A woman who fell down the stairs of a popular Dublin pub while wearing a visor has informed her employer she intends to bring a personal injury claim "as the visor made it difficult to see".
The extent of the woman's alleged injuries is not yet known and "the level of damage is currently being assessed", her solicitor said in a letter to the bar.
Gillian Knight, human resources adviser for the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), the representative body for publicans in Dublin, said the accident happened at a member's premises two weeks ago.
"The person has indicated she is putting in a claim and it's currently in process. The premises in question had given staff the option of wearing visors or masks, and the person chose to wear a visor," she told the Irish Independent.
"She came down the stairs and fell and is claiming that the visor was the issue.
"The insurance provider has come back asking if there was information provided around wearing a visor while using handrails on stairs and we are making enquiries on this, but I'm pretty sure 90pc of businesses would never have thought of this.
"It's disappointing after working so hard to adhere to health and safety protocol and to get back up and running," Ms Knight added.
Neil McDonnell, chief executive of Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Isme), said that in the current environment "the employer is damned if they do, and damned if they don't".
"Despite the fact the employer has provided PPE, the questions that will now be asked are what were the selection criteria for the PPE, was there a risk assessment and was the employee trained to use the visor properly," he said.
"We have already seen this week where a judge found in favour of an employee on the basis that she had not been trained to polish glasses.
"The essential reason for this is that the current interpretation of the Occupiers' Liability Act is effectively strict liability. If it happens in your premises, you're liable."
Peter Boland, director of the Alliance for Insurance Reform, said employers are extremely fearful of Covid-related personal injury claims, with some deciding not to open as a result. Research carried out among the organisation's 38,000 members in June showed that 55pc of policyholders are concerned about Covid-related personal injury claims.
"In order to protect policyholders from Covid-related personal injury claims, the State must now either move to indemnify businesses and voluntary groups against such claims or rebalance the duty of care so that occupiers have a responsibility that is balanced by the responsibility of an individual to look after their own safety," Mr Boland said.
"If the Government is expecting the economy to recover through SMEs, that is definitely not going to happen without insurance reform."
The Aqua Dome in Tralee, Co Kerry, announced it will not be reopening until 2021 as one Covid-related insurance claim could close the business for good, management claimed.
Chairman Denis Reen revealed the company's insurance premium amounts to a staggering €90,000 a year.
Kieran Routledge, one of the directors of the Aqua Dome, said in February that there are seven personal injury claims pending against the activity centre.