Preparing and Protecting Your Property against Slip and Fall Accidents:
Slip and fall accidents can be very costly for any business, whether they involve your employees or someone else who is legally on your premises. During wintry weather, these accidents occur much more frequently and pose liability on the owner or tenant of the property.
Some important safety measures to take to avoid this type of claim:
If contracting for snow or ice removal from an outside party:
Be certain your contract calls for the contractor to be timely in the removal of snow and treatment of icing. Many municipalities require appropriate actions be taken within specific time frames. Make sure your snow removal contractor is insured for snow removal operations (as most General Liability policies exclude snow plowing operations) and that you are contractually protected for their liabilities/actions. Before signing any contracts or beginning any services, call Business Insurance Consultants, Inc. (732)-946-9300 to review the snow removal contract and the contractor’s insurances.
If you perform your own snow removal:
Be sure you have appropriate personnel, equipment, and supplies on site (shovels, snow blowers, plows, ice melt, sand, etc.). Do not wait till it starts snowing!
Use caution before you or your employees clear non-owned adjoining properties, as doing so can create more liability for your business.
Keep exterior drains and drainage areas clear of snow to prevent back-up of water, freezing, and refreezing.
Treat all exterior areas where you expect to have pedestrian traffic. Once cleaned, you are not done!
Inspect and treat potential hazard areas frequently. When snow stops and has been cleared, be on the alert for thaw and refreeze conditions, as they can prove to be even more hazardous.
GENERAL SAFETY MEASURES:
Be sure there is ample outside lighting.
Be sure parking lot and walkways are free of debris, are smooth and safe for pedestrian traffic.
Wintry mix can create hazardous indoor conditions when people tract in snow and ice to the building. Be sure that your entrance and hallways are dry and free of slippery conditions. Use
markers/signage to warn of slippery conditions. If you use interior floor mats, make sure they are non-slip or appropriately secured.
Educate your employees to look for and address any adverse conditions.
Be aware that snow and ice on your roof can melt and create dangerous conditions below. These areas should be marked with appropriate warnings for pedestrians and/or property damage to parked vehicles.