Winter weather and business liability
Winter weather and business liability

Winter weather and business liability

Winter weather can substantially increase the risks of slipping, tripping and falling. Precipitation and ice can create hazardous conditions on surfaces.

Business establishments should exercise vigilance during this time to protect their patrons from unnecessary risks. Lackluster maintenance can result in serious legal repercussions for business owners if someone gets injured on the premises.

Business responsibility

As the winter season approaches, businesses should revisit their plans for snow removal. Management can benefit from having an efficient plan in place to remove snow and ice as quickly as possible. One way that businesses can improve this process is through effective delegation of maintenance jobs including snow removal and deicing. According to INC.com, companies that neglect these duties could end up paying for damages resulting from their oversight.

Responsible businesses will remove snow, spread salt or other deicers, and put out signage that warns patrons of slippery surfaces near entrances. They should also make sure that parking lots and other outdoor areas have adequate lighting so icy areas are more visible.

Patron responsibility

Patrons can also protect themselves when they take precautions such as wearing proper shoes and observing their surroundings. People should avoid distractions while walking, such as phone use, which may prevent them from noticing slippery surfaces. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, rubber shoes with good traction can give people a better grip on the ground. People should also walk sure-footed with smaller steps.

If people have received injuries because of poor maintenance during the wintertime, they may choose to take legal action. If the courts find that negligence indeed caused a patron’s injury, a decision to award compensatory damages may help offset the costs of treatment and recovery for injured persons.

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