When it comes to a business’ liability, customer safety can be a muddled area. If someone enters a place of business and is injured, who is at fault? In court, it can be tricky for a business to prove that its establishment had no part in an accident, and an injured plaintiff may be able to point out certain circumstances that suggest negligence on an owner’s part. The following are guidelines for how you can help ensure your customers’ safety and protect yourself from frivolous claims.
While you probably already keep your business premises clean and orderly, it’s a good idea to document what you do. The physical condition of your building should also be taken into account. Is the floor missing tiles? Are there unseen protruding edges? Any defect can be used against you, no matter how small or insignificant you think it is.
Have an employee walk through your building and make sure he or she records any risks, what actions were taken to resolve them and the time at which they took place. Having this documentation, if your company is taken to court for an incident, will show your honest attempt to mitigate safety risks.
If you know something is likely to cause harm or problems, get ahead of it. For example, this could mean putting “Caution” signs on wet floors or banning food and drinks to avoid spills.
Also, monitor areas where customers have access, including merchandise displays they may interact with. For example, if you have heavy boxes stacked high or large items on a top shelf, consider how you could readjust these items to lessen the risk of customers injuring themselves. If you cannot rearrange your merchandise, make sure a sign is clearly displayed that advises customers to seek help from an employee.
Even if you have taken every precaution to ensure safety, it is a good idea to have a professional examine your property for any problems you might not have noticed. Also, contact your Warren G. Bender Co. representative to learn more about what you can do to prevent injuries—and lawsuits.