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Janice Burgess v. Napier University [2009] CSOH 6


Proof:- The pursuer, an employee at Napier University, was invigilating at an exam at Merchiston Campus on 16 August 2006. At the end of the exam the pursuer collected the exam papers and left the room. As she did so, she tripped and fell against a wall injuring herself. Here the pursuer claimed damages for the injuries she suffered. It was claimed by the pursuer that she tripped on a waste paper basket which had been left lying on the floor. The pursuer based her case under regulation 12(3) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992:- " far as is reasonably practicable, every floor in a workplace and the surface of every traffic route in a workplace shall be kept free from obstructions and from any article or substance which may cause a person to slip, trip or fall". It was submitted on behalf of the pursuer that if the court was satisfied that the bin caused the accident, the breach of the regulations was made out. It was submitted on behalf of the defenders that the pursuer had not established that she tripped over the wastepaper basket. It was further submitted that esto it was established that the pursuer did trip over the wastepaper basket, she contributed to her accident due to her failure to keep a proper lookout and to look where she was putting her feet and the pursuer had a basic duty that she should take reasonable care for her safety. Here the court considered whether the pursuer had established her case to the requisite standard.