Police: unlawful imprisonment

To hold lawful demonstrators in a cordon for hours was breach of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Art 5(1) and was false imprisonment. However the procedure was justified under Art 5(1) (c) and the Public Order Act s 12(1) (a) and s. 14 (1) (a) as there was an intention to arrest those unlawfully demonstrating and to disperse the crowd safely and neither of these steps could be taken without detaining all involved.

Judgement for the defendant.

Austin -v- Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, (2005) EWHC 480.

Rescues at sea

A man went overboard on a ferry. The captain could not use the ship’s rescue boat in the conditions but another ferry that had seen the man had a fast rescue boat available. The captain decided to throw a rescue line out but in the course of doing that the man died.

Held: the failure to have a proper rescue plan for men overboard was negligent.

The plan executed was hopeless and it would have been better to ask the adjacent ferry to use its rescue boat and it was negligent not to do so.

Davis -v- Stena Line Ltd, (2005) EWHC 420.

Work at Height Regulations 2005

These cover all “work” at any height where there is a risk of falling except staircases in a permanent workplace and travel to and from work.

There is no longer a height minimum of two metres for regulations to take effect.

The aim is for there to be a control to legislation on a familiar structure of risk avoidance, i.e:

a) avoid working at height if possible.
b) If not reasonably possible assess and suitably control the risk. 
c) Use work equipment to avoid falls if work at height cannot be avoided. 
d) Where a fall cannot be avoided use work equipment to minimise the consequences of that fall.