Kondis v State Transport Authority (1984) 154 CLR 672

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  • An employee was injured when standing under a crane and it fell on him
  • The crane was being operated by a contractor
  • Brought an action in negligence
  • Employer argued no vicarious liability
  • Was the employer liable for the negligence?
  • Yes, on the basis of non delegable duty of care
  • There was no vicarious liability
  • Duty is of such a nature that it cannot be delegated; this is true of the employer/employee relationship
  • In dangerous situations, the employer has a heavy duty of care and this can be non-delegable
  • Must ensure reasonable care and skill is taken;
  • employer has the exclusive responsibility to the premises, work, etc – employee must rely (employee’s safety is in the hand of the employer)
  • Workplace safety is not discharged by delegation
  • Must take all reasonable steps to ensure harm, including ensuring all contractors have a safe system

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