The claimant worked for the defendant on the second floor of a building that housed several other employers and was let to the defendant. There was a lift, stair and lobby area for all businesses which used the building.

She was leaving work from the lift on the ground floor when the lift doors shut unexpectedly causing her injury. It was conceded by all parties that the lift was work equipment for the purposes of the PUWER Regulations 1998 and that it was defective in those terms.

However the defendant denied that they, as an employer, could be liable for a lift provided by the owner of the property and shared by all who used the building. They denied the lift was “ used by an employee at work” as defined in regulation 3 (2) of PUWER 1998.

The Court of Appeal found that leaving work at the end of the day was part of the working day and thus the lift was being “used at work” in terms of the Regulations.

The Court of Appeal rejected any effort by the defendant to use Hammond against the claimant. They agreed the lift shared with the wheel bolt in Hammond the attribute that it is the property of a third party but it was a facility used in the course of work, which is different from an object worked on.

They found they could not find any breach of the Workplace Regulation 4(1) as that involved control of the workplace and the employer had no control over the lift.

Nor was there any breach of the Employers Liability Defective Equipment Act 1969.

The claimant succeeded against the employer on PUWER 1998 alone.

PRP Architects -v- Precious Reid, CA.