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Businesses can take steps to prevent slip and fall accidents

Walking into a Schenectady store should not be dangerous, nor should shoppers be forced into an obstacle course to avoid running into a hazardous situation. When upstate New York businesses don't ensure a safe shopping experience for their customers and someone is injured, the customer can work with a slip and fall accident attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit.

There are certain steps that businesses can take, however, to create a safer environment for the people who are in their shops. One of the first is eliminating or minimizing slippery or wet surfaces. Nearly everyone has seen signs that say "Slippery When Wet," but businesses can do more than just putting a sign up. Someone can be responsible for picking up water or other liquids that spill on the floor. There can also be an active effort to remove any hazardous debris in parking lots, on sidewalks and in the areas surrounding a business.

Managers must also create a clear expectation that employees will clean up messes. It may be as simple as requiring whoever comes across something will pick it up and put it away or whoever creates some kind of mess will be responsible for cleaning it up. Or, there could be employees whose specific responsibilities are to maintain an orderly and obstacle-free store.

A slip and fall accident can be extremely serious and no one in Schenectady should be injured because a business or store owner failed to create simple plans to make the store safer. Sadly, there are many people who are injured in these kinds of accidents each year and they are responsible for nearly 9 million trips to the emergency room. They can also lead to lost wages and time off, costing approximately $36 billion each year.

Source: Coast River Business Journal, "5 tips to prevent slips, trips and falls at work and home," June 19, 2012

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