Every property should add trip and fall prevention. A customer/resident/visitor at your property is known as an invitee to the property. The property owes the invitee the highest duty of care. In Colorado, a property can be liable for injuries occurring at its site if it failed to exercise reasonable care to protect against dangers that it knew of or should have known of. A pothole, uneven sidewalk, broken stairs and ramps, cracks could send a guest to the hospital and land your business with an expensive lawsuit and rising insurance premiums. This article will address (1) common causes of trip and fall injuries and (2) prevention measures to ensure there are no dangerous conditions at your property.
What are the most common causes of trip and fall injuries?
- Outside is the property owner/landlords/ property managers responsiblity for maintenance of the parking lot. It is vital you remove or repair any hazardous conditions including potholes and uneven surfaces. All stairs should be in good repair with no cracked or worn treads and should not create a trip and fall hazard when wet. Be sure to promptly eliminate all those hazards. This includes setting out a sufficient number of cautionary signs until areas can be repaired
- Physical Obstacles protruding asphalt and or concrete, and other obstacles must be promptly eliminated or repaired.
- Congested Walkways As a business owner/property owner/property manager you must be sure the entrances and exits to your property are sufficient to permit customers/patrons, and other persons legally upon the property to enter and exit your property without undue congestion. Heavy flow rates through obstructed areas may cause people, especially young children and the elderly, to lose balance and fall.
- Inadequate Lighting Inadequate lighting can hide a number of hazards outside of your business, including curbs, physical obstructions, steps, and potholes.
How can my property best prevent trip and fall injuries?
- Properties should establish written policies and procedures to help maintain safe premises. Frequent and routine inspections of the properties parking lot and common areas to ensure that they are in good repair and ADA compliant.
- Sweep up debris from parking lots and remove obstacles from parking lot.
- Keep up to date records of maintenance and repair, including specific maintenance contracts that show the remove and repair hazardous conditions. Be sure all government inspections are passed, and those records are maintained.
- Conduct and keep records regular maintenance of outdoor areas, including sidewalks, children’s play areas, parking lots, and lighting. Regularly monitor and repair potholes, remove snow, ice, and water from property, and remove obstructions.
- Install Welcome Mats. Not only do entrance mats welcome guests to your property, they can also provide an important first line of defense against slips by removing moisture from your guests’ footwear.
Disclaimer — Content is general information only. Information is not provided as legal advice, nor does its publication create an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice on a specific matter, consult an attorney.