Excerpted from Lexology by Barry.Nilsson. Lawyers

An employee rolled her ankle and injured herself after rushing to answer a phone call during work. It was found the risk of injury was not insignificant, and the employer should have taken precautions to prevent the risk of harm, by purchasing a headset. The employee was awarded $119,098, which was agreed to by both parties.

In Issue

The main issue considered in this case was whether the employer took all steps reasonably practicable to prevent workers from being injured. The issues for determination fell on whether the risk of harm was insignificant and whether a reasonable person in the employer’s position would have taken the precautions against that risk of harm.

The background

The plaintiff in this case was an office manager (employee) for a cleaning company in the ACT. As part of the employee’s role, her duties as an office manager would from time to time involve access to the front and rear storage rooms. This meant she was required to move around the office on a “frequent basis”. At the time of the incident, the employee was in the back of the office “organising the uniform cupboard”, and while rushing to the reception desk to answer the phone, she had rolled her ankle.
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