The Duties Of An Occupier To Provide Reasonable Safety Under The Occupier’s Liability Act.

We have in Ontario an act called the Occupier’s Liability Act, which defines the term “occupier” as a person who is in physical possession of a premises or a person who has responsibility for and control over the condition of a premises even if there is more than one occupant.

The occupier’s duty is to take such care, in all the circumstances that are reasonable, to ensure the reasonable safety for those people entering onto the premises. It is important to note that the standard the occupier needs to achieve is one of “reasonableness,” not a standard of perfection.
What is reasonable is very dependent upon circumstances, which is why every case is decided upon its own unique set of facts. For example if there is a blizzard, it’s not reasonable for the occupier or the owner of the property to be out there shoveling the snow away every five minutes. However, if the blizzard comes to an end and the snow and ice from the blizzard are left on the travel portion of the sidewalk for two or three days before it’s removed, then that’s very likely to be considered unreasonable. Of course other factors are involved such as the amount of snow or how well traveled the sidewalk is. However, in the end, the occupier has a duty to remove the snow within a reasonable time frame and in a reasonable manner.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with Personal injury law issues in the London, Ontario Region, contact Lomax Law Firm.

This article is taken from a April 24, 2009 interview with Rein Lomax, LL.B., Personal Injury Lawyer with Lomax Law Firm Professional Corporation in London, a Personal Injury Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.