Accidents caused by the workplace environment
Accidents caused by the workplace environment

The following PI & Clinical Negligence guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Accidents caused by the workplace environment
  • Post 1 October 2013
  • Regulations qualified by the word ‘suitable’, ‘sufficient’ or ‘reasonable’
  • Old cases on negligence
  • Pre 1 October 2013
  • Who are the duties imposed on?
  • Who are the duties owed to?
  • Maintenance of equipment
  • Floors and traffic routes
  • Falls and falling objects
  • more

Post 1 October 2013

On 1 October 2013, section 69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (ERRA 2013) rewrote section 47 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA 1974). In relation to accidents occurring at work from 1 October 2013, civil liability will no longer arise from a breach of statutory duty unless the relevant regulation provides for it. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (W(HSW) Regs 1992), SI 1992/3004 do not provide for civil liability to arise from a breach. In the circumstances, claimant practitioners are left to rely on a breach of a workplace regulation as support for a claim in negligence.

The first High Court guidance on the interpretation of ERRA 2013, s 69 was provided in the case of Cockerill v CXK Ltd which involved a claimant who was injured when they fell on a step at work while visiting unfamiliar premises. The court found:

  1. there is no longer ‘a self-standing cause of action’ for breach of statutory duty

  2. it is still permissible to refer to the statutory duty ‘to understand in more detail what steps reasonable and conscientious employers can be expected to take’

  3. the duty continues to bind employers and it is ‘relevant to the question of what an employer ought reasonably to do’

  4. however, by