How to prevent slips, trips and falls on your property [Infographic]

slip hazard sign

Slips, trips and falls often result in bruised egos and, well, bruises in general. But accidents, whether they happen to your customers or a third party, can bruise your business as well. Slips, trips and falls are a leading cause of injury in Canada according to Statistics Canada. Lawsuits stemming from bodily injury events such as these are common amongst small business owners, and something that you need to be prepared for. In situations of third party bodily injury, you would turn to your commercial general liability (CGL) insurance for protection, but there are ways for you to proactively protect yourself from these accidents. They say knowing is half the battle, so let’s take a quick look at how slips, trips and falls commonly occur and consider some of the things you should watch out for.

An infographic on slips, trips and falls for small businesses

Slips, trips and falls infographic

Slips

Ever play the floor is lava? Replace the lava with a smooth, slippery surface, and you have a recipe for disaster. Slips occur when there’s little or no friction or traction on the floor surface and someone’s footwear. Slips can happen anywhere on your property, whether it’s in your storefront, your parking lot, or even on the walkways outside. Making sure your entire property is clear of snow, ice or water could help avoid a slip.

You should watch out for:

  • Wet, snowy or icy walking surfaces
  • Loose or unsecured rugs or mats
  • Sloped walking surfaces
  • Smooth, cold surfaces (e.g. marble floors or metal stairs)
  • Waxed floors
  • Spills on walking surfaces

Trips

Think about the last time you tripped over your laptop power cable while pausing your Netflix binge to grab food from the fridge. Now imagine something similar happening in your store—not a pretty sight. Trips occur when a person’s foot catches or strikes an object which then alters their balance. Inspect your property, including your parking lot and walkways, to make sure there aren’t any hazards that could cause someone to stumble.

You should watch out for:

  • Exposed cords
  • Clutter
  • Poorly lit areas
  • Uneven walkways
  • Wrinkled carpeting or floor mats
  • Objects and obstacles(e.g. tools, cleaning buckets)

Falls

They say falling in love can be expensive, but do you know how much falls cost the Canadian economy? Over $6 billion. In fact, over 42,000 Canadians get injured annually due to fall accidents. Falls are generally the result of a slip or trip, where the person actually falls due to loss of centre balance or lack of support. They can also occur when walking from a higher elevation to a lower elevation. Along with keeping surfaces dry and free of clutter, make sure to repair any uneven steps, stairs, or walkways on your property. You should also have proper procedures in place for using ladders or performing work on roofs.

You should watch out for:

  • Stepping off ladders
  • Going downstairs
  • Getting off roofs

What to do next

Even though you know what to watch out for, accidents still happen. Fortunately, CGL insurance can help you protect your business in the event of a lawsuit resulting from slips, trips and falls. Having best practices in place along with CGL insurance can help you prevent your customers and your business from getting bruised. Click here to learn more about CGL insurance.

Being prepared only takes you so far. Make sure you have the coverage you need.

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This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply to coverage. See policy for details.