Vyner v Waldenberg Brothers Ltd: CA 1946

Vyner was working a circular saw when part of his thumb was cut off. The saw failed in several respects to comply with the Woodworking Machinery Regulations, and in particular the guard was not properly adjusted. The accident happened before the passing of the 1945 Act, and the main defence was contributory negligence.
Held: Scott LJ said: ‘If there is a definite breach of a safety provision imposed on the occupier of a factory, and a workman is injured in a way which could result from the breach, the onus of proof shifts on to the employer to show that the breach was not the cause. We think that that principle lies at the very basis of statutory rules of absolute duty.’


Scott LJ


[1946] KB 50


Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945


England and Wales


CitedLee v Nursery Furnishings Ltd CA 1945
A Court should not be astute to find against either party, but should apply the ordinary standards. Lord Goddard said: ‘In the first place I think one may say this, that where you find there has been a breach of one of these safety regulations and . .

Cited by:

CriticisedBonnington Castings Ltd v Wardlaw HL 1-Mar-1956
The injury of which the employee complained came from two sources, a pneumatic hammer, in respect of which the employers were not in breach of the relevant Regulations; and swing grinders, in respect of which they were in breach.
Held: It had . .
CitedWilsher v Essex Area Health Authority HL 24-Jul-1986
A premature baby suffered injury after mistaken treatment by a hospital doctor. He had inserted a monitor into the umbilical vein. The claimant suggested the treatment should have been by a more senior doctor. The hospital appealed a finding that it . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Health and Safety, Personal Injury

Updated: 09 December 2022; Ref: scu.272564