The local authority appealed against a decision that it was liable for injuries suffered at work by the claimant when she tripped on a staircase whilst delivering post to different areas of the office.

At first instance the judge found that the claimant had not been carrying a large amount of  post and that she had simply misjudged her footing on the staircase. However, he allowed the claimant’s claim on the basis that a risk assessment had not been carried out in accordance with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

The Court of Appeal overturned the decision. Whilst the local authority had arguably been in breach of duty for failing to carry out a risk assessment, a causal link between this breach and the injury suffered had not been established.

The cause of the fall was that the claimant had misjudged her footing whilst climbing the stairs. The court found that this was unconnected with the circumstance that she had been delivering post and was not within the ambit of the risk the authority had arguably been required to assess. There was no obvious connection between the claimant delivering post and the injury suffered.