The recent spell of bad weather will inevitably lead to more compensations cases being taken against local Authorities, businesses and even domestic homeowners. The last very bad weather spell in 2010 saw a significant increase in the number of compensation claims due to the increase in slip, trips and falls from icy footpaths, roads and car parks.
Liam Moloney Solicitor who specialises in Personal Injury Litigation warned business owners and homeowners today to be aware of their legal duties to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of customers and visitors to their premises.
He said “the Occupiers Liability Act 1995 imposes a duty of care on occupiers to take reasonable care in all the circumstances to ensure that visitors to premises do not suffer injury or damage by reason of any dangers existing on their premises”.
He continued “the failure by occupiers to take steps to ensure that pathways and car parks are treated with salt and grit or to place mats near entrances to their premises would make them liable to pay compensation to people injured”.
The warning comes after the High Court awarded damages of over £1 million to an injured employee who slipped on icy steps and suffered serious injuries and then sued her employer the HSE.
Mr Moloney added “ the Workplace Regulations 2007 requires that outdoor and indoor places of work are organised so that pedestrians and vehicles can circulate in a safe manner.This is an approved code of practice which has legal status which states “arrangements should be made to minimise risks from snow and ice, this may involve gritting, snow clearing and closure of some routes, particularly external stairs, ladders and walkways on roofs”.
Mr Moloney continued “many people who have fallen in hotels and supermarket car parks which remain untreated would be entitled to claim compensation as there is a legal duty on the owners of these premises to ensure that pathways are appropriately treated with salt and grit and to have effective cleaning systems in place”.