Slip and fall accidents and injuries represent a significant risk for many small businesses. Although people can slip and fall at any time, if the conditions on the inside of a business increase the chances of a patron falling and injuring themselves, then there is a higher risk of these persons becoming slip and fall victims. Indoor slip and fall claims cost businesses millions of dollars in damages each year.
As a small business owner, it is your responsibility to maintain a hazard-free workplace for your employees and a hazard-free environment for your customers. Failure to do so can put your business at risk for some serious consequences if someone slips and falls while on your property. Here are some things you need to know about indoor slip and falls conditions and how they impact your business.
Floors are a source of problems for many small business owners. There are some rules governing the use of certain products and cleaning processes that should be adhered to. Although your goal may be to maintain a clean environment, the overzealous, excessive or the improper use of some cleaning products, such as floor wax, can make the floors in your building unsafe for anyone to walk on. Also, applying treatment to an inclined sloped floor can make them more hazardous for people to walk on and increase their risk of injury. Any floor treatments that are used should contain ingredients that make the floors skid-resistant.
Stairs can be an unexpected source of injury for some people. Depending on the material they are made of, some business owners may find themselves held liable if they fail to maintain them. Stairs can become worn over time. It is the duty of the business owner to ensure that all steps on their property remain clean, dry, debris-free and skid-free and have appropriate support mechanisms in place, such as rails or handles.
Elevators and Escalators
Elevators and escalators are two mechanisms for which business owners may be held to a higher standard of duty than they are for other premises liability concerns that often lead to slip and fall accidents. Property owners must maintain their elevators and escalators so that they always function properly. If any of them are not working properly, then the business owner has a duty to inform the public by installing signs and barriers indicating they are not to be used. Failure to do so can result in accidental injury from slips and falls.
Carpets must be properly maintained. Carpet that is in poor condition and has tears, bulges, breaks, warping, holes and edges that stick up can create an unsafe environment for your employees and guests. Carpets that also have objects stuck to them that can get caught on someone’s shoe and lead to injury are also a big no-no for businesses.
Warning signs should be posted all throughout the premises to indicate dangerous conditions and hazards. For example, wet floor signs and cones should be placed in areas where the floor has been compromised by spills or some other type of substance that may increase the likelihood of someone slipping and falling.
In many indoor slip and fall cases, as long as the plaintiff can prove that the business owner was negligent in some way, such as knowing about a hazard and failing to act in a timely manner to eliminate it, then the courts may rule in their favor.
Slip and fall accidents can be very time consuming and costly situations to deal with it. Not only does it impact your business operations, it can also impact your bottom line and reputation. Minimize your risk for indoor slip and fall accidents by ensuring that your company is hazard-free and that all elevators and escalators operate safely and properly at all times.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.