DLP Insights

As part of a contract, the burden of proof regarding safety in the workplace must be borne by the customer

Categories: DLP Insights, Case Law

The Court of Cassation, with judgment No. 798 dated 13 January 2017, stated that the customer, whenever the work environment remains available to the latter, shall take all appropriate measures to protect the well-being and health of workers, including the contractor’s employees. In particular, according to the Court, these measures consist in (i) providing workers with adequate information about hazards; (Ii) preparing the necessary actions to ensure the safety of plants and (iii) cooperating with the contractor in introducing protection devices and preventing the hazards associated with the workplace and the contracted activity, especially if characterized by the use of hazardous machinery. Therefore, in the opinion of the Court, in the case of accidents in the workplace, the responsibility must be borne by the injured worker if the accident occurred due to an irregular behaviour, considered undisputable and excessive with respect to the work procedure and the instructions received, so as to be considered as the sole cause of the event. In the absence of such behaviour by the worker, the extent to which his/her possible negligent behaviour contributed to the event is irrelevant both under the causal point of view and as regards the compensation amount. Essentially, any imprudence, negligence or inexperience of the workers is unsuitable to exclude the causal link with the negligent conduct of the customer if it failed to take all the preventive measures necessary to carry out the work required by the actual working conditions.

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