How important is it to clear snow and ice from your car park, paths, yards, roadways and boundaries?
The guidance in the Workplace, (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations states: “So far as is reasonably practicable, every floor in a workplace and the surface of every traffic route in a workplace shall be kept free from obstructions and from any article or substance which may cause a person to slip, trip or fall.”
It goes on to specify: “Arrangements should be made to minimise risks from snow or ice which may involve gritting, snow clearing and closure of some routes, particularly outside stairs, ladders, and walkways on roofs.”
Will you be to blame if an employee or customer slips on snow or ice in your business?
You have a duty of care to anyone on your premises to provide an environment free from the risk of slipping. There is no exception for snowfall or icy conditions.
“If access to the premises is covered in ice, companies may choose to grit the access to help their staff and visitors arrive and leave safely, even though it’s not their property. However, in this instance, if they failed to grit the surface properly and someone had an accident as a result, then they could incur some liability.”
As a general rule firms should consider the risks and take reasonable steps to prevent accidents from happening. “If this means gritting outside the boundaries of your workplace, then it’s better to do that than to have people slipping over or involved in car crashes on your doorstep.”