May 13, 2015 - Premises Liability

Floor mats used in commercial settings often receive little notice until something goes wrong. This is because most of us encounter commercial floor mats almost every day. They are used in convenience stores near entrances as well as underneath soda dispensers. Many restaurants also employ the use of mats in their kitchens and preparation areas. These mats help to provide no-slip traction in areas where frequent spills of liquids and other slippery substances frequently occur.

Despite their obvious advantages, improper placement and care of these commercial mats can create slip and fall hazards of their own. This is important because accidents involving slips, trips and falls represent the number one cause of insurance claims made by customers throughout the retail industry. These types of accidents are also one of several leading causes of employee accidents. Here are some tips that can make the use of commercial mats safer for everyone:

— Selecting the proper type of mat is important. A good match should have beveled edges and thick rubber backing to prevent rolling objects such as carts and dollies from bunching it up. Bunched mats can cause people walking over them to trip on the uneven surface.

— The amount of expected foot traffic should influence proper mat selection. A map that is at least five feet in length will usually have sufficient weight and size to remain secured to the floor under heavy foot traffic.

— Mats should be properly stored when not in use. Folding mats can create ridges or humps when removed from storage and placed onto the ground. Those uneven surfaces can sometimes create tripping hazards in an otherwise functional mat. It’s better to roll mats into a bundle when storing them.

Pennsylvania residents injured by an improperly placed or defective mat need to know about premises liability law. Without getting too technical, this legal theory means that property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care to remove hazards that might injure people allowed to come onto their property.

In other words, you may be able to sue a property owner if his or her negligent use of commercial mats caused you some injury. An attorney with experience in Pennsylvania’s premises liability laws can assist you in seeking a recovery to compensate you for your medical costs and any time that your injury may have prevented you from working.

Source: Argo Insurance-Grocers Insurance tip of the month, “Floor Mat Use and Placement,” accessed May. 13, 2015

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