The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 covers the duties imposed on “Occupiers” of premises or land – in other words homeowners and businesses
“The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 section 2(2) imposes a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances is reasonable to see that visitors are reasonably safe in using the relevant premises for the purposes for which they are invited or permitted by the occupier to be there.”
It follows that this duty extends to ensuring that paths and thoroughfares or other areas on which visitors may walk are clear of potential hazards caused by wintry conditions. This duty is particularly important in the context of accidents occurring in
– Private car parks
– Entrances to shops
– Supermarkets premises and related businesses (local stores and businesses etc)
In many circumstances it may be possible to make a claim against a supermarket or business if you fall on untreated surfaces during wintry weather.
However please remember the “reasonableness” argument and be aware that every case needs to be assessed on its own individual merits. Your lawyers must assess the type of business or Occupier in question, prevailing weather conditions, steps taken and signage present at the time of the accident.
Accidents in a shop or store..? Read our supermarket accident claims pages to find out what steps you should take if you hurt yourself in Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s or Morrisons.
Please note: If your injury was sustained on the public highway, road or pavement due to icy conditions away from the occupiers property this could be a claim against the local council.
McCondichie v Mains Medical Centre  L.R. 4
Defendant was a medical practice. On the 17th February 2000 the Claimant slipped and fell in the car park sustaining injury as she was leaving the premises. Snow had fallen and ice formed on the ground. However the surgery paths had been gritted but the grit did not cover the entire path. The claim was dismissed as it appeared the Defendant had a reasonable system in place and had implemented this prior to the accident taking place.
D Harvey v Woolworths PLC 
On the 19th December 1999 the Claimant fell and claimed that this happened as she stepped off the mat inside the Defendant store. It was found that she had not and had in fact fallen outside. The Judge dismissed the claim on the basis that the Defendant had large mats to absorb water brought into the store on customers shoes and had also placed warning cones in the area.