Business owners in Georgia have a responsibility to keep the inside and outside areas of the business free from anything that clients or employees can slip or trip on. When someone does fall and hurt themselves, the owner may be liable for injuries depending on the specific situation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the most common causes of slips and falls are rugs, snow, ice, loose mats, ladders, spills and rain. Areas where the lighting is poor or there is clutter on the ground can also cause accidents. Some of the injuries that occur due to these hazards include:
- Strains and sprains
- Broken bones
To prevent unnecessary slips and falls, owners of a business should make sure they maintain both the outside and inside entrance, especially during inclement weather conditions. This includes shoveling, putting up 'wet floor' signs, mopping up puddles of water regularly and clearing ice off sidewalks and stairs. The lobby, stairs and walkways should remain clear of debris and tripping hazards. Owners should also install and maintain handrails on outdoor and indoor staircases.
FindLaw states that while owners may be liable for slips and falls when they involve negligence, they are not liable for obvious conditions such as a flight of stairs or brick wall. However, they must repair or put up warning signs pertaining to latent dangers such as a loose stair or hole in the floor. Business owners may also not be liable if someone gets hurt while not following the safest path, such as taking an unauthorized route to enter or exit the building.