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Case 241 - Shop door left open in cold weather

Issue

On trying to close a shop door that was left open in cold weather the enquirer was told that the door had to remain open to allow wheelchair users access, apparently this had come from 'Health and Safety'.

Panel decision

Health & Safety at Work legislation does not require shops to keep their doors open for wheelchair users. The company has confirmed that it has an ‘open doors’ policy, but has made clear that this has nothing to do with health and safety or wheelchair access. It is a business decision.

It is not clear whether the shop assistant was aware of the reason for the policy or not, but the company should ensure that the employees understand and do not mislead customers by using health and safety as a catch-all excuse.

2013-12-23