Pavements are being left covered in ice because of “ludicrous” laws that put home owners and businesses at risk of being sued if they try to clear them.
Later in the piece they refer to legislation. And it ain\’t legislation.
But the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, the professional body representing 36,000 health and safety experts, gave warning that this could lead to legal action.
In guidance to its members, who advise businesses throughout the country, it said: “When clearing snow and ice, it is probably worth stopping at the boundaries of the property under your control.”
Clearing a public path “can lead to an action for damages against the company, e.g. if members of the public, assuming that the area is still clear of ice and thus safe to walk on, slip and injure themselves”.
No, it ain\’t legislation. It\’s Common Law.
BBC confirms that this isn\’t H&S, but what\’s known as a \’tort of nuisance\’.
Simply put, snow and ice are natural things, no one\’s fault. But if you attempt to clear and don\’t get it right then people might assume that it\’s clear and then if and when they injure themselves you\’re responsible. \’Coz you didn\’t clear it properly.
Yes, sure, you could pass a law changing this. But the Common Law is built on interlocking reasoning: who in hell knows what else you would change by changing just this little bit? As with Tony Blair doing away with the office of Lord Chancellor, it\’s not as simple as just changing one little bit of the system.