The current heavy snowfalls and low temperatures, together with the lack of gritting being carried out by the local authorities, means that pavements all over the UK are too dangerous and slippery to walk on safely. The councils have responsibility for our public highways but do not have any obligation to clear the pavements.

The professional body, namely the ’Institute of occupational safety and health’ some 36,000 of them, are warning householders and businesses that they are not to grit or clear public pavements outside their homes or business premises, as under the current legislation they would leave themselves liable to legal action should any member of the public injure themselves. Instead they should do absolutely nothing and leave any pavements or paths in the icy and dangerous conditions!

Our ‘nanny state’ clearly has misguided principals when it suits them. Householders and businesses alike are advised to ensure that they have suitable insurance policies in place. Not only to cover any material damage to premises or stock, etc, but also for the ever-increasing instances of liability. These days a business needs to have insurance in place for Public Liability, Employers Liability, Product Liability, Third Party Liability, Directors and Officers Liability as a minimum, as proprietors and directors of companies are now subject to the full weight of the law according to legislation recently introduced. If found to contravene health and safety regulations, proprietors and directors can face fines and/or imprisonment. Fortunately defence costs are covered under the legal liability of Company Business Insurance Policy.