The House of Lords held that the boots were PPE within the meaning of regulation 7 (1). However, the boots did not fail their test of suitability under Regulation 4 (3) of the regulations because they protected him from heavy objects. The employer was not under a duty to provide him with waterproof boots and the existence of a hole in the boots did not mean that the boots were not suitable for protecting his feet from heavy objects. The words "in efficient working order and in good repair" had to be considered in the light of the purpose of the equipment. As a result the employee's appeal failed and the employer did not owe the employee a duty to repair the hole in the boots, and therefore the employer was not liable in damages.
The House of Lords was split with three law lords (therefore a majority) dismissing the appeal while two believed that the employer did have a duty to the employee. The majority prevails, but nonetheless the majority considered that account should be taken on the initial selection of the PPE and that an employer could be liable for risks associated with PPE equipment itself. However, by a majority the House of Lords held that Regulation 7(1) of the PPE Work Regulations 1992 meant that the employer had only obligation to maintain the PPE equipment in respect of its function as PPE and did not extend to general maintenance even if this caused personal injury to its employee.