Snow, whilst aesthetically remarkable, can often be a serious threat to the health and safety of the general public. The consequences of slips, trips and falls on the snow or ice can be enormously damaging both in a physical and self-esteem sense.
It’s little wonder, then, that numerous extra safety measures are brought into effect to try and limit both the likelihood and severity of accidents in public.
Public slips, trips, and falls – The law and duty of care
The Occupiers’ Liability Act of 1957 states that all owners of land have a responsibility to ensure that all visitors are reasonably safe.
On a small scale, this means that it is, in theory, you have a duty of care to ensure that your own driveway is safe for the postman etc to use.
At the larger end of the scale are public areas such as supermarkets, schools and hospitals. All of these areas need to be safe for members of the public to use, and failure to comply in this regard can see successful public accident claims made.
This duty of care can extend to making sure that all paths and walkways are clear of the potential hazard,s and causes for slips and falls, brought about by wintry conditions.
Whilst it is often unrealistic, and occasionally nigh-on impossible, to expect every bit of snow or ice to be melted or cleared, reasonable measures should be taken to keep people safe.
There are a number of steps you can take yourself to try and minimise the likelihood of suffering a public fall. These include:
– Footwear – sturdy, sensible shoes are best. Find a pair with decent grip and strong ankle support;
– Time – slips and falls typically occur when people are rushing. Running late leads to taking unnecessary risks and the potential for a public accident increases;
– Concentration – distractions can spell disaster. No matter how beautiful and picturesque the surroundings may be, always keep your eyes on where you are going.
If you do suffer a slip, trip or fall in public, it’s important to remember that professional guidance is available should you wish to make a claim for public accident compensation.
Accident Advice Helpline offer a free-phone advice service that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
They work on a no-win, no-fee basis and usually settle the cases they take on without the stresses and worries of a court appearance.
Date Published: November 28, 2013
Author: David Brown