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Protecting against winter slips, trips and falls

On Behalf of | Oct 14, 2020 | Premises Liability

With the cooler weather fast approaching in New York, it is time for businesses to ramp up their efforts to keep their premises hazard-free. Wintertime means extra risks of slipping, tripping and falling when freezing temperatures turn precipitation to slippery ice. 

While businesses should commit adequate resources to protect their customers, people should also take accountability for their own safety and make rational choices. Through the team effort of both parties, costly and painful injuries resulting from a slip, trip or fall may decrease. 

Business responsibility

Businesses should implement policies for mitigating snow and ice hazards in advance of the wintertime. Waiting until the snow starts falling may leave workers scrambling for resources or with an unorganized approach to effectively lessening risks for their customers. 

According to Travelers Insurance, if businesses want to work with an outside contractor, they should finalize the arrangements of their agreement before the first snowfall. They should provide clear expectations for how they wish for snow removal to work. If they desire for hazard mitigation to remain in house, they should provide adequate training for their employees to demonstrate how they want things done. Implementing an ice and snow removal log may incentivize workers to practice responsibility. If an accident does happen, a prompt investigation should take place. 

Customer responsibility

Customers can help by reporting hazards that were perhaps overlooked by employees. If they notice excessive ice or poorly maintained walkways, they should report their concerns to management right away. 

Consumer Reports also recommends that people wear proper footwear for the winter conditions and avoid consuming alcohol or medications that may cause drowsiness or affect balance. People should also walk with care, even shuffling if necessary to maintain as much traction as possible with the ground beneath them.