Small Business Brief

Safety & Loss Prevention

What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Slip and Fall Accidents

If you run a small business, you focus on a lot of different areas. Finance, marketing, sales. You may know exactly what to do in these instances.

But do you know what to do with slip and fall accidents? 

A slip and fall incident could occur within any business, regardless of the safety precautions you have in place. Let’s look into what makes up a slip and fall and the implications it could have for you. 

Slip and Fall Overview 

A slip and fall is the term for an injury case where someone trips and falls on someone else’s property, whether personal or commercial. 

Conditions like ice, poor lighting, a wet floor, and narrow stairs could all contribute to a slip and fall incident. When someone falls and is injured on your property, chances are they will enlist the help of Injury Attorneys

The one question in any business owner’s mind becomes whether they are at fault. 

Are You Liable? 

Somebody slipping in your business does not mean you are at fault. To be held liable in these instances, it must be proven that you were negligent and that that’s what caused the accident. 

Often, negligence means the business owner knew about the danger but didn’t put precautions in place to prevent it. For example, spilling a bucket of water and not immediately cleaning it up or placing a sign to warn others of the danger could be considered negligent.  

Some considerations in these cases include:  

Why Was the Floor Slippery? 

For someone to win a case against your business, they would have to prove that you knew the floor was slippery and therefore posed a slipping hazard. The longer this hazard was present, the better the chances of them winning.

This is because a hazard present for only a few minutes or less was not there long enough for the business to know about it. Whereas something that posed a risk for days with no resolution results from negligence. 

Was There a Warning? 

Businesses have to clean their floors and those without carpeting will need to mop and wax it. That’s unavoidable. However, after mopping and waxing, a sign should be placed warning the public about the danger. Failure to do so would fall back on the business owner. 

Ultimately, many cases rely on whether you put measures in place to reduce the chances of an accident occurring, and whether the person who tripped was careless in avoiding this hazard. 

Don’t Let Slip and Fall Accidents Surprise You

If someone slips and falls on your business premises, don’t panic. It’s not an automatic lawsuit, particularly if you were careful in warning the public of any possible hazards.  

Keep slip and fall accidents from damaging your reputation by being vigilant of any potential tripping hazards. You can do this by keeping your walkways free of any clutter, ensure proper lighting, keeping cords out of walkways, and ensuring that handrails are not damaged. Having general liability insurance will provide your business with additional protection. 

Check out the rest of our site for more essential tips for small businesses.