Whether you own a small retail shop, a medical practice, or another company with a public storefront, you need to be diligent about ensuring customer safety on the premises. A carelessly placed object could easily lead to injury and a lawsuit, so take these precautions to keep your customers safe and your business prepared.
Document and Address Hazards as Quickly as Possible
No matter the size of your staff, make sure every employee is trained in how to spot and report potential hazards. This might entail notifying a supervisor and then keeping a written record of spills, fallen objects, broken displays, icy sidewalks, or other things that could harm someone on the premises.
If a customer is injured and sues your small business, their slip and fall lawyer will look for evidence that you knew of a safety issue but failed to fix it, so it's important to address hazards as quickly as possible. By keeping a written record of these issues, you can prove that your company values safety and responds to potentially harmful situations immediately. You might have a document sheet that includes the date, the time an employee noticed the hazard, the name of the supervisor they reported to, the time the hazard was addressed, and the steps taken to ensure the premises were safe again.
Establish a Walk-through Schedule
Your employees won't be able to report potential hazards if they aren't looking for them. One way to prevent slip and fall lawsuits is to establish a schedule for walking through your entire premises looking for items that might be harmful to a passing customer. You could assign your staff to do this at the top of every hour or at other regular intervals. They should make sure all walkways are clear, no sharp objects are jutting out from displays, and all floors are free of spills and other trip hazards like electric cables. When you're training staff on what to look for during their walk-through, this list of trip hazards provides a good starting point.
Always Display Signage
A slip and fall lawyer's job is to prove that your company was negligent in allowing a customer to be injured while in your storefront. One way to show that your small business takes safety seriously is to display clear and informative signage while hazards are being addressed. If you need to warn customers of a slippery floor, a loose floorboard, or a large cart being moved, for example, make sure your signage is as clear as possible.
Simple pictures and words in bold colors, like a bright yellow slippery floor sign with a danger symbol, will help steer your customers clear of hazards. If you've been using certain signs for years and they're very worn, be sure to replace them. You don't want a customer slipping and falling because a sign was too faded to read.
By implementing these precautionary measures, you can help keep your small business safe and prevent injury lawsuits.