Polyflor Ltd v Health and Safety Executive

Criminal law – Trial. The defendant company appealed against its conviction for failing, so far as reasonably practicable, to ensure the health and safety of its employees after an employee suffered a fractured arm at work. It contended that the judge had erred in rejecting its no case submission on the basis that a risk that would only have materialised if an employee had done something very foolish was insufficient to pass the evidential threshold. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in dismissing the appeal, held that the creation of a material risk by the carelessness, including gross carelessness, of an employee remained a material risk. Accordingly, the judge had been right to conclude that the threshold for the case to go to the jury had been crossed.

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