It is quite common to encounter the flashy-yellow caution signs that are placed on wet surfaces in shopping centres, business centres, schools, marketplaces and in similar crowded areas. Many might believe that this is a simple warning made by the business to their customers in order to mark the hazardous area. However, the impact of these simple yet effective signs are quite surprising as the majority of the accidents that occur in public places are to due slip and fall accidents on slippery surfaces. Although such accidents are very common, taking a hit to your head after a slip and fall can lead to permanent damages. For this reason, the benefits of these caution signs are beyond expectations both for the visitors and businesses. For the visitor, being aware of the risk is what can prevent adverse situations; and for the business, warning the visitor about the danger is a sufficient method to avoid liability in case something unfavourable happens.
Warning the visitors about the risks is the duty of the business
Under the laws, businesses such as supermarkets, shopping malls, cafeterias, bakeries, businesses that serve in the food sector and any other businesses serve in their own places owe the same duty to their visitors. This duty is to prevent any harm to their visitors. Harm can occur either by hazardous objects such as misplaced business equipment and lightings or by the products being served to the customers.
Whilst running a business, the team in charge of the business place should evaluate the potential risk factors that can lead to accidents of any kind. Such as the coffee bars in the coffee houses, the restrooms in the restaurants, general security flaws in kindergartens or in schools and the visual elements in crowded places such as shopping centres.
A large proportion of accidents that occur in places are slip and fall accidents. However, the conclusion might not be as simple as it sounds. Every year, many victims suffering permanent injuries due to similar accidents make a compensation claim to recover their loss as it is defined as their rights. And on a similar occasion, if the business fails to perform their duties –which is to provide safety-, the business will be liable for the harm.
Food poisoning outbreaks and devastating results for mega-companies
For the last few years, with the increasing usage of the internet on daily basis, we’ve seen much news on E. coli and Salmonella outbreaks which concluded in catastrophic fines to the companies liable. Many well-known Foodchain’s’ reputations were seriously damaged, and the compensation paid to the families of the victims was beyond imagination.
Laws enforce the businesses to provide their services in a sense of responsibility as diseases like Salmonella and E. coli can lead to permanent injuries, especially to those with weaker immune systems and the younger. The same laws apply to businesses on smaller scales. Every business is expected to follow the necessary care standards. The product being served to the customer should be in flawless condition.
Burn injuries are unignorable hazards for the visitors
Flame shows can go horribly wrong. Recently, a famous steakhouse was charged with a serious public liability claim when the visitors suffered major burns on their bodies due to a totally unnecessary show. The same danger is almost always involved in coffee houses and in restaurants. However, other than the ‘’flame shows’’, restaurants and coffee shops can simply warn their customers either as a verbal notice, or by labelling their products, such as the ones we see on paper cups in world-famous coffee chains.
Under the laws, the visitors’ and customers’ safety and wellbeing are the responsibility of the business. Either by slipping and falling on a slippery surface or by being food poisoned, if this duty is breached, the business will be liable for covering the loss.