Slipping as you clean around oil

The claimant was cleaning a machine and the floor around it as part of his work . He slipped on oil . His case was that oil ran off the machine as he cleaned .

The Judge found that the absorbent pads, rubber soled shoes and rags provided to the claimant to clean the machine and area ,even for  what may have been a substantial spillage, were enough to do what was reasonably practicable under the Workplace Regulations 1992 to make the workplace safe.

The claimant could take care of his own safety by mopping as he went or standing on rags , the Judge found.

Ray -v- Dunlop Tyres, Newcastle upon Tyne County Court

Slips and warning signs

In this trial the Judge accepted that a warning sign had been properly put in place by a cleaner but found it must, on balance of probability, have been removed by an employee before the floor had properly dried.

The cleaning had been done 15 minutes prior to the fall and it was accepted the sign had been put there. The claimant had slipped and noticed the warning sign propped against boxes in the corner.

The defendant had no system in place to establish when and who  the signs should be moved.

Jones -v- West Sussex Health and Social Care NHS Trust, 13 October 2005, DJ Trentham

Claimant with 10 previous accidents wins tripping case

The claimant had weak ankles and 10 GP entries of previous falls. She claimed that she fell as a result of a crooked pavement slab on a footpath at the school where she worked.

Thompsons made a site inspection at the school after the accident and photos were taken of the footpath in question. The whole footpath was in a state of disrepair with raised pavement slabs. The claimant had never known whether she tripped over one uneven pavement slab, or alternatively, whether her ankle simply “went over” as a result of the uneven slabs. She said so quite clearly in court when giving evidence.

The defendants called the head teacher and the caretaker to give evidence. Both of them stated that they inspected the footpath after the claimant’s fall and neither of them thought the area was dangerous. They measured various parts of the footpath and the highest slab was raised by about 23mm. The defendants had always maintained that this was not an actionable defect.

The defendants also suggested that this was simply another incident where the claimant’s right ankle went over on itself.

The Judge was impressed with the claimant’s evidence and her honesty. He held that he could not find, on the balance of probabilities, that she tripped over a single pavement slab. He did however find, on the balance of probabilities, that she stepped onto an uneven surface causing her to fall.

Goddard -v- Nottingham County Council, 20 October 2005, Nottingham CC.