September 22–28 is Fall Prevention Awareness Week. During this week, businesses and homeowners can take additional preventative measures to reduce risks of slips and falls on their property. As property owners, if a slip and fall accident was to occur on the owner’s property, there is possibility the owner may be found responsible for the victim’s injuries.
In general, an injured person has to prove the accident was caused by a dangerous condition the owner knew about in order to have a viable slip and fall claim. One of the difficulties of a slip and fall case is proving the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and did not properly fix the condition. How difficult it may be to prove liability depends on the case; therefore, consulting a Muncie premise liability attorney is a good resource for you to take advantage of.
Preventing Slips and Falls at Your Muncie Business
Customers who come to your store or clients who come by the office expect a certain level of safety. To prevent slip and fall accidents at your place of business, it’s a good idea to:
- Keep your parking lot and sidewalks free of debris
- Maintain sidewalks
- Keep sidewalks cleared and salted during the winter
- Keep detailed records of any maintenance on your property
- Create weekly or monthly checklists of building maintenance
- Keep walkways free of cords, wires, boxes, and furniture
- Tape floor mats or rugs down to prevent slips
- Clean up any liquids that spill on floors
Even though these suggestions might seem like common sense, many of these small steps get forgotten during the daily business of running a company or store. Even if you don’t have the time or budget to fix hazards, investing in warning signs or roping off certain areas of your property can save you money in the long run.
Preventing Slips and Falls at Your Muncie Home
Homeowners can experience slip and fall cases just as local businesses can. However, there are some precautions or updates that homeowners can take to minimize these risks:
- Install Night-Lights Both Inside and Outside: Light stairways or hallways with floor lights to brighten the walkways inside your home. Outside, place additional lighting along sidewalks or common paths in the yard.
- Add Friction to Slippery Surfaces: Outside steps or ramps may be extra slippery when it rains or snows out. To ensure guests do not fall, install adhesive grip strips to each step and make sure to clear any walkways of ice or snow.
- Install Safety Gates at the Tops of Stairs: Little children run around the house all the time. For their safety and others, install hardware safety gates at the tops of staircases that require latching and unlatching to walk through rather than portable ones.
- Keep Stairways Free of Clutter: Stairways are common scenes of falls. Keeping basement steps or steps to upstairs free of clutter will decrease the obstacles for guests to trip over.
- Control Who Has Access to Unfinished Areas: Many families have unfinished basements or rooms currently under construction. Exposed nails or uneven flooring can lead to accidents for those who don’t know to anticipate them. Keep children out of any unfinished area and make sure to warn any guests who may have to enter a construction area of what to expect. When possible, simply don’t allow guests into unfinished areas of your house until they are completed.
In general, keeping walkways free of obstacles will help reduce the risk of your guests slipping and falling on your property.
Many people doubt that their friends or family would ever file a legal claim against them if they were injured on their property. Even if you know that with confidence, there are other guests who come to your property who may not be so forgiving. Postal workers, for example, have a right to expect a safe experience when approaching your front door. Many people also work from home and therefore have customers or clients entering their home on a regular basis. Even if your place of business is your home, your clients still have a right to expect a safe environment. It’s best to invest in certain safety measures at your house so everyone, from a client to a cousin, can enjoy a safe experience on your property.
Consult a Muncie Personal Injury Attorney
Slip and falls happen all the time, and as a property owner, it is your responsibility to ensure a safe environment. In the event of a fall or accident, consult local Muncie personal injury attorneys at Hensley Legal Group. Call or contact us online for a free consultation today.