This is a real threat in southern Ontario during the winter.
While streets and walkways become ice covered, our trip to and from the car suddenly becomes hazardous to our health. With around 9,000 hospitalizations in Canada during the winter of 2018/2019, this is something we should all be concerned with but is especially true for any business or property owner where people visit.
If you are not taking the proper precautions to prevent slip and falls outside of your building you are leaving yourself vulnerable to injury lawsuits.
Just Google slip and fall injury and take note of how many ads for lawyers come up in the search results. It is up to us to protect ourselves.
HERE ARE THE TOP 5 WAYS TO PREVENT SLIP AND FALLS THIS WINTER
1. ENCOURAGE PROPER FOOTWEAR
This is especially true for your employees or tenants. While leather soled shoes can exasperate a slippery condition, winter boots with stronger treads can keep you upright.
2. INSTALL HANDRAILS
No matter how effective footwear is or how well the grounds are maintained, a sturdy handrail is often the surest bet to stay on your feet in winter conditions.
3. LEVEL OUT CHANGES OF ELEVATION
Notice a treacherous and unnecessary rise or slant in the walk way around your building? Take the time to have it leveled out or corrected in some way.
4. HIRE A PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CREW
Give the job of maintaining the surrounding area of your building to a professional who knows how to best shovel snow. Have them prevent and remove dangerous ice and snow build up.
5. ALLOW OTHERS TO IDENTIFY POTENTIAL HAZARDS
Implement a proactive approach by having employees or tenants become more aware of potential risks and to report them through the proper channels so they can be corrected. Hang flyers in your window as reminders for them to be vigilant. Potential risks can include ice or snow build up on the ground, a damaged handrail, a tripping hazard in the sidewalk or even icicles overhead (which can be considered a slip and fall risk if we count the fall after someone gets bonked on the head).
Implementing these tips will not only help keep you and your people physically safer, it will also greatly reduce the risk of a personal injury lawsuit. Which, by the way, could help lower your business insurance or rental property insurance costs.
Erie Mutual Insurance proudly serves the commercial insurance, farm insurance, home insurance and auto insurance needs of members throughout Southern Ontario including Haldimand, Niagara and Hamilton.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.