Saturday 19 January 2019

Tesco worker who slipped in toilet and broke wrist awarded €65,000


Tim Healy

A Tesco worker who slipped on a wet floor in a warehouse toilet fracturing his right elbow and wrist has been awarded €65,000 by the High Court

Damien Jedruch slipped in the toilet of the Tesco Distribution Centre in Donabate, Co Dublin, where he worked  as he walked across the floor to use the dryer after washing his hands.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr held the use of smooth ceramic tiles in a toilet used by a large number of employees was unsafe and dangerous given the high risk of slipping on the tiles when wet.

He said 300 employees worked in the  warehouse and had Tesco taken reasonable care for the safety of its employees, it would have used slip resistant or non slip tiles.

There was, the judge said, no good reason not to use non slip tiles in a bathroom going to be frequented by a large number of people.

“While the owners of a hotel may not like using such tiles in a bathroom because it is harder to clean them and keep them looking well, such considerations do not  apply in a factory or warehouse," he said.

Mr Jedruch (35) from near  Gdańsk, Poland had sued his employer at the time, Tesco Ireland Ltd, over the accident on April 21, 2015. Mr Jedruch had been an employee of Tesco for eight years before the accident but  has since returned home to Poland.

He had claimed the tiles used in the warehouse toilet area were unsafe and dangerous and there was a failure to maintain the area in a safe and proper condition.

Tesco denied the claims and contended the toilet had been cleaned by a contract cleaner only minutes before Mr Jedruch’s accident.

Mr Justice Barr said there was little dispute between the sides that there was considerable water and dirt in the form of bootmarks on the toilet floor surface.

He was satisfied the cleaner on the morning of the accident did wash or mop down the male toilet area, but removed the cleaning sign from the doorway when the floor was still wet after cleaning.

"This would explain the considerable amount of water which was on the floor surface at the time of Mr Jedruch’s fall," the judge said.

Mr Jedruch who was out of work for 44 weeks after the accident, the judge said, did not exaggerate his injuries in any way. .

The judge granted a stay in the event of an appeal.

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