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Linda Mary Gillie v Scottish Borders Council,[2013] CSOH 76, 17/5/2013


Proof: Regulation 12(3) Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992: injury when pursuer slipped on stairs due to slippery substance. The pursuer brought an action for damages for injuries sustained when she slipped on stairs during her employment as a janiter at a school. The incident took place on a day when leaving sixth form pupils were carrying out pranks around the school including placing vaseline on banisters. The defenders accepted that they were the occupiers; that they had duties in terms of the regulations; that the pursuer slipped on vaseline on the stairs; that in all probability it got there due to pranks; that they were aware that pranks were being carried out around the school. However, they contended that the danger was not reasonably foreseeable and that the measures which they would have to have taken to prevent the accident were not reasonably practicable. Held: that the foreseeability of such a prank was very low; that the measures necessary to prevent against such an accident were not reasonably practicable. The court did not accept, for example, the pursuer suggestion that teachers should have been posted at the stairs throughout the day to guard against the dangers of the pranks. Decree of absolvitor granted.