• Robert Spicer

Work Equipment

Work equipment

Reasonable foreseeability

Case Hide v The Steeplechase Company (Cheltenham) Ltd and others [2013] EWCA Civ 545

Statute reference Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1988, reg. 4(1)

Facts H, a professional jockey, claimed compensation from SC following injuries which he suffered from a fall during a hurdle race at Cheltenham racecourse in November 2006. His horse fell after jumping a hurdle. H was thrown and struck a railing at the side of the track. On H’s behalf it was argued that the railing was positioned too close to the hurdle and that the railing was too solid and insufficiently padded. At first instance, his claim failed. Both the hurdle and the rail were work equipment. They were “suitable”, adopting the common law interpretation of reasonable foreseeability. H appealed to the Court of Appeal.

Decision 1. The appeal was allowed.

2. An accident of the type which happened to H was possible and in that sense foreseeable. It was for the defendant to show that the accident was due to unforeseeable circumstances beyond his control or to exceptional events the consequences of which could not be avoided.

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