A routine shopping trip can end up with an avoidable injury. But property owners have the duty to prevent, fix or warn about hazards that can injured customers. These are some the steps store owners should take.
Visual inspections can help prevent retail customer injuries and premises liability lawsuits. Inspections can identify uneven flooring, slips that may lead to a slip and fall, or tripping hazards such as boxes or other items placed in the wrong place. Inspections should help assure that spills are immediately mopped up and clutter is removed.
Inadequate lighting may cause accidents and crime. It increases the possibility for tripping because it harder to see objects on the floor. Adequate lighting is especially important in the store’s front end and stock rooms.
Shoplifting and other crimes that threaten customers and employees may occur. Owners can help prevent crimes by installing a security alarm system, placing surveillance cameras in different store areas, and having a security guard who can monitor the store during business hours.
Over the last two years, air quality has become a more significant issue for all structures. But retail stores are often in malls and other buildings that have no windows that may be opened if the store needs aired out. When there is improper or inadequate ventilation, air in retail stores may collect mold, fungus, bacteria, or vapors from the products used at the location.
Stores should have a mechanical system that cycles in fresh outdoor air and circulates it. This should include the main floor area and back rooms. Systems should be regularly inspected to assure that they are functioning properly or need servicing.
Exposed lighting from computers or lighting, open flames in a store display, improper chemical storage in a storage room or combustible materials placed near a heat source are among the most serious fire hazards which should be eliminated. Fire extinguishers should be placed throughout the store which should be inspected regularly. Employees also need training in their use.
Employees with first-aid training can manage many emergencies such as using the Heimlich maneuver to aid a chocking customer or clean and bandaging a wound. First aid supplies should be kept for emergencies.
Slip and fall and other injuries at a store can be serious and costly. Attorneys can help accident victims obtain evidence and pursue compensation.