A woman who fell down the stairs of a popular Dublin pub while wearing a visor informed her employer that she plans to file a personal injury claim “because the visor made it difficult to see.”
The extent of the woman’s alleged injuries is not yet known and “the extent of the damage is currently being assessed,” her lawyer said in a letter to the bar.
Gillian Knight, human resources advisor to the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), Dublin’s tax collector’s representative body, said the accident happened to a member two weeks ago.
“The person has indicated that he is making a claim and it is currently pending. The property in question had given staff the option to wear visors or masks, and the person chose to wear a visor, “she told the Irish Independent.
She came down the stairs and fell, claiming the visor was the problem.
“The insurance company has come back asking if there was any information provided about wearing a visor while using railings on stairs and we are looking into this, but I’m pretty sure 90 percent of companies would never get it have thought.
“It is disappointing after working so hard to adhere to the health and safety protocol and get back to work,” added Ms Knight.
Neil McDonnell, general manager of the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME), said in the current environment, “the employer is doomed if they do, and doomed if they don’t.”
“Despite the fact that the employer provided personal protective equipment, the questions that will now be asked are the selection criteria for the personal protective equipment, there was a risk assessment and the employee was trained to use the visor correctly,” he said.
“We’ve already seen this week that a judge was in an employee’s favor because she wasn’t trained to brush glasses.
The main reason for this is that the current interpretation of the Liability Act is in fact strict liability. If it happens to you, you are liable. “
Peter Boland, director of the Alliance for Insurance Reform, said that employers are extremely afraid of Covid-related personal injury claims, and so some decide not to open. A survey of the organization’s 38,000 members in June found that 55 percent of policyholders are concerned about Covid-related personal injury claims.
“To protect policyholders against Covid-related personal injury claims, the state must now either take steps to indemnify companies and voluntary organizations against such claims, or rebalance the duty of care so that users have a responsibility that is in balance with the responsibility of an individual to ensure their own safety, “said Boland.
“If the government expects the economy to recover through SMEs, it certainly won’t happen without insurance reform.”
The Aqua Dome in Tralee, Co Kerry, announced it would not reopen until 2021, as one Covid-related insurance claim could shut the company down for good, management claimed.
Chairman Denis Reen revealed that the company’s insurance premium is a whopping € 90,000 per year.
Kieran Routledge, one of the directors of the Aqua Dome, said in February that there are seven personal injury claims pending at the activity center.