The term "slip and fall" is very well known in compensation trial cases across the country. It is one of the main reasons for such claims to be made and is a cause of a lot of workplace injuries during each year. If you are an employer, you should be worried about this particular phrase and its consequences. It may be difficult for you to protect yourself completely from claims made in this area, but you can take certain steps to try and protect yourself going forward. How can you pay attention to this major challenge?
Who Is at Risk?
A slip and fall can occur anywhere and under any circumstances. It doesn't matter whether you are in charge of an office, school, a retail store in a shopping mall or elsewhere, you need to understand that a potential claim could be on the horizon. As such, you need to be sure that your housekeeping is carefully controlled, so that you do not create hazards and opportunities that could result in the fall.
Always ensure that you clean up any spills that could occur as quickly as possible and remove any debris that could be lying on the floor. You need very prominent and specially designed signage, to warn anyone that the floor beneath could be slippery.
In hot and humid Australia, you may need to ensure that your air conditioning system and ventilation are well maintained and working properly. It's easy for condensation to build up on tile floors if they aren't, which can create an obvious and very considerable slippage hazard.
Shining a Light
Make sure that all work areas are well illuminated. Always replace broken bulbs right away and repair any faulty electrical work or switches. Have a careful look at every walkway to ensure that no obstacles are sticking out (such as a rug or a loose cable).
If you have shiny surfaces at work, maybe you need to replace them or recoat them with a different material. Perhaps you should also install matting which is made for the purpose. Abrasive strips can be put down in particularly vulnerable areas, to help reduce the likelihood of a slip and fall injury.
Finally, make sure that all your employees are told to wear footwear that have anti-slip treatment, so that they can grip the floor sufficiently at all times. While you cannot, of course, dictate the type of shoes that your customers wear when they come in, you can nevertheless reduce your liability in this particular area.
If you feel that you are particularly exposed to this type of risk, or want further advice about compensation claims, get in touch with a compensation lawyer specialising in this field.Share
20 June 2017
I love watching legal dramas from all different countries. I often call up my friend who is a lawyer to ask her about whether the cases I have seen on the latest drama are realistic or if they wouldn't happen that way in Australia. It's so interesting to me to see the changes that they make to make the stories flow more convincingly as well as the differences between the law in Australian compared to other countries. This blog is for other fans of legal dramas like me and has some tips on the best places to get real legal advice (hint, it's not on the TV!).