There has been a dramatic rise in both the number of claims and settlement amounts for slip-and-fall incidents over the last 20 years. Did you know one major insurance companies’ loss experience due to slip and fall claims equals to almost half of their liability claims. This increase in claims will affect all business owners with slip-and-fall exposures.
You have responsibilities under law as an owner or occupier of your premises. An occupier is anyone with physical control of the premises, including the conditions and the activities carried on there.
Under law, you owe to your visitors a duty to take care “that is reasonable in the circumstances” to ensure that visitors are reasonably safe while on your premises. In other words, for owners and occupiers, there is a real responsibility to take active precautions to keep the premises safe for visitors.
In some cases, the courts have found occupiers liable for their visitors’ injuries. In other cases, the courts found the occupiers were not liable.
The list of possible risks could be endless but a stroll around your farm or business and the access areas is a good place to start. Here are some of the most frequent sources of slip-and-fall claims. In entrance ways, washrooms, parking lots and walkways: melting snow, ice or water, wrinkled or ripped carpeting, potholes, uneven pavement, cracks and obstacles. By stairs or areas near elevation changes: uneven stair treads, inadequate handrails, wet surfaces and poor lighting. With attention to detail, good maintenance and inspection procedures that are well documented, accidents and claims can be prevented or successfully defended. Conscientious loss prevention is the only way to control claims costs.