Our client was an experienced and skilled potash mine foreman. When working underground he had to step backwards to allow a vehicle to pass and, as he did so, his foot sank into a pothole and he fractured his ankle.

The employer denied it was responsible, suggesting that the nature of the underground work was such that there would inevitably be areas of uneven ground and that it was for our client to keep a look out as to where he was walking.

Supported by his union, Unite, the case was taken to Court, where the Judge said that the very purpose of inspections is to keep employees safe. He questioned how a pothole of such a significant size had not been picked up and fixed by the employer.

Mandip Hayre, who represented our client, said: “Employers need to realise that proper workplace inspections mean exactly that – above or below ground they need to be carefully and thoroughly undertaken.”