Expert Witness Services for slip & fall accidents

Expert witness services are provided by our specialist Ben Powers to support lawyers dealing with pedestrian fall personal injury claims or anti-slip flooring disputes.  At all stages Ben aims to provide clear and concise information to instructing parties, interpreting data generated through industry best practice methods to provide evidence upon which the court can rely.

Pendulum slip testing is widely recognised as the only on-site slip testing method suitable for legal proceedings, being the preferred method of the HSE and UK Slip Resistance Group. The Pendulum test forms the basis of his on-site investigations, supported with further measurements and observations of the wider environment as necessary, to determine whether a material surface is 'safe' or 'slippery'. He has over 15 years of experience conducting such investigations with around 10,000 Pendulum tests completed during that time.

In excess of 75 expert reports have been produced by Ben to date and he has given evidence orally in the High Court. He is a practising member of the Academy of Experts so of course his expert witness reports (based on The Judicial Committee model expert report) comply with the Civil Procedure Rules.

"I preferred the evidence as to the application of the UK Slip Resistance Guidelines of the Claimant’s expert, Mr Powers. More than that, however, I was impressed by the expertise and the specialism of the Claimant’s expert, acknowledged as it was by the Defendant’s expert whose specialism was far more generalised. Mr Powers was more thorough. He was specifically knowledgeable and he was clearly a very reliable witness. I consider and find him to have been a very reliable witness."

Mr Recorder Ben Blakemore - Case H11YJ740

Service at a glance: Slip accident investigation

  • Qualified expert with extensive experience in the field
  • Regular involvement in slip injury cases both in English and Scots law
  • Experience giving evidence orally
  • UK HSE preferred BS 7976-2 'Pendulum' slip testing with appropriate calibration, verification and standard materials data
  • Consideration of all factors affecting slip risk
  • Expert guidance on the interpretation of slip test data, standards, anti-slip performance and industry best practice
  • Consideration of CCTV, cleaning regimes, witness statements, product specifications, test certificates, opposing expert findings and personally generated site data
  • Determination of a safe or slippery surface
  • Comprehensive and clear CPR compliant report
  • Flexible site visit schedules across the UK and beyond
  • Consultancy up to and including trial as required
  • Fair and flexible payment terms with itemised invoicing

I thought I would let you know that my matter of [] settled yesterday. We achieved a really excellent result, off the back of the Defendant tacitly conceding liability in full in the case. This is a much stronger position than we had anticipated and to a large extent down to your expert views.  I am grateful for your input on this one – and in particular for the amount of urgent work you did for us here. I will be recommending you to my colleagues. 

Senior Associate Solicitor - Pre-action

Brief synopsis of notable case history

Dispute over flooring in wet leisure environment - 2015

Ben attended site several times to provide expert measurement of slip resistance at a privately owned, council run pool complex.  In addition to numerous site visits he met regularly with legal teams, joint and opposing experts, and provided numerous reports.  The case was heard at the High Court where he attended for a week and gave evidence orally.  Despite it being earlier in Ben's career, the judge held Ben's evidence equally against the opposing expert who was considerably more experienced with an impressive CV.

Slip accident involving a certified product - 2015

A slip occurred on a product certified by Ben as a ‘low risk of slip’ whilst in situ in Australia.  He was initially asked to present an expert’s report on the material ramp.  He was called to give evidence on the matter in court (via a video link), however the matter was settled immediately prior to the case commencing.  The client, bound by a confidentiality clause, could only describe the result as “favourable”.

Slip accident on contaminated concrete slab on construction site - 2018

Having previously attended site immediately after a nasty accident to conduct testing on the slab, Ben was later employed in an expert witness role to counter the opposing expert’s interpretation of the situation.  The other side relied on assertions that the surface was smooth, and that the surface was slippery when wet.  Ben's report showed that the surface was not smooth and that the surface was not slippery when wet.  He was called to give evidence in court, and the matter was settled (favorably) a few days before the listing.

Slip accident on composite decking at a major holiday park - 2022

Following a slipping injury Ben was asked to provide expert witness services for the Claimant.  Whilst the slip was not disputed, there were arguments in the case around the application of testing, interpretation of results, and effects of cleaning/wear on a certified surface.  Despite the opposing side fielding an experienced and respected forensic engineer the Judge preferred Ben's evidence and found in the Claimant's favour.

Severe head injury following a slip in a department store - 2023

A slip occurred in the staff area of a department store and Ben was asked to provide an expert desktop report on liability after considering evidence such as CCTV, witness statements, accident reports, cleaning regimes, signage, test data from several sources, anti-slip treatments and weather reports.  The matter was settled before reaching court, in the favour of Ben's instructing solicitors.

Additional cases

This is a brief overview of some cases of note.  In addition to the above Ben has also provided expert reports for more than 75 cases.  This does not include a similar number of occasions where he has produced CPR-compliant slip accident reports for responsible parties in anticipation of a court case arising.  He has conducted still more individual slip risk assessments for insurers or health and safety officers investigating slip accidents at the time of the fall and long before any legal action.  Whilst a key strength of Ben's expert offering is that it is not his main focus of work, he is involved in slip injury cases on a near-monthly basis.

In relation to the floor tiles Dr. Bailey and Mr. Powers both had relevant experience and expertise, with Dr. Bailey having detailed academic knowledge as well as practical experience whereas Mr. Powers had gained his experience through long practical experience. I did not find that the evidence of one expert or the other was to be preferred on all topics and my findings on the expert evidence depended on the cogency of the evidence which supported particular opinions which were evidently honestly held by the expert witnesses.  I regarded both witnesses as having the appropriate level of expertise in the specialist field of assessing slip resistance.

Note:  Dr Bailey was a previous chair of the UK Slip Resistance Group, one of the UK's most experienced test operators, and (at that time) chair of the BSI committee responsible for the test methodology employed in the case.

Sir Vivian Ramsey - Case HT-13-92

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