In a recent judgment the Supreme Court of Queensland found that if employees use stairs at the workplace, then the employer must ensure there is no variance between the rise dimensions of successive risers.
The Plaintiff was an employee of the Charters Towers Hospital. While ascending stairs at the workplace, she stubbed her toe at the top of one of the risers. As she fell she suffered significant injuries.
The expert evidence indicated some risers were higher than others. This increased the risk of tripping, thereby making the stair dangerous.
The Court found an employer should have investigated, as part of its duty of care, whether the stairs were safe. If the employer had called an expert to assess the safety of the stairs, the expert would have advised that the stairs were unsafe, but they could have been made safe relatively easily. The employer breached its duty of care owed to the Plaintiff.
The Court awarded over $1.7 million in damages to the Plaintiff.
If you have suffered injury at work in similar circumstances (even if the stairs served as fire stairs), give us a call and we will be happy to discuss your options in a confidential and free consultation. If you have a claim we will act for you on a no-win no-fee basis.