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Case law slideshow

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  • 1. Case Law ExamplesCase Law Examples NEBOSH Diploma Study GuideNEBOSH Diploma Study Guide Complied by Berni Carey Oct 2009Complied by Berni Carey Oct 2009 Disclaimer – This is my personal list, you may wish toDisclaimer – This is my personal list, you may wish to come up with others. I do not claim this to be the onlycome up with others. I do not claim this to be the only case law examples needed whilst studying thecase law examples needed whilst studying the diploma.diploma.
  • 2. ““Absolute Duty”Absolute Duty”  Summers (John) & Sons v Frost (1955)Summers (John) & Sons v Frost (1955)  Frost injured his thumb on a grinding wheelFrost injured his thumb on a grinding wheel  Court held that Factories Act required ‘allCourt held that Factories Act required ‘all dangerous part to be fenced’ – therefore andangerous part to be fenced’ – therefore an absolute dutyabsolute duty to guard all parts, even if doingto guard all parts, even if doing so prevented the machine being used.so prevented the machine being used.
  • 3. ““Practicable”Practicable”  Adsett v K and L Steelfounders andAdsett v K and L Steelfounders and Engineers (1953)Engineers (1953)  Practicability is that of current knowledge andPracticability is that of current knowledge and invention – once something is found to beinvention – once something is found to be practicable it is feasible and must be donepracticable it is feasible and must be done irrespective of cost or inconvenience.irrespective of cost or inconvenience.
  • 4. ““Reasonably Practicable”Reasonably Practicable”  Edwards v National Coal Board (1949)Edwards v National Coal Board (1949)  Edwards was killed in a coal mine rock fall.Edwards was killed in a coal mine rock fall.  The case established that ‘reasonablyThe case established that ‘reasonably practicable’ allowed a risk assessment of thepracticable’ allowed a risk assessment of the benefit v the costs (time, trouble or money).benefit v the costs (time, trouble or money).
  • 5. ‘‘Practicable’ or ‘Reasonably So’Practicable’ or ‘Reasonably So’  Marshall v Gotham & Co.Marshall v Gotham & Co.  Marshall was killed when the mine roof fell in.Marshall was killed when the mine roof fell in. It would have been ‘practicable’ to shore upIt would have been ‘practicable’ to shore up the entire roof system, but not ‘reasonably so’,the entire roof system, but not ‘reasonably so’, given that it was not known there was a faultgiven that it was not known there was a fault there. To have shorn up the entire roof of thethere. To have shorn up the entire roof of the mine ‘just in case’ would not have beenmine ‘just in case’ would not have been reasonable in the circumstances.reasonable in the circumstances.
  • 6. Helpers' liability in tortHelpers' liability in tort  Baker v. T E Hopkins & Son Ltd (1959)Baker v. T E Hopkins & Son Ltd (1959)  A doctor died whilst attempting to give aid to 2A doctor died whilst attempting to give aid to 2 workers (who also died).workers (who also died).  The defendants were liable in respect of the death ofThe defendants were liable in respect of the death of the employees and also of the doctor: it was a naturalthe employees and also of the doctor: it was a natural and probable consequence of the defendants'and probable consequence of the defendants' negligence towards the employees that someonenegligence towards the employees that someone would attempt to rescue them; the defences of novuswould attempt to rescue them; the defences of novus actus interveniens (‘new act intervening’) and volentiactus interveniens (‘new act intervening’) and volenti non fit injuria (‘to a willing person, no injury is done’)non fit injuria (‘to a willing person, no injury is done’) could not be successfully relied upon against thecould not be successfully relied upon against the doctor's dependants .doctor's dependants .
  • 7. Duty to trespassersDuty to trespassers  British Railways Board v Herrington (1971)British Railways Board v Herrington (1971)  Child was injured on the lines after getting through aChild was injured on the lines after getting through a broken fence.broken fence.  The House of Lords held that the occupier of theThe House of Lords held that the occupier of the railway premises owed a duty of common humanity torailway premises owed a duty of common humanity to the child.the child.  Until this case no duty of care was owed toUntil this case no duty of care was owed to trespassers.trespassers.  Note - Overruled Addie & Sons v Dumbreck [1929]Note - Overruled Addie & Sons v Dumbreck [1929] an ‘occupier … only liable to a trespasser… injured…an ‘occupier … only liable to a trespasser… injured… intentionally or recklessly’.intentionally or recklessly’.
  • 8. Self employed regarded asSelf employed regarded as ‘employees’‘employees’  Ferguson v John Dawson and Partners LtdFerguson v John Dawson and Partners Ltd (1976)(1976)  Ferguson fell off a roof while removing someFerguson fell off a roof while removing some scaffolding boards.scaffolding boards.  both parties labelled Ferguson a "self-both parties labelled Ferguson a "self- employed labour only subcontractor“.employed labour only subcontractor“.  Court heldCourt held the relationship between them wasthe relationship between them was that of employer and employee.that of employer and employee.
  • 9. Employers duty to maintainEmployers duty to maintain equipmentequipment  Barkway v Sth Wales Transport Co Ltd (1950)Barkway v Sth Wales Transport Co Ltd (1950)  Man killed in a coach crash due to burst tyre.Man killed in a coach crash due to burst tyre.  Company could show a system for inspecting andCompany could show a system for inspecting and testing tyres.testing tyres.  However, they did not require drivers to reportHowever, they did not require drivers to report incidents where tyres could be damaged thus heldincidents where tyres could be damaged thus held liable for negligence.liable for negligence.
  • 10. Employers duty to maintain workEmployers duty to maintain work equipmentequipment  Bradford v Robinson Rentals Ltd (1967)Bradford v Robinson Rentals Ltd (1967)  Driver suffered frostbite, driving 400 milesDriver suffered frostbite, driving 400 miles during a severe cold spell in an unheated vanduring a severe cold spell in an unheated van with cracked windows.with cracked windows.  Employers held liable for failing to provideEmployers held liable for failing to provide suitable plant.suitable plant.
  • 11. Liability does not applyLiability does not apply retrospectively…retrospectively…  Cambridge Water Co v eastern CountiesCambridge Water Co v eastern Counties Leather plc (1994)Leather plc (1994)  Tannery which had permitted perchloroethane toTannery which had permitted perchloroethane to percolate into the aquifer.percolate into the aquifer.  House of Lords unanimously found that EasternHouse of Lords unanimously found that Eastern Counties Leather plc was not liable for the waterCounties Leather plc was not liable for the water contamination.contamination.  Lords accepted that Eastern Counties Leather wouldLords accepted that Eastern Counties Leather would not have foreseen that the solvent would leak fromnot have foreseen that the solvent would leak from the tannery floors down into the water source.the tannery floors down into the water source.
  • 12. Claim of tortClaim of tort  Corn v Weirs Glass (Hanley) Ltd (1960)Corn v Weirs Glass (Hanley) Ltd (1960)  A successful claim of tort of breach of dutyA successful claim of tort of breach of duty requires the loss to be consequential to therequires the loss to be consequential to the breach.breach.  A glazier fell from a stairs with no handrail,A glazier fell from a stairs with no handrail, while holding a sheet of glass with bothwhile holding a sheet of glass with both hands.hands.  The fall was not consequential to the lack ofThe fall was not consequential to the lack of hand rail since he could not have held it if ithand rail since he could not have held it if it were there.were there.
  • 13. Tort – escape of stored materialsTort – escape of stored materials  Rylands v Fletcher (1868)Rylands v Fletcher (1868)  Landmark case.Landmark case.  Rylands built a reservoir.Rylands built a reservoir.  Disused mine workings had been found duringDisused mine workings had been found during construction but not sealed off.construction but not sealed off.  Led to Fletcher’s mines being flooded.Led to Fletcher’s mines being flooded.  Ruling “Ruling “the person who for his own purposes bringsthe person who for his own purposes brings on his lands and collects and keeps there anythingon his lands and collects and keeps there anything likely to do mischief if it escapes, must keep it at hislikely to do mischief if it escapes, must keep it at his peril...”peril...”
  • 14. Tort - duty of care to vulnerableTort - duty of care to vulnerable employeesemployees  Paris v Stepney Borough Council (1951)Paris v Stepney Borough Council (1951)  Paris was blind in one eye but he concealedParis was blind in one eye but he concealed this until examined by a company doctor.this until examined by a company doctor.  Was given 2 weeks notice (1950 remember) –Was given 2 weeks notice (1950 remember) – 2 days before leaving was struck in good eye2 days before leaving was struck in good eye by piece on metal, blinding him.by piece on metal, blinding him.  On Appeal - Council owed a special duty ofOn Appeal - Council owed a special duty of care to Paris and had been negligent in failingcare to Paris and had been negligent in failing to supply him with goggles.to supply him with goggles.
  • 15. Employer liability for latent defectsEmployer liability for latent defects in tools or equipmentin tools or equipment  Davie v New Merton Board Mills Ltd (1958)Davie v New Merton Board Mills Ltd (1958)  The claimant lost his claim against his employerThe claimant lost his claim against his employer following an injury from a tool with a hidden defect. Itfollowing an injury from a tool with a hidden defect. It was held that the employer was not negligent.was held that the employer was not negligent.  Led to theLed to the Employers' Liability (Defective Equipment)Employers' Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969Act 1969. Providing that if an employee is injured in the. Providing that if an employee is injured in the course of his employment as a consequence of a defectcourse of his employment as a consequence of a defect in equipment, provided by his employer for use inin equipment, provided by his employer for use in connection with his business, then that defect will beconnection with his business, then that defect will be attributable to the negligence of the employer.attributable to the negligence of the employer.  However, any damages paid by the employer can thenHowever, any damages paid by the employer can then be recovered from the manufacturer or otherbe recovered from the manufacturer or other responsible party.responsible party.
  • 16. Duty to provide safe system of workDuty to provide safe system of work  General Cleaning Contractors v ChristmasGeneral Cleaning Contractors v Christmas (1952)(1952)  Window cleaner injured when he fell after aWindow cleaner injured when he fell after a sash window he was holding, suddenlysash window he was holding, suddenly moved.moved.  Company not negligent of failing to provideCompany not negligent of failing to provide equipment, e.g. ladders, safety straps etc.equipment, e.g. ladders, safety straps etc.  CompanyCompany werewere negligent of providing a safenegligent of providing a safe system of work, e.g. instructing workers to testsystem of work, e.g. instructing workers to test windows for safety.windows for safety.
  • 17. Systems of workSystems of work  Speed v Swift (Thomas) & Co Ltd (1943)Speed v Swift (Thomas) & Co Ltd (1943)  Lord Green defined ‘Systems of Work’…Lord Green defined ‘Systems of Work’…  It may be the physical layout of the job – theIt may be the physical layout of the job – the setting of the stage, so to speak – thesetting of the stage, so to speak – the sequence in which the work is to be carriedsequence in which the work is to be carried out, the provision in proper cases of warningsout, the provision in proper cases of warnings and notices, and the issue of specialand notices, and the issue of special instructions.instructions.
  • 18. Non-delegatable duty of care.Non-delegatable duty of care.  Wilsons & Clyde Coal v English (1937)Wilsons & Clyde Coal v English (1937)  English was crushed at work and claimed damages.English was crushed at work and claimed damages. The employer claimed their agent was responsible forThe employer claimed their agent was responsible for safety at that workplace (a mine).safety at that workplace (a mine).  Ruling: The employer's duty to his employees isRuling: The employer's duty to his employees is personal and non-delegable.personal and non-delegable.  He can delegate the performance of the duty toHe can delegate the performance of the duty to others, whether employees or independentothers, whether employees or independent contractors, but not responsibility for its negligentcontractors, but not responsibility for its negligent performance.performance.
  • 19. Duty of care – Stress (1)…Duty of care – Stress (1)…  Walker v Northumberland County Council (1995)Walker v Northumberland County Council (1995)  Plaintiff was a Social Worker Team Leader, whoPlaintiff was a Social Worker Team Leader, who reported stress from workload, eventually having areported stress from workload, eventually having a breakdown.breakdown.  On return to work the promised assistance wasOn return to work the promised assistance was inadequate and 2inadequate and 2ndnd breakdown resulted, forcingbreakdown resulted, forcing retirement.retirement.  The council was found to have breached its duty inThe council was found to have breached its duty in respect of the second nervous breakdown, though notrespect of the second nervous breakdown, though not the first.the first.  Note - The first case in legal history where an employee was awarded damagesNote - The first case in legal history where an employee was awarded damages for 'psychiatric injury' suffered a result of work related stress.for 'psychiatric injury' suffered a result of work related stress.
  • 20. Duty of care – Stress (2)…Duty of care – Stress (2)…  Sutherland v Hatton and others (2002)Sutherland v Hatton and others (2002)  Court of Appeal heard 4 cases relating toCourt of Appeal heard 4 cases relating to ‘Stress’ awards at lower court.‘Stress’ awards at lower court.  Overturned 3 of 4 awards, because theOverturned 3 of 4 awards, because the individuals had not taken any action to informindividuals had not taken any action to inform their employers of their problems.their employers of their problems.  44thth case (Jones v Sandwell MBC) not revokedcase (Jones v Sandwell MBC) not revoked as she had informed her employer butas she had informed her employer but received no help.received no help.
  • 21. Higher Standards expected fromHigher Standards expected from experienced employee…experienced employee…  Qualcast (Wolverhampton) Ltd v Hayes (1959)Qualcast (Wolverhampton) Ltd v Hayes (1959)  Experienced worker splashed with molten metal.Experienced worker splashed with molten metal.  Spats were available, but not worn and not enforcedSpats were available, but not worn and not enforced by employer.by employer.  Employee failed to gain compensation as they hadEmployee failed to gain compensation as they had chosen not to make use of it at their own riskchosen not to make use of it at their own risk..
  • 22. Contributory negligenceContributory negligence  Uddin v. Associated Portland Cement Mfrs. Ltd.,Uddin v. Associated Portland Cement Mfrs. Ltd., (1965)(1965)  Uddin was employed in a cement factory.Uddin was employed in a cement factory.  He went where he was not authorised to be in orderHe went where he was not authorised to be in order and climbed up to a position where there wasand climbed up to a position where there was unfenced machinery. As a result he becameunfenced machinery. As a result he became entangled with a revolving shaft and lost an arm.entangled with a revolving shaft and lost an arm.  It made no difference that Uddin was in a part of theIt made no difference that Uddin was in a part of the factory where he was not supposed to be or that hefactory where he was not supposed to be or that he was doing something that had nothing to do with hiswas doing something that had nothing to do with his work.work.  Responsibility was apportioned on the basis of 20% toResponsibility was apportioned on the basis of 20% to the defendants and 80% to the plaintiff.the defendants and 80% to the plaintiff.
  • 23. Volenti non fit injuriaVolenti non fit injuria  ICI v Shatwell (1964)ICI v Shatwell (1964)  2 employees injured when they ignored2 employees injured when they ignored explosive regulations and company policy.explosive regulations and company policy.  Employers could successfully raise ‘Volenti’Employers could successfully raise ‘Volenti’ as defence.as defence.  The defence of ‘volenti non-fit injuria’ willThe defence of ‘volenti non-fit injuria’ will apply when there is true and free consent toapply when there is true and free consent to the risk.the risk.
  • 24. Master/servant relationshipMaster/servant relationship  Mersey Docks & Harbour Board v. Coggins &Mersey Docks & Harbour Board v. Coggins & Griffiths (Liverpool) Ltd. (1947)Griffiths (Liverpool) Ltd. (1947)  Coggins and Griffiths hired a crane and driver fromCoggins and Griffiths hired a crane and driver from the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. Newall, thethe Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. Newall, the driver, drove the crane negligently and injured Mrdriver, drove the crane negligently and injured Mr Mcfarlane.Mcfarlane.  Contract between the Board and the hirers stated thatContract between the Board and the hirers stated that the driver was to become their employee for thethe driver was to become their employee for the duration of the hire.duration of the hire.  Judgement - Control over Mr Newall's work hadJudgement - Control over Mr Newall's work had notnot passed to the hirers.passed to the hirers.
  • 25. A safe place of work…A safe place of work…  Paine v Colne Valley Electricity Supply CoPaine v Colne Valley Electricity Supply Co (1938)(1938)  Found the employer liable after an employeeFound the employer liable after an employee was electrocuted because a kiosk had notwas electrocuted because a kiosk had not been properly insulated.been properly insulated.
  • 26. Vicarious Liability (1)Vicarious Liability (1)  Smith v Crossley Bros Ltd (1951)Smith v Crossley Bros Ltd (1951)  An employer may be held criminally liable or liable inAn employer may be held criminally liable or liable in common law for the negligent or unlawful acts of acommon law for the negligent or unlawful acts of a member of staff, even though the member of staffmember of staff, even though the member of staff wilfully disobeyed the express instructions of his/herwilfully disobeyed the express instructions of his/her employer.employer.  Apprentices engaged in horseplay injected compressedApprentices engaged in horseplay injected compressed air into a 3air into a 3rdrd person.person.  The employers were heldThe employers were held notnot liable.liable.  Staff acted negligently “on a frolic of his/her own”Staff acted negligently “on a frolic of his/her own” independently of the job.independently of the job.
  • 27. Vicarious Liability (2)Vicarious Liability (2)  Lister v Romford Ice & Cold Storage Co. Ltd.Lister v Romford Ice & Cold Storage Co. Ltd. (1957)(1957)  Father and son were employed by the sameFather and son were employed by the same company.company.  Son negligently handled a vehicle, causing injury toSon negligently handled a vehicle, causing injury to his father.his father.  Father sued the company for the negligence of theFather sued the company for the negligence of the employee, his son.employee, his son.  Company (their insurance company) succeeded inCompany (their insurance company) succeeded in obtaining similar damages from the son.obtaining similar damages from the son.
  • 28. Vicarious Liability (3)Vicarious Liability (3)  Rose v Plenty (1976)Rose v Plenty (1976)  A milkman (against company orders) took a 13-year-A milkman (against company orders) took a 13-year- old boy to help him on his round, and the boy wasold boy to help him on his round, and the boy was injured through the milkman's negligent driving.injured through the milkman's negligent driving.  The boy sued both the milkman and the dairy.The boy sued both the milkman and the dairy.  The trial judge found that the dairy was not liable.The trial judge found that the dairy was not liable.  The Court of Appeal found the dairy vicariously liableThe Court of Appeal found the dairy vicariously liable for the boy's injuries. The boy was actually helping tofor the boy's injuries. The boy was actually helping to deliver the milk, and so the driver's action was andeliver the milk, and so the driver's action was an unauthorised way of performing his duties.unauthorised way of performing his duties.
  • 29. Practicability of precautionsPracticability of precautions  Latimer v. AEC Ltd (1953)Latimer v. AEC Ltd (1953)  A freak flood left the floor oily.A freak flood left the floor oily.  Employer used all available materials to absorb theEmployer used all available materials to absorb the hazard.hazard.  Plaintiff came on shift unaware of the problem,Plaintiff came on shift unaware of the problem, slipped and crushed ankle.slipped and crushed ankle.  On Appeal - The employer took every step thatOn Appeal - The employer took every step that reasonably could have been taken in thereasonably could have been taken in the circumstances and in so doing had negated anycircumstances and in so doing had negated any possible allegation of negligence .possible allegation of negligence .
  • 30. Neighbour principleNeighbour principle  Donoghue v Stevenson (1932)Donoghue v Stevenson (1932)  Established the modern tort of negligence.Established the modern tort of negligence.  Donoghue claimed illness after consuming a drink ofDonoghue claimed illness after consuming a drink of ginger beer which contained a ‘snail’.ginger beer which contained a ‘snail’.  Eventually settled out of court.Eventually settled out of court.  Lord Atkin’s remarks…Lord Atkin’s remarks… Who, then, in law, is myWho, then, in law, is my neighbour? The answer seems to be - persons whoneighbour? The answer seems to be - persons who are so closely and directly affected by my act that Iare so closely and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation asought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to thebeing so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions that are called in questionacts or omissions that are called in question..
  • 31. Employment Right Act 1996Employment Right Act 1996  Employee has the right not to be subjectEmployee has the right not to be subject to detriment (s44) or dismissal (s100) onto detriment (s44) or dismissal (s100) on the grounds that as a designated H&Sthe grounds that as a designated H&S employee they were doing or proposed toemployee they were doing or proposed to do their job or were performing their roledo their job or were performing their role as a Safety C’ttee member.as a Safety C’ttee member.
  • 32. Employment Right Act 1996 (s100)Employment Right Act 1996 (s100) Protection for EmployeesProtection for Employees  Masiak v City Restaurants LtdMasiak v City Restaurants Ltd  Chef dismissed for refusing to cook chickenChef dismissed for refusing to cook chicken which he considered unfit for consumption.which he considered unfit for consumption.  On appeal, case upheld as s100 of the ERAOn appeal, case upheld as s100 of the ERA could refer to ‘other persons’ other than othercould refer to ‘other persons’ other than other employees, in this case the paying customers.employees, in this case the paying customers.
  • 33. Employment Right Act 1996 (s100)Employment Right Act 1996 (s100) Protection for EmployeesProtection for Employees  Barton v Wandsworth Council (1995)Barton v Wandsworth Council (1995)  Ambulance driver disciplined for complainingAmbulance driver disciplined for complaining about lack of trained escorts whenabout lack of trained escorts when transporting patients with disabilities.transporting patients with disabilities.  Tribunal ruled in his favour – the actions takenTribunal ruled in his favour – the actions taken against him were a detriment when he voicedagainst him were a detriment when he voiced genuine concerns for his own safety and thatgenuine concerns for his own safety and that of the patients.of the patients.
  • 34. Employment Right Act 1996 (s100)Employment Right Act 1996 (s100) Protection for EmployeesProtection for Employees  Costain Building & Civil Eng v SmithCostain Building & Civil Eng v Smith  Smith was an ‘Independent Consultant’Smith was an ‘Independent Consultant’ employed through an Agency.employed through an Agency.  Dismissed after writing critical Safety Reports.Dismissed after writing critical Safety Reports.  On appeal, dismissal upheld as s100 was forOn appeal, dismissal upheld as s100 was for employees protection but Smith wasemployees protection but Smith was employed by the Agency, not Costain.employed by the Agency, not Costain.
  • 35. HSWA s2 and s37HSWA s2 and s37  J Armour v J SkeenJ Armour v J Skeen (Procurator Fiscal Glasgow)(Procurator Fiscal Glasgow) (1977)(1977)  Armour was Director of Roads for Local Authority –Armour was Director of Roads for Local Authority – Workman fell to death from a bridge.Workman fell to death from a bridge.  Corporate Failure to have ‘safe system of work’Corporate Failure to have ‘safe system of work’ HSWA s2HSWA s2  Individual Failure – not a ‘Director’ within meaning ofIndividual Failure – not a ‘Director’ within meaning of s37,s37, butbut was within scope of ‘manager…or similarwas within scope of ‘manager…or similar officer’. It was his individual failure to provide theofficer’. It was his individual failure to provide the SSW. HSWA s37SSW. HSWA s37
  • 36. HSAW s2(1) general dutiesHSAW s2(1) general duties  R v Gateway FoodmarketsR v Gateway Foodmarkets  Employee fell through a trapdoor.Employee fell through a trapdoor.  Company liable for actions of staff, in leavingCompany liable for actions of staff, in leaving the hatch open, even though they had takenthe hatch open, even though they had taken all reasonable precautions at a seniorall reasonable precautions at a senior management level.management level.
  • 37. HSWA s2(1) general dutiesHSWA s2(1) general duties  Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council vBolton Metropolitan Borough Council v Malrod Insulations LtdMalrod Insulations Ltd  EHO discovered decontamination unitEHO discovered decontamination unit available for use by Asbestos removalavailable for use by Asbestos removal team had electrical faults.team had electrical faults.  Successful prosecution for making theSuccessful prosecution for making the equipment available even though not yetequipment available even though not yet in use.in use.
  • 38. HSAW s2(1) general dutiesHSAW s2(1) general duties  Langridge v Howletts Zoo & Port LympneLangridge v Howletts Zoo & Port Lympne Estates LtdEstates Ltd  Prohibition Notice issued by local authority preventingProhibition Notice issued by local authority preventing keepers entering Tiger enclosure after death of akeepers entering Tiger enclosure after death of a keeper.keeper.  Zoo argued that keepers must enter the enclosure toZoo argued that keepers must enter the enclosure to bond with the animals.bond with the animals.  On appeal, keepers allowed to enter the enclosureOn appeal, keepers allowed to enter the enclosure with modified procedures.with modified procedures.  The Act is not concerned with the working beingThe Act is not concerned with the working being done, but the manner of performing it.done, but the manner of performing it.
  • 39. HSWA s3HSWA s3  R v British Steel plc (1995)R v British Steel plc (1995)  A sub-contractor working under supervision ofA sub-contractor working under supervision of a British Steel supervisor was killed.a British Steel supervisor was killed.  Under ‘Vicarious Liability’, the supervisor hadUnder ‘Vicarious Liability’, the supervisor had failed in his duty, therefore British Steel hadfailed in his duty, therefore British Steel had failed its employers duty under s3.failed its employers duty under s3.
  • 40. HSAW s3HSAW s3  R v MaraR v Mara  Director of a small cleaning company contracted toDirector of a small cleaning company contracted to clean a supermarket.clean a supermarket.  Faulty cleaning machine left on supermarketFaulty cleaning machine left on supermarket premises.premises.  Supermarket employee used the machine and wasSupermarket employee used the machine and was electrocuted.electrocuted.  Supermarket employees were ‘persons who may beSupermarket employees were ‘persons who may be affected by the way the cleaning company carried onaffected by the way the cleaning company carried on its undertaking’.its undertaking’.
  • 41. HSAW s3HSAW s3  R v Nelson Group Services (Maintenance) LtdR v Nelson Group Services (Maintenance) Ltd  A properly trained and competent gas fitter left aA properly trained and competent gas fitter left a fitting in a dangerous condition.fitting in a dangerous condition.  It was held that an isolated act of negligence by anIt was held that an isolated act of negligence by an otherwise completely competent employee did nototherwise completely competent employee did not render the employer liable.render the employer liable.  Note – this defence is effectively closed by MHSWR 1999 Reg 21 – ‘itNote – this defence is effectively closed by MHSWR 1999 Reg 21 – ‘it will not be a defence for an employer to argue that the contraventionwill not be a defence for an employer to argue that the contravention was due to the act or default of an employee… or an person appointedwas due to the act or default of an employee… or an person appointed as a H&S Assistant under Reg7.’as a H&S Assistant under Reg7.’
  • 42. HSWA s3HSWA s3  R v Swan Hunter Shipbuilders Ltd (1982)R v Swan Hunter Shipbuilders Ltd (1982)  8 workers killed during construction of HMS Glasgow due8 workers killed during construction of HMS Glasgow due to explosion in an oxygen enriched environment.to explosion in an oxygen enriched environment.  Swan Hunter had known of the potential risk andSwan Hunter had known of the potential risk and informed their own employees.informed their own employees.  Swan Hunter failed to inform other contractors and sub-Swan Hunter failed to inform other contractors and sub- contractors.contractors.  Swan Hunter had a duty to ensure the health and safetySwan Hunter had a duty to ensure the health and safety of its own employees. If the ignorance of anotherof its own employees. If the ignorance of another company’s employees places its own employees at riskcompany’s employees places its own employees at risk then it is the company’s duty to inform the employees ofthen it is the company’s duty to inform the employees of another of any special risks within its knowledge.another of any special risks within its knowledge.   
  • 43. HSAW s3HSAW s3  R v Associated Octel Co Ltd (1996)R v Associated Octel Co Ltd (1996)  An employee of a contractor badly burnedAn employee of a contractor badly burned while conducting repairs to a chemical tank.while conducting repairs to a chemical tank.  The Contractor was prosecuted under s2 forThe Contractor was prosecuted under s2 for the injury to their employee.the injury to their employee.  Octel were prosecuted under s3 - theOctel were prosecuted under s3 - the maintenance of the tank was part of theirmaintenance of the tank was part of their undertaking – that it was being carried out byundertaking – that it was being carried out by a contractor was irrelevant, as it was on theira contractor was irrelevant, as it was on their site so it was still under their control.site so it was still under their control.
  • 44. HSAW s3HSAW s3  R v Board of Trustees of Science MuseumR v Board of Trustees of Science Museum (1993)(1993)  Alleged that the public put at risk of exposure toAlleged that the public put at risk of exposure to Legionella Pneumophilia (LP) due to failure toLegionella Pneumophilia (LP) due to failure to instigate regular system of cleansing Air Con system.instigate regular system of cleansing Air Con system.  It was not necessary to show that the public hadIt was not necessary to show that the public had inhaled LP, only that there was a risk of doing so.inhaled LP, only that there was a risk of doing so.  Court of Appeal upheld conviction.Court of Appeal upheld conviction.
  • 45. HSWA s4HSWA s4  Westminster City Council v Select ManagementsWestminster City Council v Select Managements LtdLtd  Improvement Notice relating to lifts and electricalImprovement Notice relating to lifts and electrical equipment in block of flats.equipment in block of flats.  Company appealed on grounds that they wereCompany appealed on grounds that they were ‘domestic premises’ iaw s4 of HSWA.‘domestic premises’ iaw s4 of HSWA.  Court of Appeal upheld that the ‘Common Areas’ wereCourt of Appeal upheld that the ‘Common Areas’ were not domestic but available for use by others as anot domestic but available for use by others as a place of work or where they may use plant, e.g. lifts.place of work or where they may use plant, e.g. lifts.
  • 46. HSWA s4HSWA s4  Moualem v Carlisle City Council (1994)Moualem v Carlisle City Council (1994)  Defendant operated a Children’s Play CentreDefendant operated a Children’s Play Centre and convicted of failure to comply withand convicted of failure to comply with Improvement Notices.Improvement Notices.  Children were using ‘plant’ in a non-domesticChildren were using ‘plant’ in a non-domestic premises.premises.
  • 47. Corporate ManslaughterCorporate Manslaughter  Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate HomicideCorporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007Act 2007  The offence is concerned with corporate liability andThe offence is concerned with corporate liability and does not apply to directors or other individuals whodoes not apply to directors or other individuals who have a senior role in the company or organisation.have a senior role in the company or organisation.  The first ever successful UK Corporate ManslaughterThe first ever successful UK Corporate Manslaughter prosecution was of the company involved in the Lymeprosecution was of the company involved in the Lyme Bay kayaking deaths (1993).Bay kayaking deaths (1993).  Previously, cases such as the Tebay rail deaths (2004),Previously, cases such as the Tebay rail deaths (2004), the Herald of Free Enterprise RORO Ferry disasterthe Herald of Free Enterprise RORO Ferry disaster (1987), Connington South rail crash (1967) had(1987), Connington South rail crash (1967) had resulted in prosecution of individualsresulted in prosecution of individuals.

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