Now that winter is in full swing, you are likely to encounter some slippery vestibules and wet floors inside your favorite grocery stores. If you are over the age of 65, though, you also have an increased risk of suffering a catastrophic injury in a slip-and-fall accident.
All shopowners have a legal duty to provide a reasonably safe place for their customers, vendors, employees and others. This duty includes ensuring floors do not pose a safety risk. Responsible store owners must exercise additional care during inclement weather, of course.
Regularly inspect floors
Employees should monitor the weather outside the store. If the parking lot is wet, slushy or icy, there is a good chance customers may carry moisture on their shoes into the store. Therefore, employees should regularly inspect floors for slip-and-fall risks. The following areas likely need specific attention:
- The parking lot
- The entryway
- The grocery section
- The frozen-food section
- The checkout stands
Post warning signs
Grocery store employees have many tasks they must accomplish during their shifts. If employees are too busy to clean up accumulated water immediately, they should post warning signs. These signs should be in a place where customers can see them before they step onto wet surfaces.
Remove the hazard
Finally, employees should remove the slip-and-fall hazard as quickly as possible. While some spills may require only a mop, others may need detergent or an absorbent chemical. Until the floor has dried completely, of course, warning signs should remain in place.
Grocery store employees may have to perform the above tasks dozens of times throughout the workday. Ultimately, if you sustain a serious injury because of an employee’s failure to address tracked-in water or spills, you may have a valid reason to seek financial compensation from the store’s owner.