and all appropriate actions should be taken to prevent accidents from occurring. The duty of care owed to you is not absolute, and your employer will only be liable for accidents which could have been prevented, and should have been under the circumstances.

Provided it can be established and proven that your fall was due to the chair being faulty – rather than from your own actions – it should be possible to claim compensation for falling off a chair in an office. One issue raised by your question is whether your employer was aware of the fault with your chair. Although your employer should have conducted regular inspections of all office equipment and workstations, you also have responsibilities regarding your own personal safety at work.

If you were aware of a fault with your chair, this should have been reported to your employer. Your employer is obliged to respond to any complaints and to take action to address them if they pose a risk to the health and safety of an employee. If you reported a fault with your chair and your employer took no action, this would be classed as employer negligence. If you sent an email to your employer regarding a problem with your chair, you should print a copy as this can be used in submit of your claim for a work injury from falling off an office chair.

It is also important to officially report your accident to your employer, and you should therefore make an Accident Book report. In this report you should briefly explain why you believe your fall was caused by a faulty office chair and the injuries you sustained in the accident. If your accident was witnessed by work colleagues, their names should be mentioned in the report.

It would also be beneficial to your case if you can supply evidence that the chair was faulty. Photographs of your office chair can be used as evidence of negligence when you claim compensation for an injury from a fall from an office chair against your employer’s liability insurance policy.

It is always advisable to seek legal advice about claiming compensation for an accident at work and most solicitors offer an initial assessment of a potential claim without charge. After explaining the circumstances surrounding the accident, a solicitor should be able to tell you if it is possible to claim compensation for an injury from a fall from an office chair and give you an indication of the amount of compensation you will be entitled to recover.



This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.