Q&As

Is there any caselaw or guidance on an employer’s duty to prevent people opening windows and potentially being exposed to danger (for example, if windows are at height)?

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Produced in partnership with Peter Edwards of Devereux Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 03/08/2018

The following PI & Clinical Negligence Q&A produced in partnership with Peter Edwards of Devereux Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is there any caselaw or guidance on an employer’s duty to prevent people opening windows and potentially being exposed to danger (for example, if windows are at height)?

Is there any caselaw or guidance on an employer’s duty to prevent people opening windows and potentially being exposed to danger (for example, if windows are at height)?

The statutory provision dealing most directly with the potential risk posed by opening windows in the workplace is regulation 15(2) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (W(HSW) Regs 1992), SI 1992/3004. W(HSW) Regs 1992, SI 1992/3004, reg 15(2) provides, so far as relevant, as follows:

‘No window shall be in a position when open which is likely to expose any person in a workplace to a risk to his health and safety.’

W(HSW) Regs 1992, SI 1992/3004, reg 14 covers the related issue of the glazing specifications for windows. Reference should also be made to section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, SI 1999/3242.

It follows from the primary relevance of W(HSW) Regs 1992, SI 1992/3004, reg 15(2) that the most relevant guidance to be considered in the circumstances described in this Q&A is the Health and Safety Executive Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992: Approved Code of Practice and Guidance

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