PUWER Reg 4 and negligence

The afternoon before this accident, the MET office issued an emergency gale warning. The next morning there were 80-90mph gales. The claimant’s HGV truck turned over. He brought claims against his employer and the tractor owner, both under PUWER 1998.

HSE guidance for road safety, which included planning ahead with reference to weather conditions, for example: “Do drivers of high sided vehicles know that they should take extra care if driving in extreme winds with a light load?”

She alleged a breach of Regulation 4 of PUWER (suitability) and said the vehicles should not be used in those conditions.

The case settled for £22,000.

Vicarious liability for water on toilet floor

The claimant worked at T-Mobile. She slipped on water in the toilet. The toilets were only used by T-Mobile employees.

The defence said this was just a few droplets that could have come from someone drying their hands and they had a reasonable system of inspection and cleaning.

The Judge said there was a half-hour gap between the accident and their inspection and discovery of “ a few drops” and that some quantity could have dried out or been removed by then.

He held T-Mobile vicariously liable for the unknown employee who must have negligently spilled the water on the floor.

Newcastle Upon Tyne County Court, 11 March 2008.