If a customer slips, trips or falls in your store, you could be held accountable for their injuries, lost wages and pain and suffering, if you should have known they could have fallen and could have prevented the accident. There are many different ways to prevent slip and fall accidents at your business and thus reduce the likelihood of being involved in one of the lawsuits. However, while most business owners know to place door mats by the doors, clean up spills immediately and remove tripping hazards, there are many other ways you can prevent slip and fall accidents that you may be unaware of. Here are a few of the lesser-known ways to reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents at your business.
Place Awnings Over Your Exterior Doorways
Having a doormat where customers can wipe their muddy and wet feet before entering your store can help prevent customers from slipping as they enter your store. But, if the doormat is wet, it will prove ineffective at doing what it is designed to do. An awning that is placed over an exterior doorway can help keep this mat dry, reducing the number of slip and fall accidents at your business. Keeping your awning free of rips and tears, and removing any sitting water that has gathered on the awning, is the best way to keep it in great shape and ensure it does what it is designed to do.
Install Blinds or Window Shades
Another way that you can prevent customers from slipping or tripping in your store is to install blinds or window shades. Installing some sort of cover over your windows helps to prevent this in two different ways. First, if the sun is shining directly into your business, it may momentarily blind a customer, which can cause them to trip and fall over an item that they would have otherwise been able to see. Secondly, blinds and window covers help to normalize the amount of light in your business. If the sun shines brightly into your business, and then clouds block it, the amount of light into your business is affected. It can take human eyes a few seconds to process changes in the amount of light. During this time, a customer or employee may not see tripping or slipping hazards, which can cause them to fall. Blinds, window shades, curtains and other types of window coverings can help to minimize how much sunlight shines into your store.
Visit websites like http://www.htsva.com for more information about awnings you can place over doors and windows.
Notify the Building Owner or City About Cracks in the Sidewalk or Parking Lot
The last way you can reduce the risk of your business being involved in a slip and fall accident lawsuit is to notify the building owner or city about any cracks or other tripping hazards on sidewalks and in the parking lot. It is not uncommon that business owners feel it isn't their responsibility to pay attention to sidewalks outside of their businesses or parking lots attached to their business. However, while it isn't your responsibility to pay for repairs, you can be brought into a lawsuit and held partially responsible if one of your customers can prove you knew the hazard existed and failed to report it and protect your customers.
There are many reasons you want to go out of your way to prevent slip and fall accidents from occurring in your business. You don't want the bad press associated with a lawsuit, nor do you want the expense associated with a lawsuit. There are a lot of different ways to limit and attempt to prevent these accidents from occurring. Learning about these methods and then implementing them can limit your exposure to such a lawsuit.