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Home > News > Personal Injury News

10th September 2007

Accident at Work Compensation awarded after failure of PPE boots caused injury to LU railway worker

When our client was issued with safety work boots, which he was required to wear as PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) whilst he was working on the railway lines, he naturally assumed that if they were safe to wear as PPE, they were safe to wear throughout his working day. As his employer was London Underground, this naturally involved an element of walking up and down stairs at various times and locations. On one occasion, he fell down the stairs, causing him injury. On inspection, his boots had torn at the heel, causing the accident at work and his injury.

The defendant (London Underground) had argued that the accident was invented by our client, and that the damage to the boot had been made afterwards. However, the court allowed a joint footwear technology expert to examine the boots, who concluded that the tear was due to a fault in the manufacturing process.

Since the boots had failed whilst he was just walking down the stairs, and not engaged in his work, the boots were not being used in a PPE context. Previous case law (Fytche) had called into question whether the employer could be held liable for the failure of PPE such as boots in a non-PPE situation.

It was also argued that a fault in the manufacturing process could not have been foreseen by the employer. It was therefore crucial that the case could also be pleaded on a breach of the Employer’s Liability (Defective Equipment Act) 1969, which states that the liability is on the employer for a supplier’s fault, even if unforeseeable.

The Judge ruled in our client’s favour on a breach of ELDA, as the expert’s view meant there was no defence under this legislation. However, the Judge also found for our client on a breach of PPE, based on the premise that if the boots were not fit to wear on stairs, then they were not fit to wear anywhere for PPE Reg4(1). Even had the PPE point been lost, ELDA 1969 legislation would have held and won the case.

Compensation Claim

Should you decide to instruct us to represent you in your accident claim, Clear Answers’ lawyers have teams of specialists waiting to help you. We have extensive experience in all types of accident at work claims, whether it was the result of negligence on the part of your employer, or some other cause.

Our lawyers will be happy to provide you with expert legal advice, talk you through the claims process in plain English and answer any questions you may have regarding your claim. If you or a family member has been injured in these circumstances, please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers. Alternatively, you may prefer to complete one of our online compensation claim forms and one of our representatives will contact you as quickly as possible.

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