The Apprentice

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BL Claims Solicitors specialise in personal injury, clinical negligence and travel claims, providing our clients with hands-on support, nationally.

We are rated as one of the top firms in the UK and believe in speaking to our clients in jargon-free language and ensuring you're speaking to a highly qualified lawyer right from the outset

"The Apprentice, You're Hired", however, found my legal head coming to the fore.  Lord Sugar's comments about Tom's business plan and the affect of chairs on his own employees' health and safety saw my jaw drop to the floor. Perhaps Lord Sugar needs to speak with his HR department?  If he does so, I am sure he will find that he employs someone who monitors office equipment, including chairs, and the suitability of such equipment in the workplace.
The law on health and safety legislation is strict.  The obligations on an employer are many.  
A chair would be seen as work equipment and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 would apply.  An employer has to assess the suitability of work equipment, consider maintenance of the same and more.  Further, the Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992 make specific provisions for workstations and seating.  Not to mention the requirements for risk assessments as provided for by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.  I could go on.
Each and every employee should be treated as an individual.  If an individual employee has a specific requirement, or if the work equipment provided to them causes them to develop issues with their health, then an employer can be found liable.  Compensation may well follow.
I think Tom had got it spot on.  Particularly when back pain causes so much lost time for employers.  Anything that raises awareness has to be a good thing.  It may actually save employers money in the long run.

Deborah Blackmore
Litigation Executive - Personal Injury Team.

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