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Mr Spalding a plumber was awarded compensation after he was injured when working in the library of the University of East Anglia. Mr Spalding sustained injury to his teeth and face after he slipped whilst trying to get out of a confined space. 

Mr Spalding was asked to fix a radiator in the library, which was underneath a desk. The area around the radiator was wet and to protect himself Mr Spalding used a plastic bin bag to lie on as no anti slip mats or special overalls had been provided for him to use.

It was reported that as Mr Spalding was trying to get to his feet his feet slipped on the wet plastic bin bag and he cracked his head on the desk sustaining injury.

Norwich County Court awarded Mr Spalding £5,217 in compensation although found him 50% to blame for his part in the accident.

The University appealed Norwich County Courts decision. They argued that there was no legal duty for them to provide Mr Spalding with waterproof clothing or a dry working environment. On appeal, however the Judge decided that the university should have provided Mr Spalding with a water proof mat and had they done so he would probably have escaped injury. The County Courts decision was upheld by the Appeal Court.

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