When you run a business, you have a lot of concerns every single day. There are concerns about sales, concerns about customer service, concerns about payroll, concerns about employee satisfaction, concerns about management quality and satisfaction, concerns about advertising, and many more. You’ve got a lot of bills to pay, checks to sign, and people to keep happy.
One other thing you should have on your mind, though, is whether your store is liable if someone hurts themselves in it.
It may sound far-fetched in some stores, and yet, all it would take is for a little water to leak from the sprinkler system above, or for someone to spill a drink, and for that to lead to a customer or employee slipping. Then, there you are, in the midst of a difficult case, arguing with insurance, and maybe even dealing with a lawsuit.
According to the law firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., you should add these concerns to your daily list to make sure you are protected from any liability if someone should injure themselves.
Slips and Falls: As discussed above, any spills that aren’t marked by a warning sign could lead to you being liable for someone slipping. Make sure employees know to clean up spills immediately and to post signs.
Negligent Security: If a crime is committed in your store, that’s bad enough, but if there is no security, and someone gets hurt, you may be liable for that, on top of everything else.
Dog Bites: If you have dogs on the premises make sure they are well trained and kept away from customers and employees who don’t know how to handle them.
Porch/Stair Collapse: Entrances to your store or any elevated areas that might collapse would be entirely on you as the property owner. Make sure everything has been well maintained.
Fires: If you don’t have adequate ways to fight fires and help people escape, that will be held against you later.
Lead Paint and Mercury: By now, you should know better about both of these. Replace lead paint immediately and make sure there is no mercury on the premises. It’s really best to avoid these two entirely if possible.
Swimming Pool Injuries: If you have a pool on your premises, make sure there are signs that clearly warn people that the surface can be wet and people can slip. Make sure all surfaces are slip-resistant to help avoid any injuries.
Most of these fixes can be done one time, but you should keep an eye out for any other potential causes of liability. As a business owner, one of your many responsibilities is to make sure your premises are as safe as possible for those who enter it. That means all customers and employees can expect that everything possible has been done to keep them safe.
If you follow the advice above, you’ll be well on your way to that goal.