Acceptable Risk Does Not Remove Need for Risk Assessment

Posted: 25th July 2011

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the decision of a lower court that a small risk of serious injury is ‘acceptable’, and thus the failure to carry out a risk assessment was not a contributory factor to a serious injury, was not appropriate.

The Court’s ruling was made after hearing the appeal of a man who
was seriously injured during a Ministry of Defence (MOD) ‘fun day’. The man had seen several other people dive head first into a pool. When he himself did so, he broke his neck.
It transpired that no risk assessment had been carried out and that the risk of injury, though slight, was present.
Ruling that a risk assessment should have been carried out, the Court overturned the previous decision and remitted the case back to another court for trial.