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Business owners and winter safety

Many West Virginia residents make their own homes safer in the wintertime by shoveling snow and checking walkways for ice. Business owners also have a responsibility to remove ice and snow where people will be walking. If a business owner fails to make their premises safe during cold weather conditions, employees and customers could get injured and potentially file a lawsuit.

Slippery ice is involved in about 30 percent of the slip-and-fall workplace injury claims that are filed each year. Business owners can prevent these kinds of accidents in the winter by checking for leaking water that could turn to ice when it freezes. Leaks should be repaired, ice should be cleared and potentially slippery areas should be marked with large caution signs. Business owners may also want to use non-slip products to melt ice in parking lots.

During the winter, business owners must remember that employees and customers may track in ice and snow from outside. Rugs should be placed at entrances so that people can wipe their shoes, and tile floors should be checked regularly for water. While addressing safety concerns in the winter, a business owner should also educate their staff about winter safety and point out potentially hazardous areas on the property.

If a person is injured in a slip-and-fall accident involving an icy floor or walkway, the person may choose to file a personal injury claim against the business owner or property owner. An attorney may assist an injured person with the process of filing a premises liability claim by determining what parties are liable for the accident. After the liable parties are identified, an attorney may compile evidence of the damages so that the victim can pursue financial compensation.

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