EMPLOYERS face having to provide protective footwear to staff who work outdoors after a landmark ruling in a case where a care worker fell.

Tracey Kennedy suffered serious damage to her wrist when she slipped while working for Cordia as a home carer in Glasgow.

The fall happened during the severe winter of 2010 while she made her way to see the terminally ill client.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh has found the company at fault for not providing Ms Kennedy with proper footwear, such as spiked snow shoes, which could have prevented her fall.

Cordia failed to give ­proper guidance on what she should wear in wintry conditions to avoid her slipping.

Unison has warned that the judgement will have major implications for all firms that send their employees out of the workplace as it places the onus squarely on them to ­ensure that staff ­remain safe.

Mandy McDowall, the union's regional organiser for Glasgow City branch welcomed the ruling, saying: "We have always said that employers should risk assess everything their employees do, or workplace accidents and ­injuries will be an issue.

"This will have widespread implications for all sorts of jobs, including school-crossing ­patrol staff, traffic wardens and many others, as well as in the health service and other areas."

Miss Kennedy is now in line for a ­substantial payout, ­although the amount will be decided at a later date.

The court heard that she and another worker had gone to the client's house at night to provide essential care services.

Lord McEwan rejected arguments by Cordia that Miss Kennedy could have made the ­decision not to go out that night because conditions were too hazardous, saying that she was on "an errand of mercy".

Miss Kennedy's solicitor, Iona Brown from Digby Brown Solicitors, said: "This is a significant result for my client.

"Employers often think nothing of providing their employees with work wear that is little more than branding."

Cordia declined to comment