RMH Schaffer , consultants in Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) and safety management systems (SMS), assist businesses in developing an OH&S SMS that will deliver lower workers compensation premium costs. With the recent over-turning of the case Cook v Cook in the Court of Appeals, a 28 year long benchmark law definition of the Duty of Care and Contributory negligence has been re-written with major consequences for employers and their OH&S safety management systems.
A reasonable driver now applies to any person driving a motor vehicle. Previously, a different standard was applied and a lesser duty of care was owed by an unqualified, inexperienced driver. This significant law change meant a finding of contributory negligence could now be made against the driver. That is, a young and inexperienced person.
Similarly, one’s OH&S SMS may be impacted. This may mean that as regards to the employer’s duty of care, a third party has contributed to the accident and consequent injury. This may substantially reduce the dollar cost of workers compensation premium increase. Where previously, the employer bore the full brunt of the injury cost, now, an apportionment is possible- capable of reducing the business’ premium increase.