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Watch out for hazards at retail stores

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2024 | Slip-and-Fall Accidents

Retail stores are often bustling with customers shopping for goods and services. However, amidst the aisles and checkout counters, hidden hazards can pose risks to unsuspecting patrons. Responsible shoppers can take steps to protect themselves. One of the most important is to simply be aware of these dangers. Some of the more common include the following.

Slip-and-fall risks

Accidental spills of food, chemicals, or liquids can turn a routine shopping trip into a perilous situation. Unmarked wet areas can lead to slip-and-fall accidents. Although we know accidents happen, we expect shop owners to prioritize checking for and promptly cleaning any spills. Shop owners must take step to ensure a safe and spill free walkway through the store.

Falling objects

Items precariously stacked on shelves can tumble unexpectedly, endangering customers. Whether a jar of pickles or a plush toy, falling objects pose a real threat. Excessive inventory can pose similar issues, straining shelves and causing items to topple onto unsuspecting shoppers.

Navigational hazards

Shopping involves getting through the store to access the merchandise. Ideally, the retailer has aisles that are easy for customers to navigate and free of hazards. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Poorly placed merchandise or cluttered aisles can obstruct main pathways and customers may trip or collide with obstacles. Loose mats can curl up and create tripping hazards. Either can result in serious injuries to patrons.

Outside the store

There are areas around the store that are essential for customer use. Parking lots, for example, are required for shoppers to park their vehicle and access the store. Poor lighting, inadequate signage, and uneven surfaces can lead to accidents.

Store owners must also prepare for and mitigate the risk of accidents related to seasonal changes. Weather changes affect parking lots and sidewalks with snow, ice, or rain exacerbating hazards.

Property owners bear the responsibility for maintaining safe premises. Although patrons can reduce the risk of becoming a victim through awareness and precautionary measures, accidents that cause serious injury to customers can still happen. Retail store owners who neglect such hazards can be held accountable through a premises liability, or slip-and-fall, claim. This can lead to financial compensation for the victim to help cover the cost of medical treatment while also holding the store owner responsible for their failure to provide a safe environment for customers.