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February/March 2008 (vol. 04/5)

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Expert Witness: Vicarious liability

Its application to safety and health at work

Summary:

Vicarious liability can render an employer liable for the wrongdoing of its employees, but the courts have made clear that this is not always the case. Diana Kloss explains vicarious liability, when employers are strictly liable for the wrongdoings of their employees, and how the law is relevant to OH practitioners.

A person is vicariously liable when he is held to be responsible in law for the acts of another. In general, I am liable only for my own actions, both in criminal and civil law. Only if I have,myself, committed an unlawful act, or incited or authorised another to do so, am I susceptible to prosecution or civil action. The…

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

Author: Kloss D

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Occupational Health at Work February/March 2008 (vol. 04/5) pp31-32

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