Rails on stairs

The claimant held a banister on the way up some stairs at work. The banister came away from the wall by about an inch. He lost balance and fell down the stairs.

We argued a strict liability breach of Regulations 5 and 12(5) of the Workplace Regulations 1992. The latter regulation is about handrails on stairs.

The Judge accepted these had been breached in strict liability terms.

Judgment for the Claimant

Quigley -v- Sunderland Borough Council.

Mopping up spillages at school

The claimant slipped on a wet floor in a dining hall at a school at lunchtime.

An attempt had been made to mop up the spillage by one of the dinner nannies who had gone off to get some more absorbent paper to mop up the excess water when the claimant came along and slipped. Another dinner nanny was stood near the spillage directing children away from it.

The Judge found it remarkable that none of the dinner ladies had been given a system and training in clearing up spillages and the system was one of devising their own response as and when a spillage occurred.

He thought there should have been a clear instruction that someone stands over the spillage until it is mopped and dried and a warning cone be put in place at the same time.

This was particularly as the slip occurred at lunchtime when 270 to 300 children would be fed in one hour.

The dinner lady who had been guarding children away from the spillage had not seen the Claimant so that system seemed to have fallen short.

As the Claimant had not been warned of the spillage, no contributory negligence was held

Williams -v- Middlesbrough Council, Middlesbrough County Court, 4 December 2007.