R v Merseycare NHS Trust, Ormskirk MC, 5 September 2002

Violence at work is often foreseeable. It therefore can be assessed and prevented. Employers need to have proper procedures in place, that are followed, and not just play lip service. 

Case facts

A care worker was beaten unconscious by a schizophrenic who threatened to kill her. Elizabeth Barrett was punched to the floor by the male patient after she had volunteered to take him on a caravan holiday in Cumbria. Her colleague, Mellissa Darby, was also elbowed in the face as she tried to restrain the man.


Conclusion for me

Mersey Care NHS Trust was found guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 due to it failing to carry out sufficient procedural checks.

Violence at work is often foreseeable. It therefore can be assessed and prevented. Employers need to have proper procedures in place, that are followed, and not just play lip service.


Updated: 3rd May, 2021
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