Finding out that an employee has filed a slip and fall claim can be a very stressful time. Read on to discover how to best handle a slip and fall injury.
Slips and falls are among the most common accidents to take place in the workplace.
While not every single slip and fall accident results in serious injury, some accidents can cause major heartache for any business.
Slips and falls in your workplace are one of the most preventable types of accidents, but depending on the outcome, could land your business in court. According to research, 35% of customers are likely to file a lawsuit against your company.
In this blog, we outline slip and fall scenarios, how to handle a slip and fall injury in your workplace and how to prevent these types of accidents!
Slip and Fall Scenarios
In order to best handle a slip and fall injury, it’s important to highlight the scenarios which could cause these accidents.
All-too-often, slip and fall injuries take place in the most unassuming places.
Some common scenarios include:
- Tripping hazards -caused by excess clutter which may be in the walking path of employees or customers.
- Slippery surfaces -spills and when ice or snow is tracked indoors, this can be highly hazardous for both employees and customers.
- Uneven ground and potholes -uneven surfaces and unmarked openings such as potholes pose a serious trip and fall hazard.
- Dim lighting – most commonly found on stairwells or in bathrooms, bad lighting is another cause for concern when it comes to trips and falls.
- Icy grounds – most commonly found in parking lots and on sidewalks which have not been adequately prepared for employees or customers.
There is no faster way to ruin your business reputation than being involved in a negligence lawsuit.
If there were any high-profile negligence lawsuit to learn from, it would be Odgen Hospital, read the full story here: Craig Swapp & Associates wrongful death.
However, there are steps which can be taken to protect your business from unfortunate slip and fall accidents.
One of the best ways to handle a slip and fall injury is to ensure you have adequate insurance coverage, available in the form of general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.
How To Handle a Slip and Fall Injury
According to the National Safety Council, an average of 30,000 slip and fall injuries are treated across the United States each year.
Some of these injuries range from broken bones, fractured skulls, back injuries and severe gashes. Unfortunately, there is no precise way to determine when a business is 100% liable for a slip and fall accident.
The best way to handle a slip and fall injury is with care and discretion so as to not harm your business reputation.
How to Prove Fault in Slip and Fall Accidents
Many slip and fall accidents rely on the condition of a business, and the level of carelessness on the customer or employee’s part.
When it comes to proving fault on the business’s part, the customer or employee must prove the cause of the accident was a ‘dangerous condition’.
To add to this, they must also prove that the business was fully aware of this dangerous condition.
The general rules for proving fault on a business’s part include:
- The business owner was aware of the dangerous or hazardous condition.
- The business owner was aware the condition existed but failed to repair or correct it.
- The hazardous condition existed for a long enough period that it should have been recognized, assessed and corrected.
However, when it comes to proving fault in the case of any type of accident, the lines can become very blurred.
Your business cannot be held legally liable if the accident is caused by carelessness or negligence on a customer or employee’s part.
Determining Legal Responsibility
In order to best handle a slip and fall injury, it’s important to understand when your business could be held legally responsible for an accident.
Some of the legally binding scenarios include:
- Your business must have caused a spill, slip or trip hazard due to negligence or a dangerous slip and fall surface.
- Your business knew about the hazard, but neglected to do anything about correcting it.
- You should have been aware of the hazard as it was being removed or repaired by a third party.
Generally, it is your responsibility to be 100% aware of the condition of your business at all times.
If this is not the case and there are areas of your business which are neglected, slip and fall injuries could become more common-place than you’d expect.
Preparing a Slip and Fall Plan
No matter how vigilant you are about the condition of your business premises, accidents can still happen.
A great way to handle a slip and fall injury is to ensure your business has a slip and fall recovery plan in place, ahead of time.
- Train your employees on how to handle slip and fall scenarios.
- Brief them on who to call in emergency situations – closest hospital/ambulance services.
- Ensure a fully-stocked medical aid kit is readily available at all times.
- Train employees how to attend and treat customers after an accident.
- Always show concern, compassion and treat and offer your best medical care until professionals arrive.
You may also want to create a slip and fall accident report, here you can record important details of the incident as it happened.
Try and be as detailed as possible in each report as these details may be needed in court proceedings should legal action be taken against you.
Get Actionable Information for Small Business
Small Business Brief is focused on bringing useful information for small business owners to your fingertips.
Established in 2004, we provide daily updates and some of best articles about business to our vast and varied audience.
Looking for business inspiration and an assortment of articles which provide true insight into a number of industries? Spend more time on the Small Business Brief blog for more!