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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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Does an occupier (such as Barclays) have a duty of care or

Customer Question

Does an occupier (such as Barclays) have a duty of care or legal obligation to check that a specialist contractor's staff are competent to undertake potentially dangerous engineering work in their premises - are they for instance, required to check their qualifications?"
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 5 months ago.

Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Do you mean a duty of care to the landlord or a duty of care the the employees that work in the building? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
A duty of care to the engineers employed by a specialist contractor engaged to undertake potentially dangerous engineering work - often under a permit to work.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 5 months ago.

Thank you. I would not say they have a duty of care to to the engineers, they have general duty to ensure that their site is safe and secure enough to allow workers on site. The actual duty would come from the contract employed to warrant that they had the request skills to provide the services Barclays have paid. Barclays would also have a duty to maintain public liability insurance in case of injury on site. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
for example, if an untrained engineer was working 'at height' or doing 'hot works' which are potentially dangerous and require specific training, and was injured in the course of the work because of their incompetence or lack of competence, the occupier of the building who engaged them would not have needed to check the competence of the worker and would not be liable for the injury?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 5 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. Not really no, it is the other way round, if someone holds themselves out as have a skill then they are liable if they did not have the skill to do the work - or ultimately the contractors employer has the duty of care to ensure their employee are properly trained. If Barclays go and engage a professional builder to do the work, that holds themselves out to have the requisite skills to do the job, then Barclays cannot have a duty of care to ensure that they do actually have the skills beyond doing some cursory background checks (i.e ensuring on contractual warranties, insurance, seeing professional certificates maybe). Ultimately the employer is responsible for ensuring that employee is safe. Barclays duty of care may extend as far as ensuring the site is clear and safe, but anything related to the work is the contractors responsibility.

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