Having a floor maintenance program is essential for any commercial property owner in California. Otherwise, they will only put employees and clients at a higher risk for slips, trips and falls. These accidents are already the number one cause of workers' compensation claims, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. And over two million fall-related injuries every year are directly related to floors and flooring materials.
Property owners will first of all need to know what areas are most hazardous. There are four to be especially concerned with: the lobby, breakroom (or cafeteria), piping and roofing. Lobbies can become full of tracked-in snow and rainwater, while the smooth flooring in breakrooms can contribute to a slip and fall when foods and beverages are spilled. Old and worn pipes and roofs can leak water.
Slippery surfaces and debris are two prominent causes of slip, trip and fall accidents, but they are not the only ones. Torn or loose carpeting can pose a safety risk. Entrants may be injured if employers forget to put out warning signs.
Staff should be properly trained on floor inspection and cleaning methods. Matting could be used to absorb liquids, and there are adhesive-backed mats that can prevent the mat from moving. The program should also incorporate root cause analysis.
Lawful entrants who use a property safely and reasonably and yet are injured may have a case under premises liability law. It all depends on how the owner was negligent and how that negligence can be linked to the accident. Preparing a premises liability claim may best be undertaken with a lawyer, especially since it can be hard to gather proof of negligence on one's own. It may also prove beneficial to have the lawyer strive for an out-of-court settlement.