Unfortunately, slip-and-fall accidents occur in businesses every year. Unless you're constantly diligent, your company could end up on the bad end of a nasty lawsuit. The law is fairly clear on this point: As Kopon Airdo, LLC, notes, store owners "must take reasonable measures to keep their customers safe from foreseeable dangers." However, it can be difficult to pin down what constitutes "reasonable measures," so it's always best to err on the side of caution and make sure all spills and slick areas are promptly cleaned and dried. Your peace of mind—as well as the financial health of your business—depends on it.
If slip-and-fall accidents aren't already on your safety radar, they should be, not only for your customers' sake, but also for your own. Business owners can suffer catastrophic losses as a result of them. All across the country, business owners have gone deeply into debt, and in some cases, even lost their businesses because of such cases.
For example, in Pennsylvania, as noted on Attorney Thomas J. Newell's website, a woman slipped and fell on cardboard boxes left on the floor in a supermarket aisle, causing her to need surgery that involved installing rods in her neck. The court awarded her $75,000. In another example, in a Virginia case, as summarized on the Total Injury, a woman suffered a brain injury after she slipped and fell on algae that had formed on a raised sidewalk outside a convenience store. She was awarded $12.2 million because she was not properly warned about that condition. The lives of all parties involved are ruined everyday by these types of accidents.
How Do You Prevent Them from Happening?
The most common businesses to be hit with slip-and-fall lawsuits are those with multiple customers, tile floors, and a steady flow of business. Among the most popular of these are grocery stores, fast food restaurants, drugstores, and convenience stores.
If your business falls into one of these categories, it's smart to be extra diligent with your prevention routines. Inspect your entrance ways and aisles on a regular basis, especially during bad weather. Have a notebook or some other recording system and fill it out every time you inspect the building. Remove any hazards you find as soon as possible. Do a thorough job in removing any moisture from the floor, using an AutoVac system that thoroughly removes the soil and residue and leaves the surface instantly dry.
Being involved in slip-and-fall accidents is not only a financial nightmare, but it's also bad for the reputation of your business. Customers will stop coming to your door if word gets around that you have a dangerous environment. Regardless of the outcome, your business' good name will always be tied that case in the public eye. Prevent this from happening by creating a pleasant and safe environment for your customers, particularly by having clean and dry floors.
For information on the dynamics of slip-and-fall accidents, click here.