Unknown and Unanticipated Danger Means No Liability
An employee who slipped on a wet floor and was injured lost her claim against her employer in a recent case that considered the extent of an employer’s responsibility to make sure the workplace is safe.
A Ms Lewis was working at a care home as an assistant when she fell. The floor was wet because a hidden pipe had burst a short time earlier and the resultant leak had gone undiscovered. Ms Lewis claimed her employer had been negligent because the premises in which she was working were not in an efficient state and in good repair as defined in the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
The case ended up in the Court of Appeal, which took the view that the defective pipe, which was the source of the water, was not the ‘workplace’. The flood was unexpected and its occurrence did not mean that the workplace had not been efficiently maintained for the purposes of the legislation.
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