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Employers Given Ice Advice by HSA

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has urged employers to ensure the health and safety of their employees and visitors to their premises during cold weather. Writing on the HSA web site, Anne Maria O’Connor, Senior Inspector with the Authority said –

“Last year approximately one in five reported accidents to the Authority were as a result of a slip, trip or fall. With approximately a quarter of these accidents resulting in absences from work of more than a month, it’s in everyone’s interest that simple safeguards are taken to reduce the risk of workplace falls.”

The HSA has issued further advice on its web site to prevent slips, trips and falls due to treacherous conditions in freezing weather. These include identifying areas of the workplace where employees and visitors are most likely to be affected by ice and snow – such as car parks and exposed walkways – and making sure that floor areas are kept as dry as possible. Employers are also encouraged to monitor weather forecasts to plan ahead for inclement weather and plan accordingly.

Employees are also offered advice by the HSA to prevent the incidence of slips, trips and falls due to icy conditions. It is suggested that employees take care when getting out of their vehicles – holding onto its door to support themselves when the ground may be frozen. Furthermore, employees should also wear appropriate footwear for the weather and dry them thoroughly when entering a workplace to avoid causing wet and slippery conditions inside the premises.

Employers have an obligation under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act to provide a safe environment in which to work. Failing to take heed of the advice issued by the HSA could result in an employer being liable for any injury sustained in the workplace. You should mention this to a solicitor if you are in the unfortunate position where you have to make a claim for personal injury compensation due to the lack of care by an employer.