During the winter, the risk for injuries goes up. People get into more car accidents, and snow and ice cause more slips and falls. Your business can sometimes be responsible for injuries people sustain at your property. Here are some simple things you can do to make sure you aren't held liable for injuries.
1. Hire a snow removal company to take care of the parking lot.
Snow in the parking lot is one reason why people can slip and fall. If the parking lot is owned by your business, make sure you have a snow company remove the snow in the early morning, preferably before business hours. This way, the spots are clear and the area is salted before any customers or clients enter the property.
Pay special attention to handicapped parking spaces. These must be cleared, but space next to the spot must also be clear so people have a place to set their wheelchairs or lower ramps.
2. Check stairs and handrails each day for obstacles and slick spots.
Stairs can be especially hazardous in snowy weather, or even in rainy fall weather when leaves coat the ground. Rain makes the leaves slippery, and so stairs are not as safe as they should be. Handrails should be well maintained. If you are missing a handrail or the handrail is broken and someone falls on your stairs, they have a right to sue you for the injuries they sustain.
3. Use signage for wet floors to warn people to walk cautiously.
Winter weather can also cause indoor changes. People track in slush, ice, and snow on their shoes, which melts on the floor. In non-carpeted areas, try to stay on top of these slick conditions by keeping a mop nearby. Mop up the water as often as possible. To help reduce your liability, place a sign to warn people that the floor can be slippery. This shows you are aware of the danger and that you take active steps to make people aware of it also.
4. Place rugs down on the floor to absorb snow moisture.
You can also reduce the risk of indoor slip-and-fall accidents by placing rugs down in high-traffic areas. These seasonal rugs absorb the moisture people track in, and people are more likely to stomp their feet on these rugs, which also reduced moisture from causing trouble further indoors. You can have clean rugs delivered throughout the winter season by a supply company to prevent any one rug from getting too dirty. When you roll up these rugs to clean the floor, store the rug out of the way to make sure nobody trips over the rug.
5. Stay on top of roof maintenance.
You also need to assess overhead risks. When roofs are not well maintained, icicles can form on the edge of the roof. If you notice these icicles, try to knock them off so they don't fall and injure a customer or client. Once you see them forming, however, you also should get rid of the root cause. Icicles can form because gutters are not properly installed or because the roof is not properly insulated and vented. An ice dam forms on the edge of the roof, which is why icicles start to drip off the edge of the roof or from the gutter. Head injuries from falling ice can be severe, costing your company hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. A basic seasonal check or even some roof repairs are nothing to the cost of a lawsuit.
For more information, contact a personal injury law firm in your area.
If you are unable to work because of an illness or injury, you may qualify for social security disability payments. This money comes from a fund you have probably contributed to during your time in the work force, and it is likely that you have the right to disability payments using this money. As an attorney specializing in social security disability, I have a great deal of experience in helping clients determine if they qualify for disability payments. I hope that this blog will help people who have been injured understand what it means to qualify for social security disability benefits and how to go about getting that help.