How to prevent winter slip and fall accidents

Learn some of the top tips on how to get your business ready for winter and prevent slip and fall accidents before they happen.

When winter rolls into Connecticut, it often makes its presence known with freezing temperatures, snow and ice. Things can get slick very fast. Business owners must be vigilant about managing their properties so slip and fall accidents do not occur due to negligence on their part. A personal injury claim can cost a business a lot of money, and for some, could put them out of business completely.

The good news is prevention is easy. Conducting routine tasks before and during the winter can enable a business owner to keep his or her property safe for everyone. Preparations and maintenance should be done inside and outside of the business.

Outside a business

The Huffington Post notes that many slip and fall accidents occur outside a business, but due to liability laws, these are still often the responsibility of the business owner. Owners should prepare their driveways, parking lots and outdoor walkways to ensure ice and snow is removed and prevented from building up.

Every business should have snow and ice removal procedures in place before the winter starts. Areas of particular interest include parking lots, sidewalks and steps. It can be difficult to see ice on a blacktop, so extra care should be taken to ensure these areas are clear of any snow or ice. Salt should be used to clear away ice buildup after storms or after an overnight freeze. If an area is not clear when customers begin to arrive, it should be marked off and signs or cones should be used to stop customers from walking in that area.

All handrails on steps or other areas should be checked. They should be secure and well-maintained. If ice has built up on a handrail, it should be removed.

Finally, all outdoor lighting should be kept in working order. Lights should be checked each day to ensure none have blown out and all are working correctly. In areas that are particularly dangerous, more lighting may need to be added to make it safer.

Inside a business

State Farm offers business owners some helpful advice on how to stop slip and falls inside their businesses. The biggest concern inside during the winter months are puddles of melted snow and ice. Business owners should stress the importance of cleaning the floors at regular intervals throughout the day, along with using proper signs to alert customers to wet floors. Installing nonslip rugs or carpeting can be helpful, especially right inside entrances.

Management should also pay attention to any accident reports and investigate them completely. This can help a business owner to see where weaknesses exist in the winter slip and fall prevention plan, so they can be corrected and future accidents can be avoided.

Slip and fall accidents are bad for everyone involved. Serious injuries can result. In the winter, it can be tough to combat the risks that come with snow, ice and freezing temperatures, but business owners owe it to their customers to create a plan and carry through with it. If you have had a slip and fall accident, you might want to talk to Jacobs & Dow, LLC.