According to the National Safety Council, 25,000 slip, trip, and fall accidents occur daily in the United States. If you are a business owner, you most certainly want to take precautions to prevent such accidents from happening on your property. If someone suffers a slip, trip, or fall injury on your property, you can be found liable if you or one of your employees:
- Caused the slippery or dangerous surface to be underfoot.
- Were aware of the dangerous surface and did nothing to change it.
- Should have known about the dangerous surface because a reasonable person tending to the property would have discovered it and fixed the issue.
Luckily, there are some steps you can take to minimize the chances of someone suffering a slip, trip or fall injury, as well as you being found liable should one occur.
- Run a daily check on your property in which you look for any hazardous and unsafe conditions, and address any problems immediately.
- Make sure that your entrances and walkways are wide enough to accommodate the volume of foot traffic your business receives.
- Regularly check the sidewalks around your property to see if tree roots have caused the cement or brick pavers to break and shift, causing a tripping hazard. Make sure these issues are fixed as soon as possible, and consider placing signs to make people aware of the problem.
- Make sure all of your outdoor walkways are properly lit.
- Use wet floor signs to mark known hazards.
- Make sure there is adequate carpet at the entrance of your store to dry people’s wet shoes before they begin walking on a hard surface. Check these carpets regularly to verify the backing hasn’t been damaged and the rugs will stay in place.
- Clean your floors with slip-resistant treatments.
Should someone have a slip, trip, or fall injury in your store, after assisting the victim, be sure to document as many details regarding the incident as possible. You should also take photographs of the area where the event took place. You should also contact your insurance company.