Supermarkets turn to tech to reduce trips, slips and falls

Falls are the top cause of injury-related insurance claims for supermarkets in West Virginia and across the U.S. As a result, many local and national chains are turning to technology to ensure customers remain safe and upright while visiting their stores.

to insurance experts, all kinds of hazards can cause supermarket customers to slip, trip or fall, including spills, floor mats and discarded coupons or flyers. To mitigate these risks, most stores regularly mop up messes, replace slip-resistant mats and coat their floors with slip-resistant treatments. In addition, many stores also utilize risk assessment technology that uses sensors and other devices to analyze hazards in real-time and mitigate them before they cause an injury.

For example, a platform called Argo Risk Tech uses technology to collect data from the floors of supermarkets, including how often employees walk around the store looking for hazards. It also helps employees immediately photograph any spills and identify witnesses to the incident. This data is cross-referenced with insurance loss claims, which helps Argo spot trends and make store-specific recommendations regarding safety. The system can significantly reduce the time and cost required to address safety issues.

Supermarkets and other retail stores are required to maintain a safe environment for customers. Individuals who suffer slip and fall accidents in a store may have grounds to take legal action against the retailer. For instance, if an attorney determines that a dangerous property condition led to a victim's injuries, he or she may recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit to collect damages. This type of suit could help the victim obtain a settlement that covers medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.

Source: Insurance Business America, "Keeping supermarket risks in check is a slippery business," Alicja Grzadkowska, Aug. 31, 2018

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