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01 October 2005
These judgements sent from our Cardiff office state the narrow interpretation by the defendant expert Roger Cooke of what is an injury under the Stockholm Scale , used by him to reject claims of injury, is to be rejected in favour of a broader assessment of what a HAVS/VWF injury is for the purpose of assessing causation.
The claimant worked in a tool room as a technician since 1997. He sharpened and cleaned the cutting blocks, brought from the machines, at an average rate of 10 blocks a day. The weights of the blocks vary from 30 to 50kg.
This was a difficult case involving a trolley stopping dead due to an unknown and unspecified defect on a floor. There had been no previous accidents, no recorded complaints, the client was not absolutely certain what had caused the accident and was unable to reproduce the exact circumstances of the accident at a site inspection.
In the last Law Bulletin we reported a Scottish case (Donaldson -v- Hays) rejecting the claim that non-working visitors should have the benefit of the Workplace Regs for an injury at a workplace, for example a customer who has slipped in a shop would not succed under the Regs.
It was held that the employer had been in breach of its statutory duty, under reg.5(2) of the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996, in failing to make a site safe for dumper driving operations.
The latest amendments include a new section of Part 45, which makes provision for personal injury claims against employers relating to a disease. The section makes provision for fixed percentage increases to apply to success fees (this has already been reported in the August Law Bulletin). The new section comes into force on 1 October 2005.
For those involved in asbestos cases please note that the defendants appeal to the Court of Appeal will be heard between 14-17 November 2005. A report on the decision will follow.
The claimant, 61 years old, was employed as a driver labourer.
There is a second edition of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Guidance. The new version sets out changes to Regulations 3,4, 6 and 9 supported by new guidance and also reflects the latest developments in most personal protective equipment. A copy is in the library.