AT WORK: PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
Managers of residential and commercial property have both a personal and professional responsibility when it comes to slip, trip and fall hazards. From a personal perspective, property managers don’t want renters, customers or employees to hurt themselves due to a preventable slip or fall.
From a business perspective, property owners and managers must also be concerned with the possibility that a slip-and-fall injury on their property might instigate a lawsuit. If that’s the case, here are some general guidelines that property managers should consider.
THE SLIP-AND-FALL LIABILITY RISK
According to a recent article in Findlaw,
“In most cases, a person injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property must prove that the cause of the accident was a “dangerous condition,” and that the owner or possessor of the property knew of the dangerous condition.”
This suggests that for a property owner or manager to know of a dangerous condition, one of the following must be true:
- They created the hazardous condition;
- They knew of the hazardous condition and failed to mitigate it;
- They should have discovered the existence of the hazardous condition that caused the slip and fall.
What these criteria suggest is that if a property manager knows that a slip, trip or fall condition exists, or believes that environmental or other circumstances might have create such a hazard, the property manager has an obligation to mitigate the situation.
For example, if you’re a residential property manager of an apartment community or single building, you should assume that the outdoor wood steps leading from one floor to another will be hazardous when they are wet or covered with snow. It’s likely that the first step you’ll take to reduce the risk is to have your maintenance people remove the snow as quickly as practicable.
MITIGATING SLIP & FALL HAZARDS
A property manager or owner can further reduce their potential liability by investing in preventative solutions, like Handi-Treads Grit Tape, Grit Treads, rubber mats, Aluminum Treads, Aluminum Nosings, or other tools that improve traction over and above good maintenance practices.
Should a renter, visitor or vendor slip and fall on snowy steps, you’re required to defend yourself against a negligence lawsuit. The amount of effort and investment employed to mitigate the risk of snow on an outdoor wood step could be an important sign of how seriously you regarded your responsibility as owner or manager.
In this sense, investing in a permanent slip-and-fall solutions like Handi-Treads aluminum treads and nosings can help to insulate you from expensive negligence lawsuits, should someone be injured from a slip on your property.
THE HANDI-TREADS® SOLUTION
Handi-Treads are a non-slip safety product designed to prevent slip and fall injuries on common surfaces including stairs, ramps, and platforms. Their durable 100% aluminum construction withstands daily wear and tear experienced in typical residential and commercial environments. The Handi-Tread® never rusts, and never requires additional maintenance. It is easy to install on wood, concrete, and metal stair substrates. Once installed, the Handi-Tread® maintains its safety presence for decades – you won’t have to worry about replacing it. These treads eliminate a primary safety risk and allow you to spend more time focusing on other important issues. Browse our selection to find the right tread for your property.
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