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Impact of strict liability changes remains unclear

7 October 2013

Section 69 of The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (Health and Safety) has come into force for breaches which occur after the 1st October 2013. What does this mean? S.69 alters the duty of strict liability held under s.47(2) of the Heath and Safety at Work Act, where by a breach of health and safety at work will not be actionable in civil claims. Therefore, a claimant will now have to rely on the common law duties in order to bring a claim for breach of health and safety at work.

It does appear that there has been no risk impact assessment in relation to this matter nor have substantial regulations been introduced dealing with the introduction to this amendment.

Whilst the amendment will address the imbalance currently in favour of claimant’s, for instance where strict liability is imposed for unforeseen failure of work equipment, the overall impact on public authorities still remains unclear.

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