This is an extract of our Avoiding Occupier document, which we sell as part of our Tort Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Tort Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Avoiding Occupier's Liability Entrusting Work to Independent Contractors
Situation where visitor suffers loss owing to independent contractor's negligence in carrying out the work o Loss may come from
? Manner in which contractors conduct themselves whilst on premises
? Defect in premises owing to poor workmanship
So, where visitor suffers damage due to "faulty execution of any work of construction, maintenance, or repair", Occupier not normally liable if o S.2(4)(b): Reasonable to entrust work to independent contractor.
? Giliker: which is accepted as being fulfilled when normally work entrusted to independent contractor o S.2(4)(b): Occupier took reasonable steps to satisfy self that contractor was competent.
? Assumption of competence can be made unless occupier knows of previous incompetence
Lord Keith in Ferguson v Welsh : As long as occupier has reasonably chosen seemingly competent contractor o Is not up to occupier to supervise them all of the time
? And only has to supervise if it comes to his attention that unsafe system of work is being used.
? Although does extend in some circumstances to check X is a member of their trade's association or holds relevant qualifications. o S.2(4)(b): Occupier took reasonable steps to satisfy self that work had been done properly.
? Ferguson v Welsh :
Lord Keith: o Would be going a very long way to hold that an occupier of premises liable to the employee of an independent contractor
? arising not from the physical state of the premises
but from an unsafe system of work adopted by the contractor.
? Three factors pertinent here
Nature of work undertaken
Character of Occupier
Evidence of risk left by contractor's work
? Haseldine v Daw: C injured when life in block of flats fell to bottom of shaft owing to negligence of contractors paid to repair lift
Scott LJ: o The landlord of a block of flats does not profess any technical skill with lifts
? Since he can't rely on his own judgement, his duty of care requires him to seek this advice o Having done this, holding him liable would make him an insurer for an independent contractor's negligence.
Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Tort Law Notes.