In the recent case of East Anglia University v Spalding  EWHC 1886 (QB), the employers were found to be negligent and in breach of their statutory duty. The Claimant was a plumber, who whilst working on a job that involved a leak, was required to lie on the floor. He used a bin liner to cover a wet floor so that his clothes were protected whilst on the floor. Upon finishing the job, the Claimant stood up and slipped on the bin liner sustaining injury.
The judge held that the risk was not “de minimis” (minimal) and the harm was not so trivial that it could be ignored. Furthermore, it was a foreseeable risk that a person in wet clothing might suffer some level of injury. The failure to adequately provide a risk assessment and failure to provide sufficient PPE (waterproof clothing and/or a non-slip mat in this case) had resulted in injury.