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Responsibility of business owners to prevent slips and falls

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2022 | Blog, Premises Liability |

A slip and fall refer to when an individual receives injuries from slipping and falling on someone else’s property. Although the prevention of all falls is not always possible, business owners do have a responsibility to minimize hazards in both the interior and exterior spaces.

If someone does sustain an injury, he or she must be able to prove that the business owner was negligent and that this led to the accident.

Prevention strategies

According to Healthcare Business Today, slippery surfaces are one of the most common hazards involved in slip and fall accidents. To minimize risk, a manager or employee should wipe up spills as soon as possible. When it is raining or snowing outside, someone should mop the inside entryway frequently and leave a wet floor sign out to warn customers.

Slippery conditions outside are also risky. Shoveling should occur regularly, and sand or other absorbent material helps to improve grip on the sidewalks. An anti-skid coating or adhesive material in parking lots also helps prevent falls.

Poorly lit areas are another hazard, as it is challenging to see where it is safe to step. There should be proper lighting indoors and out, and someone should replace a burnt-out or broken bulb immediately.

Business owners should keep all areas free from clutter. They should also be aware of and fix, any loose rug edges, broken stairs, damaged railings and uneven sidewalks.

Elements needed to prove negligence in a slip and fall case

FindLaw discusses what is necessary to prove that a business owner is legally responsible for any injuries sustained by a fall. It is not enough that an injury occurred on the premises. The victim must be able to prove that the owner created or knew about the hazard and did nothing about it. A court may also find fault if the owner was unaware of the problem, but that the hazard was there for such a long time that the owner should have become aware of it and fixed it.