Employers face having to provide protective footwear for staff following a landmark court ruling involving a care worker who slipped on ice at work.

Tracey Kennedy fell and injured her wrist as she made her way to the home of a housebound woman in the Crookston area of Glasgow in the harsh winter of December 2010.

The Supreme Court has now found that her employer, Cordia (Services) LLP, was at fault for not providing her with proper footwear.

HeraldScotland: The Supreme Court found in favour of Tracey KennedyThe Supreme Court found in favour of Tracey Kennedy

The judgment is likely to have wide-ranging consequences for employers across the UK.

Ms Kennedy's solicitor, Iona Brown, of Digby Brown, said: "This is an important judgement which will help protect individuals working for the benefit of others in testing conditions across the country.

"As the original decision noted, Miss Kennedy was on an errand of mercy, helping a vulnerable elderly member of the community. No-one should be exposed to any unnecessary risk of injury through just doing their job."

Ms Kennedy, who is likely to receive a five-figure sum in damages after initially seeking £150,000, first won her case at the Court of Session in Edinburgh in August 2013.

Cordia appealed against the decision and judges found in favour of the firm, saying the risk of falling on the icy path arose "from the ordinary facts of life in Scotland".

However, in a further appeal by Ms Kennedy, the Supreme Court has now ruled that Cordia were "negligent" in not providing her with the correct footwear or attachments which might have prevented her fall.

The Court of Session initially heard that the 45-year-old, from Pollok, and another worker had gone to the client's house at night to provide essential care services.

Conditions underfoot were extremely wintry, and the pair parked a short distance from the house because of ice on the road.

Ms Kennedy, who was wearing boots at the time, fell as she made her way down a path which was covered in ice and topped with snow which had not been gritted.

She suffered a serious injury to her wrist.

A Cordia spokesman said: “Cordia believe health and safety is fundamental to all activities and take their responsibility seriously. A high level of training is put in place for staff and thorough risk assessments are undertaken.

“Cordia are therefore extremely disappointed with this decision and recognise the economic consequences this will have for not only Cordia and Glasgow City Council but also employers across Scotland and the UK.”