Much of the UK has recently been gripped by snow, ice and blizzard and while plenty of us may have enjoyed a snow day or two, what about those who have suffered an injury due to slipping on ice? And what if their fall happened outside their office?
People slipping outside their own home is one thing, but if an incident occurred outside a workplace, perhaps due to a path which has not been properly gritted or an icy step, employers may find they are legally accountable for injuries suffered by one of their staff.
Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that the workplace is safe for staff but they should be aware that in some cases, the definition of workplace is fluid and open to interpretation. For instance, if an employee slips on ice on an external ladder leading from their work premises, an employer could be legally responsible as they have not taken the proper precautions in ensuring a route used by employees has been made safe or temporarily closed off – even though the ladder is not technically within the workplace.
Advice from the Health and Safety Executive states that employers should identify which outdoor areas are most likely to be affected by adverse weather conditions like ice – these could include car parks, walkways and areas which are always in the shade, meaning ice will not thaw as quickly.
Instead of being caught unawares by bad conditions employers are also urged to keep an eye on temperatures by monitoring the Met Office website and other useful sites, including the BBC’s Weather site.
Solicitors handling personal injury cases involving a slip on ice outside or around a place of work have to prove that an employer failed in their duty of care to their staff by not taking the proper precautions. If pathways were gritted, unsuitable routes shut off and every other proper safeguard taken, it is unlikely that a company will be legally liable.
The personal injury solicitors at YouClaim are experts in helping victims of accidents that were not their fault to claim compensation. Use the YouClaim Compensation Calculator to see how much you could receive for different types of injuries.