In the case of Sloan v Governors of Rastrick High School, heard in 2014, a learning support worker whose job included pushing the wheelchairs of disabled pupils, brought a claim for a shoulder injury basing her case on Regulation 4 of the Manual Handling Regulations 1992 which states that an employer must try to avoid the need for employees to undertake a manual handling task involving a risk of injury; if it cannot be avoided, the employer is to risk assess the task and reduce the risk to the lowest level reasonably practicable and introduce training and guidance. The claimant’s argument was that electric wheelchairs ought to have been provided but the court decided, and the Court of Appeal agreed, that this was not practicable for the employer because students used their on wheelchairs and which wheelchair was suitable was based on medical considerations.
I think this is the right decision in the circumstances.
In Landau v Big Bus Co Ltd and Another ( also 2014) at a set of traffic lights in central London were a VW in the inside lane, the claimant on a scooter in the middle lane and a bus in the outer lane. The road ahead of the traffic lights bore sharp left. When the lights changed all three moved forward simultaneously and the scooter rider was trapped between the car and the bus. He suffered a serious injury to his right leg which had to be amputated. The court decided that he was in the blind spot of the mirrors both of the car driver and the bus driver and was not positioned in the road where he said he was. The court could not conclude that either driver had been negligent and the scooter rider was foolhardy for pressing forward in circumstances where he was open to being squashed between two larger vehicles. Even if the court had found either driver negligent it would have decided the scooter rider was three-quarters to blame for doing that.
In my opinion, drivers should adjust their mirrors so as to eliminate a blind spot. The scooter rider presumably was not at the very mouth of the junction and if he had been he would have been spotted readily. This to me seems a harsh decision.