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Negligence was defined in Blyth v Birmingham Waterworks Co (1856) as...

omitting to do something that a reasonable man, guided by the considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or doing something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do.


Common Law Duty of Care

Donoghue v Stevenson (1932) assisted still further...

you must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you could reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour.

Adding that a neighbour was...

someone so closely and directly affected by what you are about to do that you should have them in mind when contemplating the act or omission in question.


Tort Law

Tort law is made up of rights and remedies that the Civil Courts consider whilst resolving 'civil wrongs' such as...

  • Defamation;
  • Libel;
  • Trespass; and
  • Nuisance.


In addition, there are three other types of Tort that are particularly import in the industrial safety context;

  • Vicarious Liability;
  • Breach of Statutory Duty; and, of course
  • Negligence.


Proving Negligence

In a claim for negligence, the burden falls initially on the claimant to prove that...

  • A common law duty of care existed;
  • The duty holder's negligence breached that duty;
  • Injury or damage has been suffered;
  • The breach caused or materially contributed to the injury or damage.



As a result of cases like Blyth and Donoghue, the duty in the Tort of negligence is to 'take reasonable care'. However, the effective test relates to...Read More.