Massachusetts weather in February is often unpredictable, sunny and in the 40s one day and below freezing with rain and snow the next, making injuries as the result of falling on ice more likely. A hard landing on the slick surface can result in a broad range of injuries from bumps and bruises to sprains and fractures. Consequences of back and spinal injuries may include missed work and costly medical bills. If you fall on ice as a result of negligence by a business owner, you may have grounds for a claim. 

According to Society Insurance, employers and property managers can take these steps that minimize the slip and fall risk to customers and employees. 

Identify areas prone to a freeze and thaw cycle. Parking lots, steps, areas where people congregate and similar spots on the property may be wet during the late morning and afternoon but freeze when the sun goes down, and temperatures drop. Check the condition of the ground in these hazardous spots and salt or sand them more frequently. 

Have a snow and ice removal and treatment plan. This can include the following: 

  • A schedule for shoveling, plowing and salting before the business opens for the day 
  • Designating a foul weather employee entrance and ensuring it remains clear of hazards 
  • A written agreement if using a contractor that details a schedule and treatment locations 
  • An up-to-date log of the prevention activity, place and time of day 
  • Post signs that indicate customers and employees take extra care in certain areas. 

Walk the property during a rainstorm and look for potential problem spots. If downspouts direct water toward common travel paths, either by car or pedestrian, redirect the flow. 

Business owners and property managers without an appropriate winter safety plan may leave themselves open for a claim if you sustain severe injuries as a result. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.