Slip and fall accidents are the most common causes of injury in America. These accidents take place in both commercial and residential properties. As a business property owner, you are responsible for anyone inside or within your business premises. This responsibility creates a duty to maintain a high standard of care to ensure your workers’ and customers’ safety. Although there are many other causes of accidents on business premises, this article will focus on slip and fall accidents.
Slip and fall accidents are caused by permanent or temporary conditions both inside or outside business premises. As the property owner, you have to ensure that the building is in a safe condition to prevent such accidents from happening. However, in some cases, the injured party may be totally or partially liable for the injury. It is also common for some people to deliberately injure themselves in order to obtain money from businesses through payment of damages.
It is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer for help in navigating through such claims.
What Are the Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents?
1. Wet Floors
Most victims slide and lose their balance as a result of wet floors. Wet floors can be a result of mopping or the current weather conditions. Property owners or staff should ensure that they put warning signs after floors have been cleaned to encourage visitors to be cautious.
Rain or ice can also create wetness both inside and outside business premises creating slippery surfaces that are dangerous to walk on.
2. Poor Lighting
It is essential to have proper lighting on your business premises. Besides ensuring security, proper lighting enables people in your business premises to clearly see all the hazards. Failure to see hazards is a significant cause of many slip and fall accidents. Therefore, to prevent such accidents, it is advisable to use proper lighting.
3. Uneven Surfaces
An uneven surface can be caused by wrinkled carpets, chipped floors, potholes, broken steps on staircases, or even cracks. They are usually a result of poor maintenance and negligence.
Maintaining steady balance in a place that has unexpected dips or bumps is difficult. This often leads to victims losing balance and getting injured. As a property owner, you can be held liable for injuries that have occurred as a result of poor maintenance.
3. Unsafe Ladders and Staircases
Broken handrails cause most staircase slip and fall accidents. Handrails help staircase users maintain balance, and a broken one does not provide any balance. It even puts the victim at a higher risk of sustaining life-threatening injuries.
Other ways that unsafe ladders or staircases can cause injuries include failure to secure a ladder while it is in use, rushing up and down the stairs, or even skipping steps and using other types of furniture in place of a ladder.
4. Improper Safety Practices
Slip and fall accidents are prevalent among workers in various fields. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your workers are safe by providing a safe working environment. All workers including factory workers, construction workers, housekeepers, chefs, kitchen staff, and manual laborers should receive proper equipment use training.
They should also be given all safety gear necessary to prevent slip and fall accidents in the workplace.
Protect Your Business from Lawsuits
Lawsuits can be expensive and time-consuming, and that is not good for business. Ensuring good management and exercising your duty of care makes it easier to eliminate risks that cause preventable accidents. Save yourself the hassle of lawsuits by taking care of those you serve and those who serve you.