Keep your property hazard-free this winter

Slips and falls are no joke

Business insurance

Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, the Three Stooges and Chevy Chase are among our favorite slapstick comedians. But, hazards that cause slips and falls are only funny when they happen on screen. When customers or employees at your business “fall victim,” it becomes a serious liability that can cause injury, loss of productivity, your reputation and even your business.

Accidents happen, but you can do a lot to protect your staff, your clients and your business. First, call us to ensure you’ve got adequate business liability and workers compensation coverage. And, with a nod to Chaplin, you probably want to have an umbrella policy as well.

Once you’ve made sure you have the proper coverage, there are steps you can take to help prevent accidents and protect yourself in the case of a claim. Business owners are responsible for keeping their property hazard-free.
• Make sure all floors and walkways are constantly maintained. Entrances and bathrooms can be especially slick. Consider installing an umbrella rack, so excess water isn’t tracked inside.
• Install secure handrails near all stairs and balconies.
• Always maintain sidewalks and parking lots on your property. Consider hiring someone for snow and ice removal to ensure it’s handled promptly, since potholes and ice are common hazards.
• Check your property constantly and every day for common hazards that cause falls. Teach your employees to do the same—watching for wet, slippery or greasy floors; uneven floors; torn or damaged carpets; and clutter or errant cables or wires. Even dim lighting or obstacles that prevent a clear view.
• If you or an employee finds a potential hazard, act immediately. Post warning signs and eliminate the hazard as quickly as possible.
• Train your employees in slip-and-fall safety, and establish protocol on how to report, reduce and remove hazards. Make sure they know what to do in the case of hazardous situations and accidents.
• Document all of your efforts by keeping records of your daily safety inspections, maintenance work and how you dealt with any slip-and-fall accidents.

Protecting your livelihood is serious business. Having rules and processes in place is an important way to prevent injuries and even lawsuits. Document your efforts and keep daily records and safety inspections. Establishing a proactive culture of prevention could save your business. Working with us to make sure that you are covered also is your best protection.

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