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Property owners overlook common danger to consumers

Businesses and non-profits in California can suffer or even go under due to dangerous property conditions. A survey by an authority on slip risks shows that many property owners and managers are not aware of common risk areas in their facilities. The survey also found that a common method of addressing fall risks can actually make the problem worse.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics consistently found that slip-and-fall accidents are the leading category of injuries on the job. Anecdotally, it is well known that businesses failing to address slippery areas used by customers are at risk of premises liability lawsuits. The survey by New Pig showed that businesses routinely fail to recognize the number risks. In one example, nearly half of respondents claimed to have less than three risk areas for a same-level fall. However, survey results showed over 10 risk areas.

Making matters worse is that one of the most common responses, rubber-backed mats on slippery floors, can create dangerous property conditions. Almost 15 percent of respondents found that wrinkling of these secondary surfaces turned them into a primary risk for trip and fall. Patrolling floor mats is important, yet many property managers failed to place them in customer walkways even after customers experienced falls in the area.

Visitors to businesses and other public locations in California have a reasonable expectation of safety from dangerous property conditions. Prevention of slip-and-fall accidents requires that property owners and managers take the time to study the inherent risks of their facilities and address those risks. When residents are injured due to failure to repair known hazards, or at least warn of them, it can result in medical costs, lost wages and other financial burdens. An attorney with experience handling premises liability cases may be able to help victims recover their damages.

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