Companies could avoid making business insurance claims following slips, trips and falls on their premises by taking early preventative measures.

Most businesses require some kind of liability insurance, and employer’s liability in particular is a legal requirement for any business that employs staff. Employer’s liability covers costs if your business needs to pay out should an employee have an accident at work and your business is held liable.

In addition, if your business comes into contact with the general public, it is vital to have an adequate public liability insurance policy which, among other things, protects your business in the event of the public being injured whilst on your property. This is even more vital in icy or slippery/wet conditions as the risk of slips and falls increases. Large settlements can come about from these types of accidents and if your business has inadequate cover, they can have a massive impact.

As well as ensuring adequate employee and public liability insurance in place, there are a number of measures that businesses can take to avoid these types of accidents in the first place:

Step 1:

Carry out a risk assessment by looking at the areas that may be used by employees or members of the public including:

• car parks
• smoking areas
• walkways – both employee and pedestrian
• entrances and exits from the building(s)

Step 2:

Monitor the weather and temperature in your area. The MET office and BBC Weather websites are good sources of up to date information, including warnings of ‘cold snaps’. Even if it is not icy, wet weather also carries the threat of slips and trips.

Step 3:

Train all employees on prevention of slips, trips and falls, and encourage them to actively identify and take action to report or remove risks themselves.

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) requires employers to ensure the health and safety of all employees and anyone who might be affected by their work. This includes taking steps to control slip and trip risks, and whilst we have identified that the winter months bring additional risks, employers should ensure they control, monitor and review these all year round.

By Jasmina