The claimant, employed by the first defendant, was delivering radiators to a building site owned by the second defendant.

A plank of wood on the second defendant’s walkway gave way and he tripped and injured his back.

It was held by the Court of Appeal that the claimant’s employer had breached its statutory duty under the Manual Handling Regulations in failing to train the claimant to be aware of the risks of walking on uneven surfaces. The object of the 1992 Regulations was for the employer to make sure that the employees were aware of the risks of carrying things over uneven ground by training him and the claimant was unaware of the risks as he received no such training.

This was more than just a technical breach but, as this lack of training was in an area that requires little more than common sense, it was not fair for the employer to bear the greater share of the blame in this case. Accordingly they were held one third liable.
The lion’s share of the blame lay with the occupier. They were two thirds liable for breaches of the Construction (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 reg 5 as the walkway was not safe and did not provide suitable access.

Smith -v- S Notaro. CA (Civ Div) (Ward LJ, Rix LJ, Gage LJ) 5 May 2006

Vibration White Finger and Causation

An article overview by John Watkins

John Watkins has written articles for APIL and the PILJ on “Causation in HAVS cases: the correct approach to diagnosing HAVS”.

These will be published shortly.

They cover the cases of Morgan -v- Corus UK Ltd (unreported) and the important Court of Appeal decision in Montracon Ltd -v- Whalley (2005) EWCA Civ 1383.

John describes how the Stockholm criteria and tick box assessments used by defendant expert Dr Cooke are not to be treated by the courts as determinative and how Her Lady Justice Smith in the above case of Montracon (reported in the December 2005 Law Bulletin) allows for a broader assessment of the symptoms and medical evidence.

John recommends allocation to multi-track where possible and gives some advice as to questions to ask the experts and quotes from Lady Justice Smith to put to the experts in assisting them in their findings.

Morgan -v- Corus UK Ltd (unreported) Montracon Ltd -v- Whalley, [2005] EWCA Civ 1383