The case of Reynolds v Strutt & Parker LLP (2011) is a tragic case in which an employee of Strutt & Parker (SP) sustained serious brain injuries in a cycling race organised by his employers as part of a work event.
Two partners from SP had organised an afternoon of events for employees at a country park. The final event was a cycling race. The partners and the company’s head of safety had met before the event and discussed the safety of using certain types of bicycles and decided that mountain bikes were not to be used.
On the day of the race, only one rider wore a helmet. Near the end of the race, Mr Reynolds’ bicycle collided with another.
Mr Reynolds brought a civil claim against SP alleging a breach of the common law duty owed by employers to employees and a breach of various duties under health and safety legislation.
The court heard from an expert who suggested that if Mr Reynolds had been wearing a helmet, it was unlikely that he would have sustained the injuries he did.
The court held that Mr Reynolds as not at the event in the course of his employment so there was no breach of statutory duty. However, the partners from SP had breached their common law duty of care. Neither partner had the skills or knowledge to carry out a risk assessment and they had missed the most obvious risk of collision. There was a failure to carry out a sufficient risk assessment and to seek the advice of the people operating the park which would have been the common sense thing to do in the circumstances. The court said that the risk of collision and the potential consequences were obvious and that if they had told Mr Reynolds to wear a helmet and he had not complied, then he should have been excluded from the race.
The court found that SP had been negligent in failing to tell riders about the need to wear helmets.
When looking at Mr Reynold’s actions, the court found that he had had a reckless disregard for his own safety and that he was aware that helmets were available.
The court found SP liable for the accident and Mr Reynold’s two thirds contributorily negligent, so SP will be liable for a third of Mr Reynold’s claim for damages. The amount of the award has yet to be determined
The short moral of this case…
is that employers must not take their eyes off the ball with regards to risk assessments and must seek advice when unsure of the risks of a certain activity or what measures to put in place to control identified risks.
As Enterprise Coordinator at Enterprise M3 LEP, Shirley Ducker helps schools and colleges improve their careers and enterprise activities to engage with the world of employment. But it’s through her own personal journey that she’s learned the most about the power of networking. Shirley’s here as a guest blogger to share her experience with you…[…..]
As we’re all living – and working – for longer, the age range in most workplaces is becoming broader. In some cases, there can be an age gap of 50 years or more between staff. All diversity enriches the work culture, but it can require some education to manage it effectively. ACAS recently published a[…..]
There are countless reasons why recruiting a person under the age of 25 could be beneficial to the success and growth of your business. As a job agency in Basingstoke, we’ve recently been reminded of the benefits of this yet again. Spring is a time for new beginnings and you’ll not only be opening a[…..]
As a recruitment agency that’s also heavily involved in the community, we can’t stop talking about the many benefits of apprenticeships. These positions give young people and career-changers the opportunity to study for a work-based qualification that is often the first stepping stone in a bright career. Our apprentice, Kyra Wallace, recently completed her time[…..]
In recruitment, as in life, things rarely work out as expected. The news reminds us daily that it’s actually wise to expect the unexpected. For example, you’ve got to wonder if there’s a teeny weeny bit of Theresa May’s brain that wishes she had pre-prepared a plan B for how Brexit is unfolding… We[…..]