Clearing Snow & Ice – Can I get Sued?

Falls on Icy paths can be prevented

I am sure you have heard someone say that by clearing snow and ice from your property leave you liable if a member of the public subsequently slips over, well this is a myth, however like all myths it is based on some truth.

If you are going to clear snow and ice you need to ensure that you do not deposit the snow on a public footpath or on a road, as that is illegal. You must also ensure that your method of clearing the snow and ice will not result in the area becoming more dangerous, or you can be held liable. If you were to clear the ice using hot water for example, that water will later freeze and become black ice, making things more hazardous. As long as these factors are taken into account there is no issue with snow and ice clearance.

If you are a business there is legislation to consider. The Occupiers Liability Act 1975 (amended in 1984) obliges the owner or occupier of private land to ensure safe access for staff and visitors. So, clearing the snow and ice will ensure safe access as long as it is done thoughtfully and sensibly using the correct products and equipment. In addition to the outside of the building you need to keep in mind that Health & Safety at Work and The Workplace regulations require you to ensure internal floors aren’t slippery too.

Gritting Paths
Brown or White Gritting Salt will reduce the risk of slips

When it comes to gritting salt you have a choice of white or brown, the brown rock salt is what councils use on the roads and can cause a bit of a mess in your entrance. White salt is cleaner and ideal for pedestrian areas, leave the brown salt for vehicle areas such as car parks.

TradeShopDirect has a range of both Winter Maintenance products to ensure you and your customers make is safely through the winter.