[fa icon="calendar"] 10.12.2016 / by Joseph Mendez
As part of the commercial real estate industry, you have probably heard the term “risk management” a lot. What you might not be aware of, though, is how frequently and unpredictably incidents can happen on your property. In fact, the services, wholesale, and retail industries are responsible for 60% of slip and fall accidents. These accidents frequently occur in areas such as:
- Lobby entrances,
- Stairs and ramps,
- Areas with lots of condensation,
So what can you, as a landlord, do to prevent these types of incidents on your property?
Check the Flooring
Make sure you are using the right type of flooring for different areas of the building. For example, laminate or wood flooring is more likely to result in an accident if it gets wet than ceramic tile or carpet would. Be conscious of the differences between surface types and use them appropriately.
You also want to make sure that all flooring has been properly installed and there are no uneven surfaces. Carpeting can ripple over time and cause people to trip. Likewise, uneven tiles can catch footwear and lead to more incidents as well.
Perform Regular Inspections
The property needs to be inspected on a regular basis either by the landlord, property manager, or maintenance crew. Look for issues with the flooring, leaking pipes, and even the wiring. Problems like poor lighting, blocked doorways, uneven surfaces, broken tiles, etc. need to be addressed as quickly as possible. Each inspection needs to be documented and filed away so you are protected if there are future incidents.
Ensure Proper and Regular Maintenance
Different types of flooring require different chemicals for cleaning. Using the wrong product on the wrong surface can actually make it more slippery or sticky. Using the right product can increase traction and reduce the likelihood of a slip, trip, or fall.
Performing regular cleaning and maintenance will ensure that your building is kept in top condition. Dust mopping, wet mopping, and vacuuming should be done on a weekly basis, during off hours, at the very least.
Document Each Inspection and Cleaning
If you are not performing inspections yourself, insist that they are being properly documented so you can ensure they are taking place. This can be a quick checklist or a short written report detailing what actions have taken place. Not only will this help you to keep track of any irregularities and actions that are taking place, it can also be helpful during a lawsuit or when making insurance claims if an incident does take place on your property.
Preparation is Key
As a landlord, keeping tenants and guests safe on your property is necessary for the health of your business. Keeping your building up to code and properly documenting each inspection is the best way to keep everybody safe and protect yourself in case the is an incident.