Now that the peak of the winter season has arrived, multiple businesses are placing more effort towards decreasing the amount of ice and snow on their property. One slip could be all it takes to get involved in a serious personal injury lawsuit. Customer slip and falls are one of the most frequent and costly liability claims most small businesses experience.
Some industries will have a harder time making their properties safer than others. In recent years, the retail industry has been struggling with a large amount of slip and fall hazards that endanger both the workers and the customers. Arguably the biggest threat to Pennsylvania shoppers is the grocery store with how often everyone goes to it and the amount of fall hazards already present before winter. It is important to be aware of the most common areas that people will likely slip in when they make their weekly trip.
The parking lot
Grocery store parking lots are massive, leaving plenty of room for an accident to take place. It can be difficult for the property owners to leave no trace of snow and ice on the premises. While there are plenty of obstacles going inside, it is when a customer is leaving that the roads become significantly more dangerous. You may have a difficult time seeing hazards when you are carrying multiple grocery bags or pushing a large cart against the slippery roads and the wind.
You should develop safer strategies for navigating the grounds during the winter. If you are shopping with someone else, you might want to have the other person stay near the entrance with the food while you get the car and park closer to the entrance or vice-versa. You can also check to see if the store has any assistance on standby to help carry the groceries to the vehicle and decrease the chances of falling.
The entrance and beyond
The danger doesn’t disappear when you enter inside the building. Grocery stores often have mats near the entrance for shoppers to dry their shoes from the street, but no one’s going to get all the water off from a couple of stomps on the carpet. Even if you did a good job of doing so, plenty of people just do a few stomps before taking their wet shoes onto the non-carpeted floor. While their wet foot prints could be found in multiple areas, you should be guaranteed to spot at least one wet floor sign when you are entering.
Even when you are past the two most dangerous areas, be wary of the rest of the premise in case one customer didn’t do a good job of drying their feet, some of the store workers are running in and out of the building or there is a potential spill near the produce isle. Cash registers can also be very slippery areas since every shopper is guaranteed to walk over there no matter how much they are purchasing.
Grocery stores are often common businesses to receive personal injury lawsuits due to how much hazards they present and how many ways employees do not prepare customers for the dangers within. If you or a loved one suffer a fall injury at a grocery store due to an oversight by the workers, you may wish to seek professional legal assistance with handling the matter.