NEBOSH Certificate Case Law By John Johnston AIIRSM www.healthandsafetytips.co.uk References: www.safetyphoto.co.uk Introduction • This presentation highlights the case law that NEBOSH certificate students should be aware of. • The cases are central to understanding certain legal principles and by being aware of the facts of these cases, you will be able to apply them in your examinations to give full and informed answers. • The slides also have notes added with further information on the cases. Donoghue v. Stevenson (1932) Duty of Care – Neighbour Principle • Negligence. • Whether duty owed to person injured. • Duty of manufacturer of article to ultimate consumer. • Bottle of ginger beer bought from retailer. • Bottle containing dead snail. • Purchaser poisoned by drinking contents. • Liability of manufacturer to consumer. Edwards v National Coal Board (1949) Reasonably Practicable – ‘the Quantum of Risk’ • The balance of cost, time and trouble. • Mr Edwards was killed when an unsupported section of a travelling road in a mine gave way. Only about half the whole length of the road was shored up. The company argued that the cost of shoring up all roads in every mine was prohibitive when compared to the risk. • “so far as is reasonably practicable” means that the degree of risk needs to be balanced against the time, trouble and cost involved in taking the necessary measures to avoid the risk. Wilsons & Clyde Coal Co. Ltd v English (1938) Employers’ Common Law Duty of Care (Employers’ Liability) • The employers were held liable for injuries to a miner as a result of an unsafe system of working. • The House of Lords held that the employer owes a duty of care to his employee: • Safe place of work. • Safe equipment. • Safe system of work. • Provision of competent staff and effective supervision. Wilsons & Clyde Coal Co. Ltd v English (1938) Employers’ Common Law Duty of Care (Employers’ Liability) • These duties were owed personally by the employer to each employee and were non-delegable – • The performance of the duties could be delegated, but the responsibility for them could not. Marshall v Gotham Co Ltd  So far as is practicable • The employer was not liable for a breach of statutory duty because Marshall’s death had not been caused by any failure by them to take reasonable steps to secure the roof. • Comparison of ‘practicable’ and ‘reasonably practicable’ precautions. • Generally interpreted to mean that whatever is technically possible in the light of current knowledge must be carried out. • The cost, time and trouble are NOT to be taken into account when arriving at a decision. Mersey Docks & Harbour Board v. Coggins & Griffiths (Liverpool) Ltd.  Vicarious Liability • Master/servant relationship – persons who must be protected. • The test: • “Who had the authority to direct or delegate to the workman the manner in which the vehicle was driven?” With thanks to Safetyphoto www.safetyphoto.co.uk Don’t forget to read the notes in this presentation for additional information on each case.