In the Court of Session, the Outer House has ordered a case to go to proof to establish whether the Forestry Commission, as employers, are liable in respect of an employee who contracted Lyme’s Disease following infection through tick bites. This case will be of considerable interest to rural employers whose employees (including forestry workers, gamekeepers and shepherds) may be exposed to tick bites. In the averments, the pursuer claimed that there was a failure to “institute and enforce and adequate system for obviating or minimising the risks from tick bites which included failure to instruct routine use of ‘jungle formula’ repellent, failure to give advice to wear cover-all clothing and failure to issue various specified protective clothing and footwear”.
While it remains to be seen whether the Commission will be held liable, employers should consider whether their risk assessments and workplace procedures are adequate in relation to the dangers posed by tick bites.
The decision can be accessed here.