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Henser-Leather v Securicor Cash Services Ltd, Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), 16 May 2002

21 May 2002
The issues

Personal Protective Equipment of Work Regulations 1992 – body armour – security guards.

The facts

The Claimant was employed by Securicor. He drove a van and had available to him smoke boxes, a helmet and a visor. He had to collect cash. He was in the process of collecting cash from a petrol station and was leaving the shop with £4,900.00, when a robber demanded him to hand over the cash. He was shot in the stomach. He brought an action against Securicor for negligence and breach of statutory duty.

The Judge dismissed the Claimant’s case – the Claimant appealed.

The decision

1. Regulation 2 required an employer to provide personal protective equipment to protect a person “against one or more risks to his health and safety”. Regulation 4 was to the effect that the suitability and appropriateness of the equipment must not increase the overall risk to the wearer. Regulation 6 put a duty on the employer to ensure adequate assessment as to whether equipment should be provided and as to its suitability. In the circumstances, it was clear that Regulation 6 put an obligation on the employer to ensure that body armour was assessed and provided where necessary. On the facts, it appeared suitable body armour was available in 1995.

2. Regulation 10 put a duty on the employer to ensure that body armour was properly provided and used. The Judge had found that Securicor did not comply with Regulation 10. It was not therefore possible to conclude that the Claimant would not have used body armour had it been provided.

3. Body vests were available in 1995. The risk was a real one. The wearing of body armour would have reduced the seriousness of the injury. Judgment for the Claimant

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