The Winter Months
Slip and fall law suits increase significantly in winter, where icy surfaces increase hazards and snow may not have been cleared. As a business, you are required to keep areas such as aisles, stairs, walkways, car parks, and other parts of the premises reasonably safe for clients and employees.
Legal Liability in Winter
Your legal liability depends on whether the danger was foreseeable. Given that winter maintenance is easily available, and the fact that seasonal weather changes are largely predictable, mean that you are likely to be liable.
In years of very cold temperatures, A&E visits doubled to some hospitals as people struggled to navigate poorly gritted or unclear roads.
Preparation is Key
Preparation is key to maintaining safe business premises through the winter. It is often too late to start thinking about winter maintenance when the ice or snow is already on the ground.
SGS do offer an emergency response service, but priority is always given to our existing customers. It is always better to plan in advance to ensure safe access to your premises as soon as possible.
Despite the milder winter last year, we are seeing an increase in businesses taking out gritting and snow clearing contracts. That’s because if we are not needed then there is no charge to your company. No retaining fees mean that if we are not needed, you don’t pay.
Many clients have commented on the reassurance they feel, knowing that we take the stress out of not only keeping staff and visitors safe on their outside premises, but also being able to keep trading on days when they had previously had to close the business due to the weather conditions.
Minimising the effect of Winter on Your Business
In 2013, the snow cost the UK economy a reported £500m per day as the infrastructure couldn’t cope with snow and ice. The Office of National Statistics estimated that it caused the economy to contract by 0.5%.
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