A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y

Larner v British Steel plc (1993) The Times, 19 February, CA

4 July 2006

L, an experienced fitter employed by British Steel, was injured at work when a heavy piece of equipment fell onto his leg. He suffered severe crushing injuries. The employer knew that the piece of equipment was cracked. He claimed compensation for his injuries, alleging breach of statutory duty and common law negligence. The employers denied liability but did not argue that it was not reasonably practicable to make the place of work safe. The judge at Swansea County Court found in favour of the employer on the basis that the employer had taken all reasonable and practical steps to keep its employee safe. L appealed to the Court of Appeal.

R v Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Ltd (1995) The Times, 1 December, CA

4 July 2006

Mr Harris, the employee of a subcontractor, was instructed to repair a roof light at R’s factory in Dagenham. He was working with Mr Fagg, another employee of the subcontractor, and with Mr Mitchell who was directly employed by R. Mr Harris was told not to climb onto the roof. He did so, and fell through the roof light onto a concrete floor 28 feet below and was killed. R was charged with offences under the Act of 1974 and the Regulations of 1966. The company was fined £7500 in respect of the former and £2500 in respect of the latter, with £55,000 costs. R appealed.

Harris v Evans and Another (1998) The Times, 5 May, CA

4 July 2006

H ran a mobile bungee jumping business. He was advised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that he should comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice issued by the Standard Association for British Bungee. He started business in 1992 on the basis of this advice.

Mattis v Pollock [2003] IRLR 603, CA

4 July 2006

P, the owner of a nightclub, employed C, an unlicensed doorman, to keep order at the club. C was encouraged to act in an aggressive and intimidating manner towards customers. In July 1998, P visited the nightclub. Following a series of altercations, C stabbed M in the back outside the club, saying “I’ll teach you to **** with me”. M suffered a severed spinal cord and was rendered paraplegic.

Balfour Kilpatrick Ltd v Acheson and Others [2003] IRLR 683, EAT

4 July 2006

240 electricians were employed by B at a large construction site. The site was extremely wet and there were insufficient facilities for employees to dry their clothes. On 4 April 2000, it rained very heavily. This produced wide areas of standing water on the marshy ground around the site. The temperature was very low. The electricians delegated two colleagues to approach management with their concerns about their working conditions and to ask for the afternoon off, to dry out. The management dismissed their requests out of hand, taking the view that the men were attempting to get money without working. The electricians then left the site and did not start work for two days. When they returned, they were given letters of dismissal. The applicants, who were some of the electricians, started proceedings for unfair dismissal. Their claims were based on s.100(1)(c) of the 1986 Act, which states, in summary, that an employee is unfairly dismissed if the reason for the dismissal is that the employee brought to his employer’s attention, by reasonable means, circumstances connected with his work which he reasonably believed were harmful or potentially harmful to health or safety. Alternatively, it was argued on behalf of the applicants that the dismissals had been automatically unfair under s.100(1)(d), where the reason for dismissal is that, in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent and which he could not reasonably have been expected to avert, he left his place of work.

Dryden v Greater Glasgow Health Board (1992) IRLR 469, EAT

4 July 2006

Ms D was employed as a nursing auxiliary. She was a heavy smoker. In 1991 her employer banned smoking on its premises. Ms D resigned because she could not work an eight hour day without smoking. She claimed constructive dismissal.

Lister and others v Hesley Hall Ltd [2001] IRLR 472, HL

4 July 2006

G was employed by H as warden of a boarding school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. G systematically sexually abused boys at the school. He was convicted of multiple offences relating to sexual abuse and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. Two of his victims brought proceedings against H for personal injury. The claim failed at first instance and on appeal to the Court of Appeal. The victims appealed to the House of Lords.

McCabe v Cornwall County Council and Another (2002) The Times, 28 December, CA

4 July 2006

M was a teacher employed by C. In 1993 a number of his female pupils complained of inappropriate sexual conduct. He was suspended from his employment. Four months later he was required to attend a disciplinary hearing. Following a number of other hearings he was dismissed. During the period between the suspension and the hearing he had begun to suffer psychiatric illness.

Mulcahy v Ministry of Defence (1996) The Times, 27 February, CA

4 July 2006

M, who had served as a soldier in the Gulf War in 1991, was injured when a howitzer shell was fired at the Iraqis. He claimed compensation for loss of hearing, allegedly as the result of the negligence of his gun commander. His primary claim was against the Ministry of Defence on the basis of its vicarious liability for the actions of its employee.