Responsibilty at the place of work
Whoever provides work is responsible for the working environment where such work is performed. The employer is duty bound to do all that is reasonably and practically necessary to possibly eliminate, at least, diminish, the risks and perils for those in his employment within that working environment.
Based on the above declaration, the First Hall of the Civil Court passed judgement in the case Raymond Zarb vs IPSL et on the 26th May 2016.
Given that plaintiff was an Industrial Projects Services Limited (IPSL) employee and registered on its payroll, but was posted/seconded to work in another Government Department, namely the Tourism Department, the Court concluded that “id-dover fuq riferit jinkombi fuq min ikollu l-kontroll tal-ambjent fejn ikun qed isir ix-xoghol fejn isehh l-accident li ghalhekk ikun ukoll il-legittimu kontradittur biex jirrispondi ghall-allegati danni’’.
Raymond Zarb allegedely suffered a permament disability when at work at the Oil Pollution Response Module, which falls within the responsibility of the Toursim and Culture Department.
IPSL pleaded that the plaintiff was truly on its payroll, but was posted to another department when the alleged incident happened, namely the Tourism and Culture Department. To this effect, IPSL successfully called on the Court to call in the action the mentioned Department to answer to Mr Zarb’s allegatons, which it did.
When the Court heard all evidence and submissions by all three parties, the Court decided that IPSL was not to assume any liability for the incident at work, at the place of work which falls within the remit and responsibility of the Tourism and Culture Department.
Consequently IPSL was acquitted form all civil liability.
Throughout the proceedings, IPSL was represented by Ian Spiteri Bailey of SB Advocates.