Prior to 1 October 2013, if you were injured due to unsafe plant and equipment then it is likely that you would have had a very strong case. This is because the employer or person responsible for the plant and equipment was often “strictly liable” – i.e. liable even if they were not to blame.
However, as a result of section 69 of the Enterprise Act 2013, it is now effectively necessary to prove negligence on the part of the employer – an altogether more difficult task.
For the future therefore it may well be necessary to show that the employer failed to take reasonably practicable precautions. Risk assessments, or their absence, will become even more important. There may also be a greater reliance upon expert evidence to establish liability
However, we can still rely upon a 1969 piece of legislation – The Employers Liability (Defective Equipment) Act – to pass liability to the employer for defects in equipment which are the fault of some third party.
There may also be reliance upon European health and safety Directives to impose liability where the employer is an “emanation of the state” – i.e. a public sector employer, or a body providing a public service under the control
We may also yet see a challenge to the recent changes in the form of an action against the government for failing to implement European health and safety legislation – i.e. a Frankovich action.
Interesting times ahead. Watch this space.
In the meantime we continue to represent the interest of injured workers to ensure that they obtain the compensation that they deserve.
No win no fee
We can offer you a no win no fee agreement for such cases backed with legal expenses insurance so you needn’t worry about ending up out of pocket.