A shot blaster was working in the pitch dark when he was distracted and shot himself. 

To attract the attention of a colleague, the system, which the claimant was aware of, was that they opened the main door slightly to let in light. But this time the claimant said the sudden distraction resulted in him shot blasting his leg with his “hogger”. 

The Judge found for the claimant on the basis that the system for attracting attention was unsafe. This was thus a breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations in failing to assess and avoid the risk through considering other measures

There was no contributory negligence; we cited case law (Stavely Iron -v- Jones; Powell Dufferyn -v- Associated Collieries) to state it should not readily be found in breach of duty claims.

Southern -v- Clarke Chapman Engineering Serices. Newcastle upon Tyne CC, 20 August 2009.

Low ceiling on aircraft

Sometimes, a ceiling has to be low. In this case that was because there is limited room in an aircraft to fit and repair the mechanics.

The defendants had provided warning signs all over the area and placed cushioning pads on parts of exposed metal and chevron tape to other low slung parts. They also said that the employee well knew that the ceiling was low.

Nevertheless he went into the area to fetch his toolbox, which was stored in there, and banged his head on some pipe work that was not cushioned.

The Judge accepted the ceiling itself was not too low as operatives had to be able to access that part of the aircraft. However, he found it was too low for an area where employees were specifically supposed to store their tools and thus where they frequently needed to visit without having any other particular work to do.

That in itself created a danger, which could have been avoided by storing tools elsewhere.

The Judge found for the claimant with 30 per cent contributory negligence. 
Kingston upon Hull County Court, 20 August 2009.