If you are on someone else’s property, your safety is the responsibility of the occupier, usually the person who owns the property. But if the owner is not based at the property, then the occupier can also be whoever is responsible for, and has control over, the premises. This person may be seen as the ‘occupier’ of the premises, and so liable for injuries caused to you, if they control things like who can enter or what happens on the property.
The occupier has a duty to make sure you are reasonably safe, but what is reasonable depends on who you are and why you are visiting their premises. For example, a builder working on a building site ought to expect a certain level of risk. Even if you are on the occupier’s premises without their permission – if you were a protestor engaging in direct action for instance – you can still expect a certain level of safety.
This is because an occupier may be aware of any possible dangers and so they should at least bring the danger to your attention. For example, if you go into a building, there may be warning signs saying that part of the floor may be slippery because it has been cleaned or someone has spilt a liquid. If you ignore the sign and you walk on the slippery part of the floor instead of going around, you may be seen as responsible if you slip.
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