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IOSH sets the record straight
23 January 2013
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is urging businesses and communities to do the right thing by clearing snow and ice from public areas following reports in the papers which claimed it was warning businesses not to grit public paths.
The Sunday Telegraph stated that, â€œin guidance to its membersâ€, IOSH said: â€œWhen clearing snow and ice, it is probably worth stopping at the boundaries of the property under your controlâ€ and that clearing a public path â€œcan lead to an action for damages against the company.â€
IOSH says this is not its position on gritting public areas. Neither had it issued this as guidance. The words were taken from a Croner contribution to SHP magazine, in February of last year.
IOSH suggests:â€œDeciding whether to grit beyond the boundaries of their property needs to be carefully considered by companies. If access to the premises is covered in ice, companies may choose to grit the access to help their staff and visitors arrive and leave safely, even though it's not their property. However, in this instance, if they failed to grit the surface properly and someone had an accident as a result, then they could incur some liability.
â€œAs a general rule, though, it's sensible for firms to consider the risks and take reasonable steps to prevent accidents from happening. If this means gritting outside the boundaries of your workplace, then it's better to do that than to have people slipping over or involved in car crashes on your doorstep.â€