The Warwick researchers’ remit was to survey the extent to which the Management of Health and Safety at Work and Fire Precautions (Workplace) (Amendment) Regulations 2003, which removed the civil liability exclusions contained in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, had influenced the volume of claims taken to court in respect of workplace incidents and accidents. In particular, the researchers were given the task to review whether there had been an increase in claims for damages arising from occupational injury or ill health for breaches of the 1999 Regulations, and, if so, the full extent of that increase.
Rather than evidence of increasing numbers of claims, however, the researchers found that the number of legal actions in this area was consistently falling in both the High Court and the County Courts.
Between 1999 and 2003, the number of "personal injury actions" in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court was:1999 1,187
It is expected that, once sufficient time has elapsed to measure the impact of the new regulations on completed litigation in this area, the government will be seeking a more detailed examination of the judicial statistics and emerging litigation practice in order to build upon the policy implications of the published Warwick findings.
Peter Dunn | alfa
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