Kennedy v Cordia (Services) Llp: SCS 7 Aug 2013

Outer House – damages after carer’s fall in snow.
Held: The Outer House found Cordia liable under the PPE Regulations, the Management Regulations, and the common law. Both risk assessments for Cordia had been faulty.
Lord McEwan summarised the expert evidence: He then looked at the risk assessments. Agreeing in general with the later evidence of Miss Rodger, he said account had to be taken of controls to overcome hazards before any rating could be arrived at. However, he said that in his opinion the measures specified did not reduce the risk. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should have been provided. He was critical of the omission of ‘inclement weather’ in [the 2010 risk assessment]. Such weather did not cease to be a hazard and simply to rate the risk as ‘tolerable’ did not take account of changes in the risk when seriously adverse weather could and did occur that winter. This risk could be eliminated altogether by not going to the house, but accepting the need to go, the employer (his emphasis) should choose and supply the correct footwear which was available at that time. That was not done . .
Being asked again about research papers he said some were surveys and some were lists. He agreed that icy and snowy surfaces varied and shoe attachments varied in their reaction to these. He described in detail how Yaktrax performed and how he had used his own set for 18 months in snow and ice. He said that they reduced the risk although there was no one answer to the problem. Everyone still had to take care. Had he done a risk assessment for Miss Kennedy’s job he would have assessed the risk as likely and the severity as harmful. It was for the employer to find out what PPE was best and in his opinion they should have provided Yaktrax or some other type of fitting.
. . under reference to the [British Standard], he said that the assessment of the risk should have been ‘substantial’. Slipping and falling could give a variety of serious injuries. What the employer had to do was reduce or eliminate the risk. That would have been done if Yaktrax had been provided.’

Lord McEwan
[2013] ScotCS CSOH – 130
Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Cited by:
At Outer HouseKennedy v Cordia (Services) Llp SCS 19-Sep-2014
The respondent, Mrs Kennedy was working for the reclaimers as a carer. She had been injured walking up a snowy client’s path. The reclaimer appealed against an award for damages after a finding that she should have been provided with grips for her . .
At Outer HouseKennedy v Cordia (Services) Llp SC 10-Feb-2016
The appellant care worker fell in snow when visiting the respondent’s client at home. At issue was the admission and status of expert or skilled evidence.
Held: Mrs Kennedy’s appeal succeeded. ‘There are in our view four considerations which . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Health and Safety

Updated: 18 November 2021; Ref: scu.514285