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Update: health and safety

We need education on the Health and Safety Regulations not reform of the law, argues Zahra Nanji

24 January 2011

Foreseeable hazards

It is often a misconception on the part of an employer when assessing risk that a specific accident must be identified rather than a specific safety risk. The Scottish case of Johnstone v AMEC Construction Ltd [2010] CSIH 57 IH (Ex Div) reaffirmed the approach taken by the court in Robb v Salamis (M&I) Ltd [2006] UKHL 56 that it is not necessary to foresee precisely the circumstances of an accident for there to be a breach of regulations.

The claimant James Johnstone (JJ) was a security guard on a construction site of a school. When the accident occurred, he was working on the night shift. The construction site was enclosed by fencing. JJ had patrolled the construction site earlier in his shift and all the fencing panels had been upright. Each fence panel was designed to connect with the panel next to it. The fence panels all had a leg at each end with a metal foot attached to one leg and no metal foot on the o...

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