Every New Jersey business has a duty to prevent slips, trips and falls on its property. Potentially liable parties following such an accident at a business could include the business owners, property owners and property managers of the premises. Fortunately, there are certain things that these parties can do to prevent injurious accidents.
To minimize slip and fall risks on any property, first you need to know what causes these accidents:
Know what causes slips: When someone slips, it's merely the result of not having sufficient friction and traction between the person's feet and the floor. As such, anything that reduces friction -- such as wetness, ice, dust, sand unanchored mats and oily floors -- and creates a slipping risk.
Know what causes trips: When someone trips, it's merely the result of an object getting in the way of the person's feet. The object usually interferes with the person's walking and causes him or her to lose balance. As such, anything that can get in the way of someone's feet -- such as open drawers, ripped carpet, broken stairs, clutter in a pathway and other items -- can result in a trip.
Preventative steps to reduce slip and fall risk:
- Clean spills immediately and place a warning sign if the area is still wet.
- Keep walking areas free of clutter.
- Always close drawers and cabinets.
- Cover up cords and cables that could trip people.
- Keep areas well lit by replacing light bulbs.
- Don't use slippery floor mats or rugs.
- Fix old, worn out carpeting.
- Require workers to wear slip-free shoes.
Adhering to the above advice will help prevent unnecessary slips, trips and falls. However, there is no way to guarantee that such accidents won't happen. Ultimately, if a property owner misses an important slip and fall risk, he or she could be liable to pay for the medical costs and other financial damages incurred by someone who slips and falls as a result.