Failure to Provide PPE Claim Fails

Article

02 December, 2014

Myers v Hull City Council

District Judge Charnock Neal

Forbes has successfully defended a claim at trial on behalf of Hull City Council.

It was alleged by the Claimant that on 09 November 2009 whilst attending college and undergoing a course of tuition he sustained a personal injury. The Claimant had been welding a piece of metal and was using the grinding machine when a piece of metal flew from the machine and entered the Claimant's eye over the top of his safety glasses.

It was the Claimant's case that the Defendant had failed to supply adequate PPE and had breached their duty of care. He stated that he had previously requested the use of goggles or full face mask to replace the safety glasses he was provided with but had been told that there were none available and that he should make do with safety glasses.

The Claimant's version of events was denied entirely by the Defendant. It was the Defendant's case that this accident never happened, and was never reported. The first time the Defendant became aware of the accident was when the claim was made on 26th October 2012, some two years after the date of the alleged accident.

In the alternative, the Defendant pleaded that if the Claimant proved that the accident happened as alleged, that he had attributed to the accident and was contributory negligent by acting without care by failing to wear the appropriate PPE.

In evidence, the Claimant was robustly cross examined on the inconsistencies in his account of the accident. As a result, the Judge was concerned with the quality of the Claimant's evidence and the number of anomalies in both the account of the accident and the immediate aftermath. The Claimant had also failed to provide any evidence from family or classmates to corroborate his case.

In her concluding remarks the Judge summarised as follows "The issue is simple. Was the Claimant instructed to use PPE and did failure to supply the Claimant with PPE cause a breach of duty? There is no accident report form and the accident was never followed up [by the Claimant]… The Claimant must establish a breach which he has not done and accordingly the claim fails."

The claim was therefore dismissed and the Defendant was awarded its costs.

For further information please contact Tim Smith by email or call 0113 3862687.

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