How Protect Your Business From Slip And Fall Lawsuits And Workman Comp Claims

Protecting a business from loss is one of the most important things that can be done. Not only that, but providing a safe environment for your customers, and employees is most important. Restaurants, retail & grocery stores, hotel, etc, the business could experience a lot of “foot traffic”. The business is designed around customers coming in, looking, feeling, touching, walking or whatever sense is used with the service. An indirect consequence, people tend to not pay attention to where they walk, or hazards can surface that are natural to daily operations. One of the big hazards are potential “slip and falls”. As a matter of fact “slip and fall” lawsuits have become very common.

Facts Pertaining To Slip & Fall Lawsuits In Retail Stores

  • Retail and super market stores spend annually almost a half billion dollars each year to defend slip and fall lawsuits.
  • Slip and falls annually are the number 1 most common injury in supermarkets for both customers and employees.
  • About 25,000 people a day are quote “victims” to slip and falls, and on average per hour slip and falls result in 3.5 million dollars in losses.
  • The average cost of a slip and fall exceeds $12,000 dollars.
  • The average cost to defend a slip and fall lawsuit exceeds $50,000.
  • Plaintiffs win 51% of all “slip and fall” lawsuits.

Facts Pertaining To Employee Slip And Falls

  • 65% of all employee lost work days due to injury are from slip and falls. This results in 95 million dollars of losses.
  • 22% percent of injuries that result in 31 or more lost work days, are due to slip and falls.
  • Compensation for employee slip and falls result in 70 billion dollars annually.
  • The food industries leading work injury is slip and fall.

Food Service Industry Facts

  • 57% of all general liability claims in the industry result from slip and falls.
  • Since 1980 personal injury lawsuits have increased 3 fold.
  • The average restaurant, hotel, etc have 3 to 9 slip and fall lawsuits per year.
  • Slip and falls are the number 1 accident in the industry.
  • 70% of slip and fall injuries are on a flat service.

How Do You Protect A Business From Slip and Fall Injuries?

  • Always keep a clear walking path for employees and customers. Make sure that aisle’s, hallways, or any areas that get foot traffic don’t have slipping or tripping hazards.
  • When there is a spill or wet are, clearly mark the are immediately, and clean it up if possible. Make sure the area is marked, right away. Timing can be very important.
  • Encourage customers if they see a spill to report it immediately.
  • Have a clear written procedure for what needs to be done, when a spill takes place.
  • If it’s snowing or raining, make sure to get out warning signs and put them in any areas that get foot traffic.
  • Make sure when it’s snowing to shovel all foot traffic areas outside, and lay down salt.
  • We also advise during the winter to put outdoor warning signs of any potential slipping hazards at entrances and exits.
  • Make sure foot traffic area’s are well lit.

What Businesses You Do After A Slip And Fall

Customer: Call 911 if the person has seriously been hurt. Do NOT let employees touch the customer or provide any medical attention. The business could be held liable from these actions if anything goes wrong. Instruct employees if they see anything to not admit or tell anything to the customer(s), or tell other employees. Instruct them not to talk about the incident with anyone except authorized personnel. Get a full written incident report. Save any video surveillance of the incident. File the claim with you insurance company. The insurance company will instruct what to do.

Employee: Call 911 if necessary. Employees need to report all incidents to management right away. File a claim with your workman’s comp insurance company. Have the employee fill out all necessary documentation including an incident report. Do a full investigation of how the employee got injured. Instruct the employee not to discuss the claim with anyone except authorized personnel and the insurance company.

 

All in all, slip and falls result in huge monetary claims each year. There is also a lot of fraud that occurs with these type of claims. All the costs of slip and fall lawsuits, are eventually passed on the consumer in one form or the other. It is best to try to keep these types losses down, by most of all using common sense.  If you have any questions, feel free to call or leave a comment. Remember we can write in 45 States in including home State, Colorado.

Sources: Light House Enterprises

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About Mark A. Schneider
Owner of Denvers Insurance and Close Contact Security Services.

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