The Claimant was an HGV driver who injured his ankle while delivering a pallet of coffee boxes to the second defendant.

His employer had overloaded the vehicle with pallets so that they were very close to the end of the rear edge of the trailer-bed and stuck fast. The pallet truck inside the vehicle was inaccessible because of all the pallets around it.

The claimant could not get the pallets out without the help of someone from the second defendants, who were receiving delivery.

He agreed to try and help the claimant move the pallet after a count of three. Unfortunately, the second defendant’s employee moved forward on the count of two leaving the claimant behind him and, as he tried to readjust his footing, he ruptured his left Achilles tendon.

The Judge found that the claimant’s employer was 75 per cent liable for the accident, because of the state of the truck, and those receiving the delivery were 25 per cent liable for the actions of their employee.

3 August 2009.

Unsafe access routes to work

The claimant was a train driver, who had taken the same walk to his cabin at work for seven years. A taxi hired by his employer would drop him at a crossing and he would go across a cattle grid. This time, he fell.

The defendant argued there were safe alternative routes with access by key.

The Judge said there was no evidence that the claimant had been instructed or encouraged to take any alternative route at all.

Here, the defendant was in breach of duty for not providing a safe route to work but the claimant was one-third contributorily negligent for not taking more care.

Northampton CC, 29 September 2009.