No salt between cars in icy car park

The claimant slipped on snow or ice between her car and the car parked next to it in a school car park. Her employer had salted the car park but not put salt between the cars.

We alleged a breach of Regulation 12(3) of the Workplace Regulations. The defendant had to prove it was not reasonably practicable to salt or grit between the cars. The defendant’s witnesses, the caretaker, said it would have taken him ten minutes to put salt down between the cars if instructed to do so.

The defendant brought no evidence that the amount of salt required would be prohibitive on grounds of costs.

The Judge concluded it was not a counsel of perfection to require the defendant to salt between cars in the car park and, in broader circumstances, the defendant had failed to discharge their burden that they had taken reasonably practicable steps to remove the ice from the workplace.

Judgment for the claimant.
Middlesbrough County Court, 21 February 2008.

Little wheels and pitted floors

A stillage trolley became stuck in an uneven and pitted factory floor. The Claimant was injured.

The Judge found for the Claimant on the basis that the metal wheels on the trolleys were of a small diameter and the smallest amount of resistance from an uneven floor was likely to cause the wheels to jam. It was like an unruly supermarket trolley that would require extra force to get the load moving again. The Judge found a combination of the floor and wheels had contributed to the accident and the Defendant should either have re-laid the floor or provided a larger wheel trolley.

Worcester County Court, 14 February 2008.