Using the Workplace Regulation as an alternative
This case was described at length at the top of the November 2005 Law Bulletin and in our recent Work Equipment Education paper.
Where a toilet handle which had broken could not be held to be work equipment under The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) (following the case of Hammond) it was still equipment whose failure created a breach of regulation 5 of the Workplace Regulations 1992 where another Workplace Regulation – here Regulation 20 concerning sanitary conveniences – was broken through the failure of the toilet handle.
The defendant appealed this finding.
On 5 May 2006 the appeal was heard and dismissed.
The Judge found that, if the toilet handle had a defect, even though it was not capable of appreciation by maintenance or inspection, it was unsuitable equipment under the Workplace Regs and that a breach of regulation 20 arose. In turn that created a breach of the strict liability terms of regulation 5 (3).
This decision upholds the analysis discussed before (as above) and follows the case of Lewis -v- Avidan.
Julie Carr -v- Gateshead M.B.C. Newcastle upon Tyne County Court, 5 May 2006