The Safety of Vehicles (Road Transport) Act 2006 (The Act) (Fictitious) provides that the Ministry of Transport should regulate the carrying out of tests (MOTs) on vehicles of more than 3 years old. Under the Act, the Ministry of Transport has power to approve certain garages to carry out the tests. It also has to ensure that strict working procedures are adhered to in the designated garages to ensure the safety of car mechanics. In particular, the Act specifies that appropriate clothing should be worn by workers using car testing equipment.
In June 2008 EU directive 2008/431 (Fictitious) was issued. It required Member States to ensure that the safety helmets used by car mechanics should comply with extensive EU specifications. It also required member states to set up a compensation scheme for workers who were injured by using equipment that did not comply with the directive.
The time-limit for the implementation of the directive was June 2010 but the UK did not take steps to implement it. The Government considers that implementation is not necessary because of the existence of the Act.
John, a car mechanic, works for a local garage which is approved to carry out MOT tests under the Act. He operates car testing equipment. The safety helmet he uses does not comply with the specifications under the directive although it may amount to appropriate clothing under the Act.
In January 2011 he is injured when a piece of heavy equipment falls onto his safety helmet and it caves in, causing injury to his head. As a consequence of this, he has to stop working.
Advise John whether he can rely on EU Law in an action against his employer, or anyone else.
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