In situations where someone is injured as a result of the firefighters strike, most claimants would attempt to bring a claim against their employers.
“An employer has a duty at all times to consider risk of employers and also those that are not an employer,” said Anthony Cherry, a partner at Beachcroft Wansbroughs.
Employers must ensure they have carried out a risk assessment in light of the impending strike to ensure they have taken any reasonable steps necessary to prevent injury occurring on their premises.
Barlow Lyde & Gilbert partner John Goodman said: “If an employer takes a blasé, head-in-the-sand approach then it could lead to a claim.”
However, bringing such a claim may not be easy. Pattinson & Brewer partner Frances McCarthy said: “It's a very tricky one to deal with in the abstract, as there are so many possible scenarios.”
A claimant would have to prove that there were reasonable steps an employer could have taken that would have then prevented the injury from occurring.
One thing seems more certain – it is unlikely that the Fire Brigades Union would face any possible action from individuals or from businesses. Goodman said: “Broadly speaking, a claimant would have to prove that they [the emergency services] made the situation worse by a positive action.” Failure to attend an emergency does not make the emergency services liable for any damage.