17th May 2018
Marcus Grant, instructed by Alexander Cohen of Brian Barr, appeared for a claimant who developed CRPS following a tripping accident in the course of her employment at premises occupied by a Third Party.
C failed to see a steep step in a Victorian-era constructed community centre, tripped and fell sustaining an ankle injury which developed into debilitating CRPS.
She was employed by D1 as a Career’s Adviser and instructed to attend D2’s premises to provide a lecture. Upon her arrival at the premises for the first time, C walked through an open doorway into kitchen area without realising that there was a step down the other side of the doorway. She tripped and fell.
D1 failed to risk assess the building before the accident. D2’s risk assessment provided three control measures for the risk posed by the step: (1) black and yellow hazard warning tape across the width of the lip of the step; (2) an instruction to all users that the door should be kept closed at all times; & (3) a prominent warning sign of the existence of the step on the door.
At the time of the accident one of D1’s servants or agents allowed the door to be propped open, having not been instructed by D2 that this should not happen, thereby depriving C of the benefit of control measures (2) and (3) above.
The Court (Rowena Collins-Rice sitting as a Judge of the High Court) found that the existence of control measure (1) the hazard warning tape was, on the facts of the case, sufficient to discharge any common law duty of care owed by the employer, D1 to C (Section 69 of the Enterprise and regulatory Reform Act having deprived C of any statutory causes of action against her employer) and equally sufficient to discharge D2’s statutory duty of care to take reasonable steps to safeguard visitors under Section 2 of the Occupiers Liability Act 1957.