Slips, Trips, and Falls Season is Upon Us – Is Your Business Ready?

By February 9, 2018Insurance
Wet-Floor

I Have to Admit Something I’m Not Proud of…

If you’re like me, you’ve found yourself scrolling through the news feed of your preferred social media outlet(s) when suddenly you stop to watch a “fail compilation” of people falling. If you ask my wife, she will tell you I stop and watch these more than most. I’m well aware it’s a little bit sinister to get a laugh at another’s expense. I don’t know these people though, so it’s okay right?! I do trust that they are all okay…and any time I have a fall of my own, I can share a good laugh about it with others… That is after I’ve picked myself and my dignity off the ground! The featured image for this post is some tongue in cheek humor for a type of accident that costs businesses millions (if not hundreds of millions) of dollars a year.

DID YOU KNOW? Slips, trips, and falls are the LEADING cause of general workplace accidents and injuries. As the weather starts to cool, and temperatures dip below freezing, these accidents become even more prevalent.

10 Ways to Reduce Slips, Trips, and Falls

In this blog post, I’ll look at 10 ways to reduce slips, trips, and falls this winter season, specifically for restaurants. I developed this list for restaurants specifically because the amount of “foot traffic” in and out of these types of businesses is heavier than most. My list was developed off an article originally authored by Denny Jacob of Property and Casualty 360. If you aren’t in the restaurant business, I recommend Denny’s article a read here.

Without further ado, restaurant owners and managers, here is the list!

  1. Sidewalks and Entryways – This is where it all starts. Make sure these areas are clean (snow removed) and clear of clutter.
  2. Lighting – As our days get “shorter”, adequate lighting is crucial leading up to, and within, your restaurant.
  3. Signs – Whether it be “wet floor” or “watch your step”, a sign alerts your patrons to “be careful” and is great ammunition against a possible lawsuit (unfortunately).
  4. Stairways and Handrails – These are common places people fall. I can think of a handful of restaurants in Broad Ripple alone where their restroom is up or down a flight of stairs. Really good lighting and non-stick paint or anti-slip strips are a must!
  5. Footwear – This is especially important for employees. Make sure shoes have proper traction.
  6. Friends in “High Places” – This is a play on words off of the Garth Brooks’ song (bad joke, I know). Have a step stool or ladder available for grabbing that top shelf liquor – it can prevent a nasty fall and …wasted spirits.
  7. Cords – Even if you want the best holiday lighting display, make sure electrical, and other, cords are managed and out of the way of your employees and patrons.
  8. Floor Conditions – Cracks and holes, inside or out, are major hazards. Now is the time to repair these before it’s too cold and the concreted won’t settle.
  9. Matts and Rugs – Throw down a matt or rug that is “non-skid”, especially in and around entryways.
  10. Spills – Clean these up immediately! …and, you guessed it, make sure to put a sign up after cleaning it up.

I encourage your restaurant management and staff to use this list to take an inventory of how “fall proof” your restaurant is. Taking these preventative and proactive steps will help prevent one from having to use your insurance policy this winter!

About the Author

Located in the heart of Broad Ripple, our agency is focused on being the premier agency for supporting the vibrant food and beverage industry in Broad Ripple and across Central Indiana. Contact our agent, Chad Miller (chad@millerinsurancegrp.com or 317.869.9180), for a policy review and to hear more about the coverage discussed.