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Paris v Stepney [1951] AC 367 House of Lords


The claimant only had sight in one eye due to in injury sustained in the war. During the course of his employment as a garage hand, a splinter of metal went into his sighted eye causing him to become completely blind. The employer did not provide safety goggles to workers engaged in the type of work the claimant was undertaking. The defendant argued there was no breach of duty as they did not provide goggles to workers with vision in both eyes and it was not standard practice to do so. There was therefore no obligation to provide the claimant with goggles.

Held:

There was a breach of duty. The employer should have provided goggles to the claimant because the seriousness of harm to him would have been greater than that experienced by workers with sight in both eyes. The duty is owed to the particular claimant not to a class of persons of reasonable workers.
 
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