The employee worked at a plant using chemicals. After starting, the work system was changed. The staff were given the best protection available, but the claimant suffered a pre-existing tendency to asthma, which was excited by the chemicals used. He was awarded damages, and the employer appealed.
Held: The employer should have been alerted by a doctor’s memorandum about his condition. It was not for the employee alone to assess the risk. Following Withers, the employer could be under a duty to make an assessment which would lead them to conclude that given his personal sensitivity, and employee should be dismissed from working in an otherwise safe environment.
Lord Justice Simon Brown and Lord Justice Brooke
Times 05-Aug-2002, Gazette 03-Oct-2002,  EWCA Civ 1010
England and Wales
Considered – Withers v Perry Chain Co Ltd CA 21-Jul-1961
An employee with dermatitis returned to work when it was known both to him and his employers that continuing to work would carry a small risk of it recurring or being exacerbated.
Held: The Court allowed the employer’s appeal against the trial . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 January 2021; Ref: scu.174346