Who is Liable?

A contractor was fined recently after a worker suffered serious head injuries as a result of a fall at work.

The worker fell more than three metres when a platform he was stood on moved, causing him to fall through a gap.
 
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation showed that the contractors had failed to comply with the British Standards when constructing the platform.

Liability for Accidents at Work will generally rest with the worker’s employer. It is not always a straightforward task to establish who the employer is when workers are often contracted, sub-contracted or placed by employment agencies.

In this case the contractor has been convicted as a result of failings which led to the worker’s injuries. It may well be that the worker’s stronger case lies in pursuing the contractor for common law negligence, regardless of the nature of any employee/employer relationships.

Depending on the facts, the worker’s employers might, however, find that they are also primarily liable in failing to ensure that their employee was provided with adequate work equipment fit for its purpose or a safe system of work.

We specialise in Employer’s Liability cases at Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP and can provide you with advise in relation to any accident at work.