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What can businesses do to minimize slip and falls in the winter?

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2021 | Premises Liability

As temperatures drop and precipitation levels increase, the roads outside and the floors inside become slippery. People all over Connecticut are at risk of getting into crashes on slippery streets or falling in parking lots or stores while they handle their weekly chores.

Businesses should do their best to minimize the risk of their visitors getting hurt while on their property. There are a couple of ways that business owners or managers can reduce the risk of someone having a slip-and-fall incident on their premises during the winter months.

Invest in the right kind of rugs by the entrance

Winter precipitation means that visitors will track snow and water into the building. Having absorbent, non-slip rugs near the entrance allows people to shake off that ice and snow without making the interior floors slippery.

However, those rugs won’t work miracles. They may require frequent cleaning or even replacement with dry drugs so that they continue to serve their purpose. The business may need to invest in dehumidifiers, fans or heaters to help the rugs stay as dry as possible.

It is also crucial that the business anchor the rugs so that they don’t become a tripping hazard. While most slip-and-falls due to rugs happen in people’s homes, around 30% of them occur in other places, like businesses. Frequently inspecting entranceway rugs and having workers prioritize keeping the floors dry and putting out signage when the floors are wet can reduce the likelihood that someone will fall.

Be proactive about snow and ice removal on outdoor surfaces 

People don’t just slip and fall inside a business. Winter slip-and-falls also occur while people try to walk into a business or back out to their vehicles. Having contract services for snow removal during storms is important for keeping parking lots safe.

Businesses may also need to manually shovel sidewalks and entranceways. Salting or sanding icy areas could also help reduce slipping risks. When temperatures are too low to use salt, sand can help provide traction for people’s shoes during very cold weather.

Given that preventing slipping falls due to winter weather is relatively straightforward, businesses that don’t follow these two suggestions may open themselves up to liability. Realizing that a business is responsible for maintaining clean and safe spaces could lead someone to file a premises liability claim after they fall because of winter conditions.