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June/July 2019 (vol. 16/1)

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Negligent exposure

Compensation for negligent exposure to a hazardous substance

Summary:

The Supreme Court has held that sensitisation to a hazardous substance caused by negligent workplace exposure will constitute a personal injury, potentially actionable for damages, even if the affected employee remains asymptomatic if removed from the job. OH legal expert Diana Kloss explains

 In a recent case, the Supreme Court gave a ruling about liability for personal injury relating to an occupational disease. The judgment is relevant to occupational health practice and illustrates certain fundamental legal principles. In the civil law of compensation in tort (known as delict in Scotland), as opposed to the criminal law of health and safety at work, it is necessary for a claimant employee to establish on a balance of reasonable probabilities that the defendant employer has, through negligence (ie a failure of reasonable care) caused actionable damage…

 Diana Kloss is a barrister, former part-time employment judge, Acas arbitrator and author.

Author: Kloss D

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Occupational Health at Work June/July 2019 (vol. 16/1) pp29-31

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