As a business owner, you assume a lot of risks. Whenever there are people on your premises – whether they’re employees or customers – there’s the chance that someone could slip and fall. If someone does slip, trip, or fall and get hurt on your property, your business could be found responsible and you could face a hefty lawsuit. Lawsuits are often financially draining for businesses. Sure, you have general liability insurance to protect you from slipping and tripping lawsuits, but the best thing is to prevent slips and falls before they happen. We’ve got some tips to help you slip-proof and trip-proof your business so that you can avoid general liability claims.
1. Train your employees.
Slips and falls can happen in a split second. If someone gets hurt, your employees might get a bit panicked, so it’s important that they know what to do so they can take charge of the situation calmly and efficiently. And it’s important that your employees know what could become a slip or trip hazard.
Your training should cover:
- Recognizing slip, trip, and fall hazards
- Cleaning up spills promptly
- Keeping the workplace tidy and free of clutter
- Keeping walkways clear
- Reporting hazards that the employee can’t fix themselves so that management can take care of it
- What to do if someone falls or gets hurt
- Informing management about the fall
- Calling 911 if necessary
2. Neutralize indoor slipping and tripping hazards.
There are many potential hazards that could cause someone to slip or trip. Since you don’t want a customer or employee to have a fall, take some time and evaluate the inside of your premises for hazards.
You can use the following list as a start:
- Check carpet for any holes, tears, or seams that could trip someone and fix them.
- Mark any ledges or steps on your floor clearly so that people won’t trip over them.
- Make sure any doormats and rugs are lying flat.
- Use wet floor signs for freshly mopped areas or places where there are spills. Clean up spills immediately.
- Check that there’s enough lighting so people can see where they’re going. Replace any burned out light bulbs.
- Make sure your emergency exit lighting is working properly.
- If you have any stairs, make sure they’re not cluttered and that your handrails are secure.
3. Get rid of any outdoor tripping/slipping/falling hazards.
Your responsibility/liability doesn’t end at the front doors of your business. If someone gets hurt outside your business, like in the parking lot, you could be found liable. Make sure that your property – including the outside – is free of trip hazards.
- Check that the walkway is clear of cracks and holes that could trip someone.
- Get any potholes or cracks in the parking lot repaired and fix any uneven surfaces.
- Make sure that you have enough outdoor lighting so that people can find their way. (Side note: Having adequate outdoor lighting can also help you prevent a burglary at your business.)
- Have a plan for how to handle ice in the winter months. Maybe we don’t get a ton of snow in Atlanta, but we do get ice when it freezes overnight. Have sand or salt on-hand and look into getting a service that will clear your walkway and parking lot. Be vigilant for icy patches and use signs to keep people from accidentally walking on them.
Taking steps to remove slipping and tripping hazards at your business can help protect both your customers and your employees (you would have to file a workers’ comp claim if an employee fell at work.) Tripping can lead to broken bones, sprains, and many other injuries. But your business can take to reduce the chances of someone getting hurt and subsequently taking legal action against you. So, go on trip patrol and remove any hazards before they hurt someone.
If you want to shop around for your business insurance so that you can save some money, we would be more than happy to help you! We can help you get Atlanta business insurance quotes and save some money. All you have to do is fill out our online form or give us a call today.