More Management, Less Liability: Providing Pedestrian Safety on Your Business Property

You love your customers. They keep the lights on and the cash flowing. But, did you know there’s a safety concern that’s lurking under the surface? Most business owners aren’t aware of it, but it’s there, waiting to bankrupt them. Here are the most common problems, and what you can do to fix them.

Icy Patches and Slippery Surfaces

Ice melting products are important if you live in the northeast or midwest U.S. According to, a Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer, making sure that icy patches are dealt with promptly is a good way to reduce your liability and risk of negligence. Entrance areas should be kept clear and ice-free so that customers and employees don’t slip and fall. Common areas where this becomes a concern include ADA ramps and small ramps that lead from sidewalks to the parking lot.

Ultimately, you want to de-ice the area and clear the snow and ice manually.

Shortcuts and Dumpster Areas

Keep your customers and pedestrians safe by clearing sidewalks for them during the winter. But, in the spring,  summer, and fall, make sure that shortcut areas are mowed and that the path isn’t obstructed. Make sure that pedestrians are kept away from dumpster areas by discouraging them from having to pass by them to enter your store.

Treat unofficial walkways like any other pedestrian crossing area — make sure that they’re safe to walk on.

Soil Compaction Problems

Sometimes, there will be areas of your property where the soil hasn’t been properly prepared or finished. And, because of this, there’s an inherent danger if someone walks on it. Poor soil compaction can impact paved surfaces, even long after they’ve been laid down. You or your customers can be at risk and not even know it.

A professional can come in a do a site analysis, but you won’t always know that you need one. And, rather than go hunting for problems, most business owners simply wait for something to happen. You can prevent this from becoming a serious problem by making sure you carry sufficient liability insurance and doing what you can to maintain the property.

Cutting Corners

Never cut corners. And, if you know that a construction job was done cheaply, it might benefit you to pay to have it done again. If you were the one that originally paid for the job, then you might want to ask the contractor to come back and to another (better) job.

For example, if handrails were installed improperly, you will want these reinstalled.

Overgrown Bushes

These become an issue when your landscaping is improperly done or not maintained. It can cause harm to pedestrians if it causes a visibility issue to the entrance or if steps are concealed and someone falls because of it. Plants and bushes that are installed when the landscaping is first done often look great. But, they become a problem if they’re planted too close to the building. They can attract insects and even damage the foundation or the main part of the building. Have them moved away from the building.

Evan Dennis is an independent retailer who enjoys writing business articles in her spare time; the type that can help other small business owners.

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