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#1 Posted : 13 December 2017 20:24:12(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Evening all, I'm sure this has come up before probably every year. I was asked by another manger today if we were liable if someone slipped on ice in our car park. This could be customer or staff member. I got the impression this was a slightly loaded question probably asked of her by another member of staff who quite frankly has been a pain the posterior since starting and has asked many ridiculous questions relating to employment and health and safety. She is often the first on site in the morning and therefore no gritting has happened at all. So where do we stand? If she turns up knows it is cold and damp and likely to be slippery should we just tell her to wait in her car until one of the more realistic staff arrive and grit a path from her car to the office. Or can she reasonably be expected to just take care when walking as any normal member of the public would. To add a little context we work outside most of the day so staff have an understanding of the need for appropriate clothing and footwear etc. This then follows if we grit and miss a patch, again are we liable? I'd like to think I know the answer but I'd quite like someone with more knowledge etc to back it up when I go in tomorrow. I hope that all makes sense. Kind regards Nick

Edited by user 13 December 2017 21:13:47(UTC)  | Reason: Formatting

#2 Posted : 13 December 2017 22:09:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

Again iosh - when can we have FAQ's - year on year we see so many similar posts once the weather changes and posters who launch questions not realising there is a search function or at least since there appears to be a "hot topic" then have similar posts appear against a key word as the title is typed - "Grit", "RIDDOR", "Accident"

This years start


Followed by




OP regarding your question - as she is first at site make your PITA responsible for the start of the day gritting activity either doing or arranging

Regarding liability we are humble H&S practitioners - not ambulance chasers, legal professionals and more importantly not the court that would hear any case.

Your managers need to separate social media fiction from fact

Edited by user 13 December 2017 22:15:19(UTC)  | Reason: qualifier

#3 Posted : 13 December 2017 22:29:23(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Good Evening Nick,

Here is my tuppenceworth - hopefully it's of some use to you.

As you will be aware, if an injury was to be sustained to an employee then the injured party could try and sue under the tort of negligence. However, remember that one of the factors which can be used when defining whether the employer was negligent is whether the injury or occurrence was reasonably foreseeable.

For example, if an employer had a large and usually half filled car park, it may be impractical and costly to grit the whole car park every day, just in case someone could slip next to a far away space which is seldom used. However, if you gritted all walkways/dedicated pedestrian routes and instructed everyone involved that these were the only routes to be used at all times, then it may (I'm not a judge!) be deemed unreasonable to be held liable for somone straying from those routes and slipping on the only ungritted part of the car park.

As you say, if it really was so icy then I'm sure all people who left their houses that morning would be aware that the ground was slippy and they should be wearing footwear with sufficient grip (even more so as your employees mainly work outdoors). However you could also send out information on the ice hazards and provide some safety signs instructing people to use walkways provided and provide warning signs stating the possible icy conditions.

Hope this helps!

#4 Posted : 14 December 2017 09:50:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

Perhaps you could grit the walkway the evening before and mark it out.  Then you have, at least, done everything that is reasonably practicable.

I would also advise the PITA that if she wishes to arrive at work before the gritters then she is more than welcome to grit the walkways herself.  Show her where the equipment is and train her in the use.  Then you can sign off a training card to say that she has had training in gritting the car parks.  If she then slips it will be because she didn't follow her training.

Brian Campbell  
#5 Posted : 15 December 2017 14:37:12(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Brian Campbell

My take on this is liabilioty falls with the owner, or person responsible for managing the carpark.  We have a 1500 space carpark which is heavily used everyday by staff, public and staff from other offices nearby.  Our carpark manager keeps an eye on the weather reports and books a gritter to come before 6am each day if required then has a pair of hands to grit pavements etc.  The more you are seen to be doing the better in the long run should any potential claim come in.

thanks 1 user thanked Brian Campbell for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 15/12/2017(UTC)
#6 Posted : 19 December 2017 10:23:22(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

Generally in terms of insurance if you have a reasonable system in place to deal with ice and snow then that will satisfy all requirements.  It is generally better to grit than not to grit so the argument "I slipped on a bit you missed" gets ruled out because you are not expected to ensure that your premises are entirely ice free.  So have a plan, watch the weather forecasts and implement the plan when you need to.   People will still complain because that is what people are like.  Someone complained to me the other day that we hadn't gritted after it had rained on Thursday and frozen on Friday morning, bear in mind that you can't grit in rain and if you are doing it yourself (as we do for security reasons) you can only do it when you have the personnel on site to do so.

thanks 1 user thanked Hsquared14 for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 19/12/2017(UTC)
#7 Posted : 03 January 2018 22:58:48(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Some good practical information suggested by previous users.

In the past we had a system that went generally along the following lines. Risk Assessment carried out. Controls identified ,which included:

Check salt quantity at various storage locations aroiund the site

Weather monitoring by Security & Facilities

Security (24 hour) would  see the ice/snow building up and put out warning sandwich signs at the entrance reminding people of the slippery conditions.

All cyclists were asked to dismount on entering the site

Security would call Facilities who would come in and salt the main pedestrian pathways and the turning areas of the car park. Not possible to salt all car park. External surface parking for c. 1000 cars.

All actions were recorded i.e. salting frequency, and reviewed every Winter and also reviewed in Spring.

If people slip on the public pathway generally no one is at fault. If they slip inside their working environment they may decide it is someones fault. However we never faced any claim (despite working in a highly  litigious environment) and we did have some slips.


#8 Posted : 10 January 2018 11:35:50(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

This one's still bugging mefrom the footwear point-of-view.

What do Posties etc get issued weith to combat the inclement weather effects (e.g. ice or snow), if anything? Is it considered not reasonably practicable?

#9 Posted : 10 January 2018 12:51:26(UTC)
Rank: New forum user

posties are issued with a range of footwear which they feel are suitable for themselves, posties also get issued with 'Spikeys' which attach over the sole of the shoe/boot. These are for when there is snow and ice underfoot. They have varying degrees of sucess as on a day when its just a hard frost they are of little use.

thanks 1 user thanked sideshow for this useful post.
safetyamateur on 15/01/2018(UTC)
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