After the recent snowstorm, I found myself strolling down one of the main streets in Queens, NY on my way to a work appointment. I noticed a patch of ice on the sidewalk in front of one of the many buildings I passed on the way.
My first thought (of course, being in the insurance industry) was that this patch of ice- or anywhere else on the sidewalk for that matter- wasn’t salted at all. This obviously is a hazard, especially with the many elderly people walking around this neighborhood. I couldn’t help to wonder what kind of lawsuit this could turn into. Someone could get badly injured slipping on this ice.
Also, what many people don’t take into consideration is that ligaments, tendons, and muscles are more prone to tearing in frigid, cold weather. This is a catastrophe waiting to happen and more importantly, can be avoided!
Something as simple as putting down an ample amount of salt, or even breaking up the ice and sweeping it off the sidewalk, and then putting down salt will enable a safer walkway.
As I walked a few more blocks, I noticed a damaged area of a sidewalk. The sidewalk was severely cracked and lifted. This obviously is another hazard, as one can trip and badly hurt themselves. What is going on with these buildings neglecting the simple steps to ensure a safer environment?!
We at Mackoul Risk Solutions always suggest that property managers take care of their loss control recommendations (reduce the possibility that a loss will occur and reduce the severity of those that do occur). These are simple things that can be done to increase the chance to avoid lawsuits, especially in this sue-happy culture we live in!
Stay safe everyone, and let me know if you have any questions.