Barnes v Stockton-On-Tees Borough Council: CA 29 Oct 1997

The claimant was injured at work at a swimming pool. As he and other members of staff tidied away a wet inflatable slide, he slipped and fell, suffering serious injury.
Held: ‘it was necessary for the employers to have laid down a system to this extent: they should have warned their employees about the potential hazard of standing on the wet slide to remove the ropes attached to it so long as the air hose was still underneath it. That, it seems to me, was the hazard. I know that in this particular case the work had been done for many years and no accident had occurred; but of course that is usually the case. However, it does seem to me that there was inevitably a potential risk if men and women were treading on a wet, slippery piece of plastic to pull it out of the water and beneath that plastic, but invisible to the naked eye at this point, there was the air hose.’ Steps could have been taken to ensure the hose was put away before the slide. The appeal succeeded, and the defendant was responsible, but the plaintiff was 50% contributorily negligent.


[1997] EWCA Civ 2594


England and Wales


AppliedGeneral Cleaning Contractors Ltd v Christmas HL 1953
It is the duty of the employer to consider the situation, devise a suitable system and instruct his employees what they must do and to provide appropriate equipment. In leaving it to individual workmen to take precautions against an obvious danger, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Health and Safety

Updated: 09 November 2022; Ref: scu.142993