Health and safety experts warn: don't clear icy pavements, you could get sued - HotUKDeals
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Health and safety experts warn: don't clear icy pavements, you could get sued

nomeames Avatar
6y, 10m agoPosted 6 years, 10 months ago
How ridiculous.....

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/6958131/Health-and-safety-experts-warn-dont-clear-icy-pavements-you-could-get-sued.html

Pavements are being left covered in ice because of ludicrous laws that put home owners and businesses at risk of being sued if they try to clear them.

Heavy snow, low temperatures and a lack of gritting mean pavements throughout the country are too slippery to walk on safely. Hospitals have been struggling to cope with rising numbers of patients who have broken bones after falling on icy paths.

Yet the professional body that represents health and safety experts has issued a warning to businesses not to grit public paths despite the fact that Britain is in the grip of its coldest winter for nearly half a century.

Under current legislation, householders and companies open themselves up to legal action if they try to clear a public pavement outside their property. If they leave the path in a treacherous condition, they cannot be sued.

Councils, who have a responsibility for public highways, say they have no legal obligation to clear pavements.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents expressed its disappointment that public safety was being neglected because of fears of possible litigation. A spokesman said: This is not showing a particularly good attitude. It would be much safer for the public to clear paths, even if its not on their property.

But the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, the professional body representing 36,000 health and safety experts, gave warning that this could lead to legal action.

In guidance to its members, who advise businesses through­out the country, it said: When clearing snow and ice, it is probably worth stopping at the boundaries of the property under your control.

Clearing a public path can lead to an action for damages against the company, e.g. if members of the public, assuming that the area is still clear of ice and thus safe to walk on, slip and injure themselves.

Legal experts said home owners could fall victim to the same laws if they tried to clear an icy path but failed to do the job properly. John McQuater, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, admitted: If you do nothing you cannot be liable. If you do something, you could be liable to a legal action.

Ann Widdecombe, the former Tory minister and critic of Britains burgeoning compensation culture, said last night: The idea you can be sued for being helpful is absolutely ludicrous.

Clare Marx, past president of the British Orthopaedic Association and orthopaedic consultant at Ipswich Hospital, said: If people want to clear pavements, they should just do it. I would have thought its a public service and it is a shame we have ended up with a culture where if someone slips, they want to sue someone. People need a bit of grit, in both senses.

The association said its members expected to have treated tens of thousands of fractures by the time the conditions eventually improved.

The national shortage of gritting salt is likely to mean even fewer paths will be gritted by councils in the days to come. The Government is trying to import supplies from the United States and Europe but they are not expected to arrive for another fortnight.

Members of the public say they have been warned by councils about the legal risks of gritting. Michael Pepper, 68, asked Cambridge county council to deliver grit which he offered to spread but was told by officials he could be sued if he did so. The council later insisted Mr Pepper had been given the wrong guidance.

The Royal Caledonian Curling Club was also forced to bow to health and safety rules as it abandoned plans for a match on the Lake of Menteith, near Stirling. The club was unable to obtain insurance after safety fears were expressed by emergency services.

Forecasters are predicting that freezing conditions will continue until at least Wednesday. Kent police said last night that the military was on stand-by to help if the weather in the county worsened. Motorists were advised not to travel unless absolutely necessary.
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nomeames Avatar
6y, 10m agoPosted 6 years, 10 months ago
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banned#1
householders and companies open themselves up to legal action if they try to clear a public pavement outside their property
#2
Absolute rubbish!
It was discussed on BBC Breakfast last week.
#4
I think you need to read the relevant section of responsibilities for residential properties :

The standard of care expected of an occupier to all his visitors is the same as that in an ordinary claim in Negligence, i.e. an occupier must reach the standard of the reasonable occupier and will, therefore, only be liable if at fault (negligent) [OLA 1957, section 2]. As its the common law duty the key is using common sense.

From the OLA 1984, ss 1(3) an occupier of premises owes a duty to another (not being his visitor) in respect of any such risk as is referred to in subsection (1) if —
(a) he is aware of the danger or has reasonable grounds to believe that it exists;
(b) he knows or has reasonable grounds to believe that the other is in the vicinity of the danger concerned or that he may come into the vicinity of the danger (in either case, whether the other has lawful authority for being in that vicinity or not); and
(c) the risk is one against which, in all the circumstances of the case, he may reasonably be expected to offer the other some protection.

I think its time for the big red sign to appear on my gate for salt is being rationed here....



---------------
[ http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/legResults.aspx?LegType=All+Legislation&title=Occupiers\+liability&searchEnacted=0&extentMatchOnly=0&confersPower=0&blanketAmendment=0&TYPE=QS&NavFrom=0&activeTextDocId=1159585&PageNumber=1&SortAlpha=0 ]Occupiers' Liability Act 1957

2. Extent of occupier’s ordinary duty
(1) An occupier of premises owes the same duty, the “common duty of care”, to all his visitors, except in so far as he is free to and does extend, restrict, modify or exclude his duty to any visitor or visitors by agreement or otherwise.
(2) The common duty of care is a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there.
(3) The circumstances relevant for the present purpose include the degree of care, and of want of care, which would ordinarily be looked for in such a visitor, so that (for example) in proper cases—
(a) an occupier must be prepared for children to be less careful than adults; and
(b)an occupier may expect that a person, in the exercise of his calling, will appreciate and guard against any special risks ordinarily incident to it, so far as the occupier leaves him free to do so.
(4) In determining whether the occupier of premises has discharged the common duty of care to a visitor, regard is to be had to all the circumstances, so that (for example)—
(a)where damage is caused to a visitor by a danger of which he had been warned by the occupier, the warning is not to be treated without more as absolving the occupier from liability, unless in all the circumstances it was enough to enable the visitor to be reasonably safe; and
(b)where damage is caused to a visitor by a danger due to the faulty execution of any work of construction, maintenance or repair by an independent contractor employed by the occupier, the occupier is not to be treated without more as answerable for the danger if in all the circumstances he had acted reasonably in entrusting the work to an independent contractor and had taken such steps (if any) as he reasonably ought in order to satisfy himself that the contractor was competent and that the work had been properly done.
(5) The common duty of care does not impose on an occupier any obligation to a visitor in respect of risks willingly accepted as his by the visitor (the question whether a risk was so accepted to be decided on the same principles as in other cases in which one person owes a duty of care to another).
(6) For the purposes of this section, persons who enter premises for any purpose in the exercise of a right conferred by law are to be treated as permitted by the occupier to be there for that purpose, whether they in fact have his permission or not.


[ http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/legResults.aspx?LegType=All+Legislation&title=Occupiers\+liability&searchEnacted=0&extentMatchOnly=0&confersPower=0&blanketAmendment=0&TYPE=QS&NavFrom=0&activeTextDocId=1286286&PageNumber=1&SortAlpha=0 ]Occupiers' Liability Act 1984

1. Duty of occupier to persons other than his visitors.
(1) The rules enacted by this section shall have effect, in place of the rules of the common law, to determine —
(a) whether any duty is owed by a person as occupier of premises to persons other than his visitors in respect of any risk of their suffering injury on the premises by reason of any danger due to the state of the premises or to things done or omitted to be done on them; and
(b) if so, what that duty is.
(2) For the purposes of this section, the persons who are to be treated respectively as an occupier of any premises (which, for those purposes, include any fixed or movable structure) and as his visitors are —
(a) any person who owes in relation to the premises the duty referred to in section 2 of the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 (the common duty of care), and
(b)those who are his visitors for the purposes of that duty.
(3) An occupier of premises owes a duty to another (not being his visitor) in respect of any such risk as is referred to in subsection (1) above if —
(a) he is aware of the danger or has reasonable grounds to believe that it exists;
(b) he knows or has reasonable grounds to believe that the other is in the vicinity of the danger concerned or that he may come into the vicinity of the danger (in either case, whether the other has lawful authority for being in that vicinity or not); and
(c) the risk is one against which, in all the circumstances of the case, he may reasonably be expected to offer the other some protection.
(4) Where, by virtue of this section, an occupier of premises owes a duty to another in respect of such a risk, the duty is to take such care as is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case to see that he does not suffer injury on the premises by reason of the danger concerned.
(5) Any duty owed by virtue of this section in respect of a risk may, in an appropriate case, be discharged by taking such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances of the case to give warning of the danger concerned or to discourage persons from incurring the risk.
(6) No duty is owed by virtue of this section to any person in respect of risks willingly accepted as his by that person (the question whether a risk was so accepted to be decided on the same principles as in other cases in which one person owes a duty of care to another).
(7) No duty is owed by virtue of this section to persons using the highway, and this section does not affect any duty owed to such persons.
(8) Where a person owes a duty by virtue of this section, he does not, by reason of any breach of the duty, incur any liability in respect of any loss of or damage to property.
(9) In this section —
“highway” means any part of a highway other than a ferry or waterway;
“injury” means anything resulting in death or personal injury, including any disease and any impairment of physical or mental condition; and
“movable structure” includes any vessel, vehicle or aircraft.
#5
The issue is whether an intruder or someone trying to break into your house be termed as "[COLOR="Red"]visitor[/COLOR]"? :roll:
#6
It's been like this as far as I can remember.
How many people have been sued?
#7
May be none but why have it at the first place?
#8
nomeames
May be none but why have it at the first place?


Why have what?
#9
just been watching the news & they were showing reports of neighbours helping clear streets & parents helping remove the snow from school paths so the kids can go back, this is what this country should be doing, getting behind each other & helping out !
#10
richp
just been watching the news & they were showing reports of neighbours helping clear streets & parents helping remove the snow from school paths so the kids can go back, this is what this country should be doing, getting behind each other & helping out !


I think they are in many places - it is a shame that the above article has been written as people will misunderstand what the original comments were.
#11
pghstochaj
Why have what?


The legislation that prevents members of the public to try to clear a public pavement outside their property. This may not be applied across the board for all scenarios but for icy pavements....??? Gritting them can do nothing wrong. Exceptions can always be made.
#12
pugw$sh
Absolute rubbish!
It was discussed on BBC Breakfast last week.


+1
#13
nomeames
The legislation that prevents members of the public to try to clear a public pavement outside their property. This may not be applied across the board for all scenarios but for icy pavements....??? Gritting them can do nothing wrong. Exceptions can always be made.


There is no legislation which states that you can not try to clear a public pavement outside of your property. What does exist is a requirement that people are not negligent in whatever they do, be it adding grit to a pavement or pushing a trolley in a supermarket. You can not have an exception for every single thing that people could use as a loophole, instead you use a court.

Unfortunately, legislation, if applied poorly or misunderstood could mean anything, i.e. "don't push a supermarket trolley incase you run it over somebody's foot and injure them" in the same way as this gritting idea. Thankfully, our justice system is capable of working out the difference between negligence and doing a good deed. If for example you used water to try to melt the snow, that could cause a dangerous hazard and you could be found negligent, if you use salt and help improve the situation, that is not negligence.

You can continue to spread grit and push your supermarket trolley as long as you don't act negligently, the same way as in the rest of life.
#14
ridiculous or wot

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