Slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone regardless of age or fitness level. Unfortunately, the risk becomes even higher in the winter because of rain, sleet, and snow. It can lead to severe injuries, loss of income for months, and even messy lawsuits.

But most slip and fall accidents in the winter are preventable. If you’re a landlord or business owner, it’s your responsibility to eliminate hazards on your property and keep people safe. It pays to prepare early. 

Conduct Spot Checks

Don’t let winter catch you off-guard.  Before it comes, conduct a spot check around your property. Look for cracks and potholes on the ground that can cause accidents during inclement weather. In addition, check the entrance steps and handrails on your staircases. Slippery surfaces and unstable railings can be disastrous.

It’s also crucial to inspect lighting. People are more prone to slip in poorly lit spots. Arrange for the necessary repairs as soon as possible. If an area is unsafe, cordon it off with hazard tape to prevent people from entering and getting hurt.

Perform Regular Maintenance

Property maintenance is crucial at all times, but especially in the winter. Various hazards can develop if you let your guard down. Pay extra attention to your drain pipes, catch basins, and grate covers, ensuring they’re debris-free. Once the cold weather is here, ice dams can form if there are blockages. That will cause melted snow to flow back to the sidewalks, refreeze, and become slippery.

Check that water from gutters, downspouts, and other sources isn’t draining onto walkways and refreezing. In addition, manage snow piles around and on sidewalks. That way, people can see where they’re walking and they’re less likely to trip and fall. It will also prevent the dangerous melt/refreeze cycle.  Lastly, clean up puddles and spills immediately.

Delegate Tasks

Getting your staff on board will help keep your property accident-free in the winter. Make them aware of the risks of slip and fall incidents, and discuss their role in preventing them. Explain how they can monitor the weather and what measures they can take to keep snow from accumulating. Ask them to block off unsafe shortcuts and to ensure no one uses them. When their responsibilities are clear, they’ll feel a sense of accountability. They’ll be more inclined to keep the place safe.

Create Awareness

Safety is a shared responsibility. Aside from getting your employees to help with maintenance, create awareness among customers and visitors about personal safety. Remind them to wear proper footwear, ideally shoes with non-slip soles, and to carry only what they need. Also, tell them to be aware of their surroundings and avoid distractions while walking. That means putting their phones away and focusing on what’s in front of them. In addition, inform them of the safe routes on your property.

Let a Professional Help

Most slip and fall accidents happen because of negligence. Fortunately, there are various ways to prevent them. That said, it’s a challenging responsibility for companies, especially if your property is open to the public. If you need help, get a lawyer’s expert advice on winter-proofing your property and avoiding complicated lawsuits. To learn more, contact Friedman Law Offices at +1 800-876-1093.