Prevent Slip and Fall Injuries This Winter

Prevent Slip and Fall Injuries This WinterJanuary welcomes us with snowstorms and plenty of ice. Careless maintenance on your property can lead to trips, slips, and falls; potentially causing major injury to your customers and workers. One of the most common personal injury lawsuits is a slip and fall lawsuit. Most slip and fall accidents are often relatively straightforward in terms of liability; the fault usually lies with the owner of the land or building. Slip and fall injuries can be avoided with the proper preparation.

Slip and Fall Conditions

The conditions below are examples of where slip and fall injuries can occur and how property owners can be held reliable for such claims.

Ice or Snow

In Worcester, the property owners are responsible for keeping the sidewalk in front of and adjacent to their property clear of snow and ice. If the owner provides snow or ice removal and negligently doesn’t keep up with maintenance, they can be found at fault. To get more clarity around the local laws of snow removal in Worcester, review The City of Worcester Snow Removal.

The property owner can be liable for accidents when:

  1. The sloping surface of the parking lot creates puddles from melted ice. Then it refreezes into ice patches.
  2. Ice accumulates on the roof, melts and drips off because of a clogged drain, then refreezes on the ground.

Parking Lots

Parking lot owners must maintain the lot and keep it safe for people to use. They can prevent slip and falls by filling in any holes, cracks, or fixing the height difference from one section of the lot to another. Sometimes the height difference is so radical instead of gradual that this can cause tripping or slip and fall injuries.


A property owner is not responsible for injuries from a slip and fall on public sidewalks located outside the business property: this is owned and maintained by the town. A scenario where the property owner would be held liable is when a private sidewalk has a lot of foot traffic coming to and from the business. It’s important to salt the sidewalk to rid any ice or block off an unsafe area for no one to use.

Inadequate Outdoor Lighting

Poor lighting on the property can cause many trips, slips and fall injuries since customers and workers cannot visibly see where the hazardous condition is. Poorly lit parking lots, curbing, steps and stairs, uneven surfaces are where the injuries can occur. The property owner can be held liable if they should have known there was poor lighting and failed to fix and maintain the situation.

Reduce Slip and Fall Injuries

Follow these steps to ensure your property is safe for customers and workers inside and outside:

  1. Use slip-resistant floor mats or treatments (especially in areas proven to be icy or wet).
  2. Periodically conduct walkthroughs of the premises to ensure property is kept in a safe condition.
  3. Have spill cleanup supplies readily available.
  4. Entry areas outside and inside of the property are maintained.
  5. Investigate incidents and document findings if an accident occurs.
  6. Make sure lighting systems covering parking lots and siding are checked regularly.
  7. Eliminate unauthorized walkways using hazard tape or barriers.

A little preparation on your property goes a long way. Slip and fall injuries can cost a business greatly including an increase in worker’s comp costs, lost productivity, and even a lawsuit. At TJ Woods, our specialists can provide you with the proper business owner’s or property and liability insurance to protect you and your property. Contact us today!