Why Should Employers Ensure Workers' Equipment is Safe?


Simpson Millar LLP recently acted on behalf of a Merseyside postwoman, who was hurt while working on her delivery round.Back Injury

Bicycle Chain Snapped

On 16 April 2012, the postwoman was riding her Royal Mail-issued bicycle. As she pushed off – a moment when most strain is put on a bike's transmission system – the bike's chain snapped, causing her to fall and sustain injuries.

Serious Bruising

A medical examination revealed that the 35 year-old from Wallasey had suffered severe and heavy bruising to her back, her knee and her elbow.

Simpson Millar's Misty Cawley, who acted for the worker following a request from her trade union, the CWU, said: "This was a case where our client was provided with a new piece of equipment by her employers, the Royal Mail, after a tyre on her older bike had punctured.

"However, the new equipment proved to be defective and as a result she was injured."

Foreseeable risk

We wrote to Royal Mail alleging that, as our client's employer, it had failed to provide and maintain suitable equipment: a situation that automatically called into question whether our client's workplace was safe.

Misty added that it was unfortunate that the Royal Mail did not ensure the equipment was in good working order beforehand.

"Employers still responsible"

"Our client understandably expected the equipment to be in good working order," Misty concluded. "It is important that people appreciate that even if they sustain injuries when using brand new equipment, their employers may still be responsible."

We are pleased to say that our efforts were successful on behalf of our client, who was awarded a compensation settlement of £1,000.

Top Tips to Take Away

  • Employers have a responsibility to ensure equipment provided to employees is safe
  • Even new equipment can be faulty

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