If you own a business, you have a legal responsibility to keep your customers and clients safe when they are at your place of business. If they get hurt on your premises because you failed to maintain safe conditions, they may be able to file suits against you and recoup money for their medical expenses, lost wages, and for any permanent injuries that sustain. One of the most common types of accidents that occurs within a business is a slip and fall accident. While this type of accident is common, there are many different things you can do to try to prevent these accidents from happening in the first place.
Use a Slip-Resistant Mat
Slippery floors are one of the top reasons for people slipping and falling in a business. And the chances of this occurring are more likely in winter, when people are walking into a store with shoes that are wet from rain, snow or ice. Using a slip-resistant floor mat can help prevent slip and fall accidents from happening in two different ways.
When people walk into your business with wet shoes, they need a place to dry their shoes off. This prevents them from slipping on a slick floor and this prevents a floor from becoming wet and slick. Unfortunately, a traditional door mat is not a good option. These mats bunch up and can become a tripping hazard themselves. A slip-resistant mat is ideal because it doesn't move or bunch up. This means that customers can dry their shoes, keep your floor dry and the mat won't lead to a hazard itself.
Remove Ice and Salt the Walkways In Front of Your Store
When temperatures hit the freezing mark, ice can form on the sidewalks and walkways that lead to your store. Unfortunately, many store owners do not think to clear ice from the sidewalk because they don't think the sidewalk is their problem to worry about. However, sidewalks and walkways leading into your place of business are a gray area. Depending on the state you leave in and the wording in your lease, you may be liable if one of your customers slips and falls on an icy sidewalk right in front of your store. As such, it is best to play it safe and remove ice from the sidewalks.
Improve the Lighting in Your Store
During the winter months, your store may be darker than it normally is. This is because the clouds can block out the sunlight and the sun sets earlier, resulting in less natural light. As such, it is important that you increase the lighting in your store. A slip, trip or fall caused by poor lighting will be your fault.
When the winter months hit, take a bit of time to walk around your store and check out the lighting. In some cases, you may simply wish to change out the light bulbs in place for higher watt bulbs. In other instances, you may wish to add additional lights to illuminate dark corners or dark spots within your store. If you struggle to see any area within your business, customers may as well and that can be a hazard.
More than one million Americans are injured in slip and fall accidents each year, and on average, these accidents end up costing $28,000 each. This can be damaging to a small business. Using a slip-resistant mat, removing ice from the walkways in front of your store and increasing the lighting in your store can help prevent some of these accidents from happening in winter. Unfortunately though, you can't prevent every accident. If someone is injured in your business after a slip and fall accident, talk to a personal injury attorney immediately. They can help you take the appropriate actions to defend yourself against any claims the injured party may bring against you. Check out sites like http://hbbinjurylaw.com for more information.