Slip and fall accidents can be painful and costly. In winter and early spring, people may track in water from ice, rain, and snow, making surfaces like entryways or tiled floors especially hazardous. Winter weather also makes parking lots and sidewalks even more dangerous, increasing the risk of slip and fall accidents outside as well as inside.
Property owners and managers are responsible for preventing slip and fall accidents on their premises and warning visitors—including customers, employees, and delivery workers—of potential dangers like slippery surfaces. Whether you are a business owner or a customer, it’s important to be aware of these risks and take steps to prevent accidents from happening.
If you suffer injuries in a slip and fall, the personal injury attorneys at Fieger Law can help you recover compensation to pay for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
How Can Businesses Prevent Slip and Falls?
Business owners and their managers must consider the safety of patrons during the winter and spring months. They can take several steps to minimize the risk of an accident, including the following:
- Regular Maintenance
Regular premises maintenance is crucial to prevent slip and fall accidents, especially during the winter months. This includes keeping sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots clear of snow and ice and ensuring that entranceways are free from obstacles.
In addition to snow and ice removal, regular maintenance should include checking for and fixing any hazards, such as broken railings, uneven pavement, and loose flooring.
- Use Salt or De-icer
De-icers are typically made of calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, or potassium chloride and work by melting snow and ice on sidewalks, driveways, and entranceways, reducing the risk of slips and falls.
Businesses should spread de-icer evenly over the intended outdoor surface, such as a sidewalk, before snow or ice accumulates. The de-icer should also be reapplied as needed, especially after heavy snowfall.
- Provide Shoe Mats and Wet Umbrella Bags
Placing mats at the entranceways of a business can help trap snow, ice, and water, reducing the risk of slips and falls. Mats should be made of slip-resistant material, large enough to cover the entire entrance, and have a rubber or vinyl backing for added slip resistance.
Some businesses also provide plastic bags for patrons to place wet umbrellas in to keep these from dripping water on the floor as they are carried around.
- Install Lighting
Adequate lighting not only inside but also outside a business is especially important in winter when the days are shorter and when the sky is overcast. Proper illumination of walkways, staircases, and other areas where patrons frequently walk can help ensure that where people are placing their feet is clearly visible and free of potential trip and slip hazards.
- Remove Obstacles
Businesses should ensure that their sidewalks, entryways, and walkways are free from trip hazards such as boxes, cords, and loose flooring. They can have an employee walk around the premises before opening and throughout the day to remove these items and clear any obstructed paths for visitors to prevent trip and fall accidents.
- Wear Proper Footwear
Business owners and managers can encourage visitors and employees to wear slip-resistant shoes and to take extra care when walking on slippery surfaces. This can include signs indicating the floor may be slippery when wearing footwear like flip-flops, or requiring employees to wear non-slip shoes.
- Post Signage
Signage warning customers of potential hazards, such as ice or slippery surfaces, can help prevent accidents by alerting guests and employees to be careful. Common signs used to prevent accidents include wet floors or trip hazard signs.
Talk With a Slip and Fall Attorney from Fieger Law
If you slip and fall at a business, you may have legal options for seeking compensation for your injuries. If a property owner fails to maintain safe conditions and you are injured, you can file a personal injury claim against the owner.
The slip and fall attorneys at Fieger Law represent slip and fall injury victims across the United States. A member of our experienced legal team can review your case to determine if the business where you fell is liable for your damages and help you seek a settlement to cover the cost of medical bills, rehabilitation, and wages from missed work.
Contact us today to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.