Monday, October 16, 2006

Defending against a claim

There may be two sides to a defence. The first would be relating to the circumstances of an incident that resulted in harm. In this case it may be possible to refer to:

* A record in the accident book record,
* Records on reporting forms (including RIDDOR if applicable)
* Accident investigation report,
* Statements made by witnesses or supervisors

The second side would be to demonstrate that the employer had done everything reasonable to prevent the accident through compliance with statutory and common law duties. Relevant documents might include:
* The organisation's health and safety policy;
* Risk assessments
* Written safe systems of work relating to the activity;
* Training records;
* Statutory examination records (as required by LOLER);
* Maintenance records (PUWER and LOLER);
* Inspection reports
* Health and safety committee minutes;
* Documents relating to previous accidents and corrective actions taken.

Information relating to the claimant (eg involvement in previous accidents, disciplinary records, etc) could also be relevant.

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