A common risk many businesses face is the threat of slip-and-fall allegations. If someone visits your property, they could fall and injure themselves. As a result, they might experience significant harm and personal losses. They could hold the business responsible for their injuries.
Should a harmed customer decide to sue or request compensation, it could put your company in a bind. Penalties and settlements could lead to financial losses. While businesses should carry liability insurance to guard against risks, that’s not all they should do.
Why Slip and Falls Happen
Anyone could fall at any time. For example, you might trip over a shoe lace, or get dizzy and lose your balance. However, in many cases, falls might result from environmental hazards. Potentially-harmful situations can arise in any setting, including within a business.
Common hazards at your location might include:
- Wet surfaces from leaks, spills and cleaning
- Uneven surfaces, both on floors and stairways
- Falling objects and poor lighting
- Walkway obstructions
- Unsafe or unstable furniture
The results of a fall can be anything but simple. Severe injuries or personal property losses might impact the affected party. Pain, suffering and medical needs might lead to a loss of income. As a result, the victim might need significant financial assistance. If this is the case, you can tap into your business insurance coverage to compensate the affected party.
Preventing Slips and Falls in Your Business
Even if you have liability insurance, you shouldn’t let accidents happen in the first place. Taking active steps to prevents accidents now is better than having to file an insurance claims process later.
Here are some steps you can take.
- Every day, do a walkaround. Take some time to walk through the business space. Look for developing hazards like wet or slick areas, or obstructions in pathways. Always teach employees how to be on the lookout for problems as well.
- If you notice developing fall risks, do what you can to clean up the mess. For example, if you spot a leak, it’s a good idea to call a plumber. While you’re waiting for the plumber to arrive, be sure to mop up wet floors and place buckets in the area to can catch the water.
- Place hazard warnings around any unsafe areas. These can give people fair warning to avoid the area.
- If any of your clients report potential hazards, immediately investigate them. Close the area to further pedestrian traffic, if needed.
With appropriate care, you can usually minimize slip and fall risks in the business. However, don’t neglect getting liability coverage in the event accidents happen.