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Alsop v Sheffield City Council, Court of Appeal

11 March 2002
The issues

Wheelie Bins – Manual Handling Regulations – foreseeability.

The facts

The Claimant was a refuse collector employed by the City Council. On part of his round there was a section of road which was higher than the pavement and houses along the side. To gain access there were steps and a concrete ramp which was at a 30-degree angle. There was one part along the route where the pavement met the road at the same level. He slipped and fell and hurt his left elbow. He claimed that he had not been properly trained and that the City Council should have provided residents with sacks to carry up and down the steps rather than wheelie bins. The Claimant failed before the Judge and appealed.

The decision

1. Following Koonjul -v- Thames Link Healthcare NHS Trust, for there to be a risk for the purposes of Regulation 4 of The Manual Handling Regulations, the Court had to find that an injury was not just a possibility but really foreseeable.

2. There was no need to train the refuse collectors to take the wheelie bin to the point where the pavement met the road at the same level.

3. There had been no previous complaints or previous accidents.

4. Apart from advising employees to use common sense there was little more the City Council could have done.

Appeal dismissed.

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