Winter accidents – part 1 – claims against employers
As another cold winter draws to a close, we are left to reflect on the consequences that the snow and ice have had upon those working in such conditions. Inevitably, the risk of accidents occurring has been significantly higher than usual over the past few months.
If a person has suffered an injury at their place or work, or in the course of their employment, due to ice or snow then they may be able to pursue a personal injury claim.
Health and Safety Regulations currently provide that every floor in a workplace and surface of every traffic route in a work place shall be of a suitable construction for the purpose for which it is used. In particular, this includes that it shall not be slippery so as to expose a person to a risk of injury. Steps should be taken by employers to minimise risks from snow and ice – e.g. gritting, snow clearing and even the closure of some hazardous routes. If an employer has not taken reasonable steps to ensure areas are made as safe as possible, or if they do not have any relevant policies in place, they may be liable for any injuries that occur.
James Braund, solicitor at Trethowans LLP specialising in personal injury and clinical negligence claims, states that “whether such a claim is likely to succeed or not will depend very much upon the particular circumstances of each accident. As a result of this it is important that potential claimants seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible”.