In Allison v London Underground Limited, Ms Allison, a driver on London Underground and also a trainer of other drivers, suffered severe shoulder strain and damage to her thumb as a result of having to use the traction brake controller (TBC) to drive a train. She brought a claim against London Underground in the Central London County Court, but lost. She appealed to the CA. The CA allowed her appeal, holding that London Underground had not carried out a proper risk assessment in relation to use of the TBC and, so, had not provided adequate training. In reaching its decision, the CA found that Regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 imposes strict liability, not absolute or no-fault liability on employers. The CA pointed out that “strict liability” is different from “absolute liability” or “no-fault liability”. Strict liability refers to legal liability that cannot be excused on the grounds that it is not reasonably practicable to avoid the risk. Absolute liability and nofault liability refer to legal liability that could not be avoided even by the exercise of all possible care. No-fault liability is rare in the UK. The case is to go back to a district judge to determine quantum unless an agreement can be reached.
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Strict liability on employers to ensure individuals using equipment at work are adequately trained
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