The miserable weather conditions plaguing parts of New South Wales could serve as a reminder for property owners to ensure that their assets do not pose a risk to members of the public.
Periods of sheeting rain over the eight hours from 09:00 on April 18 has seen 17 millimetres recorded in central Sydney, with 38 millimetres at Olympic Park and over 90 millimetres at Gosford.
Weatherzone meteorologist Rob Sharpe told reporters on April 18 that the clouds were likely to linger for three to four days.
Mr Sharpe asserted: “The eastern suburbs of Sydney are going to be the hardest hit, so both the north-east and the south-east suburbs.”
In response to further reports of more downpours over the remainder of the week, the NSW Police Force issued a statement to motorists urging them to avoid travel during periods of reduced visibility and to try to detour around areas that were known to experience flash flooding.
While road users are well aware of the effects of reduced visibility and the need for increased stopping distances, the rainy weather brings with it the need to watch out for public safety in other ways.
There have been a number of personal injury compensation claims made in recent years that relate to accidents caused by slippery surfaces.
In particular, the dangers posed by hard flooring such as tiles in public spaces becomes much more of a risk, as splashes of water that pool in these areas can pose a significant hazard to passersby if they are not dealt with in an appropriate manner.
Most venues are required by law to keep warning signage handy in case of wet surfaces in areas where pedestrian traffic is frequent.
On top of this, the owner or operator of a property or area where members of the public have access to may be the ones legally responsible for ensuring that the area is kept safe.
During times of wet weather, this often means mopping up excess water from the floors, as well as ensuring that drainage infrastructure is free of debris and working properly.
Failure to perform these simple tasks increases the risk of a hazard causing harm to a patron or member of the public – an omission that compensation lawyers know can mean they may be liable for any injuries caused.