Lewis v Avidan Ltd (T/A High Meadow Nursing Home): CA 13 Apr 2005

A nurse claimed damages after slipping on a patch of water in the nursing home where she worked. The defendant argued that the pipe which had broken was not equipment so as to make it liable.
Held: The nurse’s appeal failed. The mere fact of an entirely unexpected and unpredictable flood does not mean that a floor is not maintained in an efficient state: ‘the pipe which burst, although it may have been equipment, was not equipment a fault in which was liable to result in a failure to comply with any of the regulations, in particular regulation 5(1). This in turn means that the respondents in the present case were not, on the facts, in breach of regulation 5(1).’


May LJ


[2005] EWCA Civ 670




Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, European Framework Directive (Council Directive 89/391/EEC) of 12 June 1989


England and Wales


CitedMillar v Galashiels Gas Co Ltd; Galashiels Gas Company Ltd v O’Donnell HL 20-Jan-1949
A hoist mechanism failed, the employee was injured, and he sought damages from his employer under the Act.
Held: The section imposes an absolute obligation to maintain work equipment in an efficient state or in efficient working order. The . .
CitedLatimer v AEC Limited HL 25-Jun-1953
The Appellant had recovered damages for injuries which he alleged had been the result of a failure on the part of the Respondents in their statutory duty to maintain one of the gangways in their works in an efficient state. He slipped on a factory . .
CitedJames Edward Beck v United Closures and Plastics Plc SCS 22-Jun-2001
Two heavy doors in which the pursuer trapped his hand were not within the definition of workplace, which contemplated open spaces, but did constitute work equipment in terms of the 1998 Regulations. . .
CitedStark v Post Office CA 2-Mar-2000
A component in a postman’s bicycle gave way even though the machine had been sensibly maintained and checked. He sought damages for his injuries.
Held: The duty imposed by the regulations was absolute, and an employee postal worker who was . .

Cited by:

CitedMunro v Aberdeen City Council SCS 17-Sep-2009
Safety Duty on Employer was not Absolute
The pursuer was injured slipping on ice in her defender employer’s car park. Liability depended on the interpretation of regulation 5, the claimant saying that it imposed an absolute requirement to maintain the workplace in efficient working order . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Health and Safety

Updated: 01 July 2022; Ref: scu.226977