The claimant was a fire fighter. He took over a rescue attempt from another fire service, which was using a power ram to straighten a lorry cab that had a trapped and critically injured driver inside.

He was not familiar with the ram. It was much heavier that the ram used in his own service. His finger caught in a moving part of the ram machinery.

The Court of Appeal found:

  1. The ram could not be held to be unsuitable equipment under Regulation 4 of PUWER 1998. It was suitable when operated by properly trained and instructed personnel but it followed: 
  2. There was negligence due to inadequate training and a breach of Regulation 11(2)(d) PUWER 1998 in failing to train the fire fighter to use a different ram in difficult circumstances. Training formed part of the statutory duty to guard machinery under 11(2)(d) PUWER 1998 and proper training would have reduced the risk of injury with this unguarded equipment.

John Joseph Pennington -v- (1) Surrey County Council (2) Surrey Fire & Rescue Service, CA (Civ Div) (Lords Justice Pill, Arden, Neuberger), 9 November 2006.