Health & Safety

The weather has been pretty wild recently. The recent winds were recorded at 100 mph in parts of Scotland resulting in a number of accidents and significant disruption.

My delight at getting a car parking space right outside my flat turned to despair when arriving home from work to find a scaffold baton had blown off a neighbouring roof, through the windshield.

There are a number of legal issues that can arise in considering claims which are caused by wind. What level of wind does an employer/occupier require to reasonably anticipate? What level of wind constitutes a “storm” in relation to insured risks?

Employers and occupiers should turn their minds as to whether they are at risk when the winds pick up. An obvious example is a lorry operator. Lorries can be particularly susceptible to high winds. The operator should have systems in place to monitor the weather forecast, assess whether the forecasted weather may make it unsafe to drive, and consider any steps which can be taken to minimise the risk.

What other lessons can be learned? Scaffold companies shouldn’t leave loose scaffold battens lying on roofs. And there’s no such thing as a perfect parking space…

Andy Forsyth

Managing Associate at Brodies LLP
Andrew is a Health & Safety lawyer with a particular interest in all things marine. He acts for clients in defending claims arising from accidents at sea, in the oil sector, and on ferries and fishing vessels.
Andy Forsyth