With SNOWMAGEDDON 2015 still in full effect here in the Northeast, I thought it might be a good time to explore an important topic for property owners this time of year: slip and fall claims. Walking around my own neighborhood in Massachusetts, I am amazed to see the number of property owners that do not take the necessary steps to prevent slip and falls.
I found some very interesting statistics on the website of the National Floor Safety Institute at www.NFSI.org. For instance, did you know:
- Slip and falls are the number one cause of accidents in hotels, restaurants and public buildings and 70 percent occur on flat and level surfaces?
- 85 percent of workers’ compensation claims are attributed to employees slipping on slick floors?
- Falls account for 87 percent of all fractures among people over the age of 65 and are the second leading cause of spinal cord and brain injury?
Scary stuff, right? As a property owner, especially if you are a small business owner, there is a duty owed to the general public to make walkways and parking lots safe to traverse. Necessary things to have at the ready include snow shovels, ice melt for sidewalks, wet floor caution signs, and floor mats. And it always helps to have an agreement in place with a contractor to clear your parking lot and sidewalks for you. As a business owner or property owner, constant monitoring of changing conditions inside and outside needs to be top priority. Here in the Northeast, evening time brings below freezing temperatures that can turn light mist to very slick ice rather quickly.
Slip and falls are inevitable in the winter time, but with some common sense, good judgment, and proactive measures, we can all make the winter time safer.