Lord macdermott c the burden of taking precautions to

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assessing the nature of the employer’s obligation to the workman. (Lord MacDermott) (c) The burden of taking precautions to avoid the risk of harm; The court looks at how hard it is to do, how much it costs, how much time it takes. The higher the cost, bigger the burden, the less likely it is that the reasonable person would have taken those precautions (Caledonian Collieres v Spiers- runaway train carriages hit P at crossing, p argued they should have put catch points; held that catch points not too burdensome at this point, because there was a steep incline, not requires at every crossin g). Question the cost of precautions at a particular point (Romeo v Conservation Commission of NT- Hayne: fence along entire cliff too burdensome. McHugh: Only needed fencing near car park, so not too burdensom e). (d) The social utility of the activity that creates the risk of harm. The greater the benefit to other people of the defendant’s activity, the less likely it will be that a reasonable person would take precautions that would interfere with the activity. The defendant’s goal in undertaking the activity has to e considered (Watt v Hertfordshire County Council- jack not secured to fire truck in emergency, fell off and hurt one of the firemen; held that purpose of the enterprise had been to save life and limb, which justifies considerable risk. LJ Denning: * In measuring due care one must balance the risk against the measures necessary to eliminate the risk. (Had this occurred in a commercial setting, the Plaintiff would have succeeded.) The saving of life or limb justifies taking considerable risk.
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* There are some limits to this, even to save life and limb. Emergency vehicles should not go through a red light, even in an emergency, because the risk in doing so was too great .) * It is therefore a question of balancing the risk with against the end. Look at balancing the importance of saving someone with the risk and amount of harm possible to people in doing the activity. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS Common Practice: Under s.59 Wrongs Act a professional person will not be negligent in respect to an activity they undertake if those activities are in line with professional peer opinion. ( - adopts Bolam test for all cases where defendant is a professional except warning of risk cases) Under s.59(1) Wrongs Act a professional will not be negligent if it is established that they acted in a manner that (at the time of service provided) was widely accepted in Australia by a significant number of respected practitioners in the field as competent professional practice in the circumstances. This will overcome any matters of risk and likely harm, etc as discussed in s. 48(2). o If there are differing professional views, it doesn’t really matter. Under s.59 (3) Wrongs Act differing, and even conflicting, views will not prevent a professional from relying on any one view that supports their act, so long as that view is widely accepted in Australia by a significant number of practitioners.
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