Unfortunately, that assumption can be untrue under many circumstances. Each season poses its own group of risks. For spring, businesses, municipalities and homeowners need to be aware of multiple factors, including the damage winter left behind and the warmer, wet weather of the months ahead.
What should you prepare for?
While winter has ice, spring has water from multiple sources: melting snow and ice occurring from sudden high temperatures, rain, mud, moisture settling on rocks, hoses, paths and roads.
Additionally, while pedestrians often know to watch out for ice and other slippery surfaces in winter, spring tends to make people more carefree. As a result, someone walking on a sidewalk where a garden hose hasn’t been shut off is likely to experience an accident.
Once the weather warms up, the impact of winter becomes evident. Roads are covered in potholes, sidewalks have cracks through them and pavement appears uneven. Additionally, plows may have left dents here and there, while residual sand for better traction now adds debris to the roads.
Potholes in particular present the risks of pedestrians catching their foot, falling onto the pavement or, in more extreme instances, tripping into the hole. Uneven pavement presents a similar array of hazards, which can be concealed and further amplified by poor lighting.
Also, tree roots and weeds may grow through the cracks, adding a further dimension to the trip hazards you need to clean up.
What Can You Do?
As a business owner or someone who maintains his or her personal property, make sure you:
- Remove clutter from walkways, aisles and other high traffic areas
- Repair areas with torn, frayed or damaged materials
- Repair cracks in pavement
- Remove tree roots coming from under the pavement
- Make sure to add handrails and non-slip surfaces
- Lay out mats near entryways and near places where moisture may accumulate
- Have a procedure to address spills that involves cleaning up all liquids as quickly as possible
- Block off any areas where spills occurred
While businesses need to ensure their premises are safe for pedestrians, customers and clients, anyone walking through a parking lot, going into a store or visiting someone’s home further has a duty to behave with care and to heed all warnings.
Were you injured on someone’s property and think you might have a slip and fall claim? Work with Trantolo & Trantolo to hold that business or individual responsible. For any inquiries or to speak with a lawyer, give one of our locations a call today.