Construction Regulations: was the claimant employed at the time?

The claimant fell 4.5 metres through the fragile roof of a partially constructed farm building. He landed on a concrete floor and was badly injured. He claimed damages from the company by which he said he was employed. The defendants maintained that, at the time of the accident and several days previously, the claimant had been engaged in the manual task of fixing roofing sheets and that his claim to have been on the roof in a supervisory capacity was untrue. The defendants also said that the claimant and his son had fraudulently asserted the existence of a formal contract of employment, and that the claimant had tried to bring himself within the scope of the employers liability policy and to deceive the court. The court accepted that the claimant was indeed employed by the company in the days prior to the accident. The duties owed by the defendants both at common law and that under the Construction (Safety, Health and Welfare) Regulations1996 were clearly owed to the claimant as an employee at the time of the accident, and the precise nature of the work which he was doing was immaterial.

Rodger -v- C & J Contracts Limited 2005.