Scottish court reminds employers are obliged to protect staff
A home carer from Glasgow has won a court case against her employer, after slipping on some ice and injuring her wrist.
Tracey Kennedy’s legal team successfully argued that her employer, Cordia, should have provided suitable equipment for the conditions.
The incident, which happened in the December of 2010, came as a result of ice being covered by snow.
Other authorities and organisations had issued their staff with affordable over-the-shoe attachments. The effectiveness of the equipment, which the court saw would have most likely led to the incident being avoided, was demonstrated.
The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work Regulations 1992 demands that employers provide adequate equipment. Kennedy’s legal team argues this was not met by Cordia.
The court also heard how Cordia had failed to thoroughly assess the health and safety risks.
Finding the company guilty of breaching Regulations, the judge said that protecting people at work and keeping them away from harm was essential.
Highlighting the veracity of Scottish winters, he said:
"[health and] safety is to be levelled upwards."
The ruling could help workers in the future, with changes to the law imminent.
Iona Brown, Kennedy’s solicitor, said:
"The ruling has particular significance given the changes that are due to be introduced on 1st October by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
"The act removes civil liability for breach of various statutory health and safety regulations which until now impose liability on employers.”
However, Brown of Digby Brown Solicitors feels that the ruling ensures employees suffering similar incidents in the future will be protected by the law.