Cherry Picker Accidents


Did you know that 3% of all fatalities in the construction industry involve cherry pickers? That’s not all - according to the Health and Safety Directive, in the UK thousands more workers suffered serious injuries after falling from heights.


Every employer has a duty of care and when you work in a potentially hazardous environment, the consequences of any failure could be devastating. Whether you’re a worker or a passerby who’s been seriously injured by a cherry picker accident, if there’s been negligence you could be eligible to claim for compensation.


What causes cherry picker accidents?


Also known as basket cranes or boom lifts, cherry pickers involve workers being elevated to a significant height. Some of the most common causes of cherry picker accidents include:


  • Poor training. Every employer has a duty to ensure that all operatives are properly trained on the machinery. The cherry picker should always be used on level ground and every operative that uses it must be fully trained, without exception. If any accident is due to insufficient training, there may be grounds for a claim.


  • Badly maintained or faulty equipment. The employer is also responsible for ensuring the cherry picker is properly maintained and in good working condition. Failure to adequately ensure the cherry picker is being maintained to a sufficient standard could lead to liability for the employer in the event of an accident.


  • Negligent use.Your employer should not ask any employee to breach health and safety guidelines, and cherry pickers should only ever be used for tasks for which they were intended. If your employer makes you use cherry pickers in an unsafe manner, or another employee behaves inappropriately, there could be a valid compensation claim.


  • Operator error.Every person working with the cherry picker has a responsibility to ensure they act safely and don’t put others at risk. If another person operating the cherry picker is responsible for the accident, they may be liable for compensation.


  • Falling items.Not every accident arises due to problems with the cherry picker itself; items which fall from above during use can cause very serious injuries. There should be safety measures in place to prevent these kinds of injuries; if there isn’t, a court could view the lack of precautions as negligent.


There are many other causes of cherry picker injuries too such as the machinery overturning, but the above list represents the most frequent.


Are cherry picker accidents serious?


Working at heights is extremely hazardous and injuries sustained from accidents involving cherry pickers can be catastrophic. Some of the injuries that could be caused include:


  • Spinal cord injuries

  • Brain injury

  • Nerve damage

  • Back and neck injury

  • Multiple fractures


It’s essential to seek medical attention as soon as the accident occurs. Some injuries may not be immediately obvious and if they aren’t identified, you could end up in a more critical condition.


Getting legal advice about cherry picker injuries


In many cases, it may not be immediately obvious where the fault for the accident lies, or there may be a combination of factors which contributed. However, don’t instantly assume that you won’t be eligible for compensation, even if it was partly your fault.


Your employer has many responsibilities to keep you safe, including remaining compliant with regulations such as Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Work at Heights) Regulations 2006, and you may not be aware of any areas in which they’ve failed in their duty of care.


As specialist personal injury solicitors, we can provide you with expert, honest advice. If you’ve had a cherry picker accident and have been injured as a result, get in contact with us today.