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29.042016

Court of Cassation: the employer is responsible for any risks, including contingencies

The Court of Cassation, IV Criminal Section, by judgment no. 12683 of 29 March 2016, has ruled that an employer is responsible for any injury caused by inexperience, negligence or imprudence of workers, except in case of absolute irrationality of the behaviour of the latter. In the case at hand, a worker fell disastrously on the ground from a slippery ladder leaning on the wall that he was using to work at a height of more than 2 meters above the floor. Even though the worker had used the ladder on his own initiative, the employer was found criminally responsible for the accident occurred to the worker because the employer had assigned him in any case to work at such a height “without adequate support and protection from fall”. In essence, in complying with anti-accident rules, employers should also keep into account, and therefore avert, any contingencies that may possibly occur at the workplace, as they shall be held responsible for the physical safety of their workforce.