BOOK REVIEW: GUIDE TO ACCIDENTS AT WORK: BRETT DIXON: ESSENTIAL READING
Brett Dixon’s book is essential reading for all those involved in litigation relating to accidents at work. Much has happened since the previous edition in 2008 and this book deals with all the essential elements a litigator involved in this type of litigation needs to know.
THE CHANGES SINCE 2008
The major change since the first edition is s.9 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 which ended (for the most part) an action based on breach of statutory duty. The crucial thing is, however, the Act did not abolish the Regulations. In the time that has elapsed since the Act came into force there has been no definitive appellate ruling on the common law duty in relation to the Regulations, see the review on this blog in October 2000.
There is little doubt that the Regulations remain significant.
Cockerill v CXK Ltd  EWHC 1155 (QB) was the first case to consider the effect of Section 69 on a claim involving an accident which occurred after its implementation was Cockerill. In this case, the accident occurred on the 1st October 2013, the date Section 69 came into force. It was stated that:
The book contains a detailed consideration of the common law duty, the relevance of Health and Safety Regulations after the ERRA and the paramount importance of risk assessment. The important issue of contributory negligence in a workplace context has its own chapter. This is followed by a detailed consideration of the statutory framework.
- Accidents in the workplace.
- Working at heights.
- Work Equipment.
- Manual Handling.
- Construction sites.
Part C of the book deals with effective case presentation and preparation. Brett has the “Three W’s” and the “Three P’s” which make up effective guidance in relation to investigating claims (you’ll have to buy the book to find out what these are). The book guides you through the documents you need to look for in general and specific contexts.
Of particular importance is the chapter on evidence which sets out what is needed and why, on an evidential basis, a claim for injuries can fail.
“The drafting of witness statements in accident at work claims is unfortunately one of the most neglected areas. The importance of good witness statements cannot be understated.”
Should you buy it?
If you are involved in any kind of accident at work litigation, as claimant, defendant, insurer or trade unionist then yes you should.
Is it value for money?
At £149.99 it does represent value for money. It will save hours of fee earning time, and time spent on “research” is rarely recoverable.
Where can I buy it?
There is a link here.