Business owner shoveling snow to clear a sidewalk in order to prevent slip and falls in the workplace.

Protect your business property from slip and falls

What small business owners/landlords can do to help prevent slips, trips and falls and what to do if they happen.

As a property owner or landlord, you want to maintain a safe home or business for family, friends, employees and tenants. To reduce the potential for slip and fall accidents, you might want to consider the following safety tips:

General safety tips to prevent slips, trips and falls

  • Maintain adequate lighting around your business, in parking areas, on sidewalks and in stairways to make areas safer for customers. Commercial LED lights are typically recommended for businesses in order to provide additional security benefits.
  • Ensure gutters and downspouts don't drain water onto walkways or into parking areas. Water and puddles can easily lead to slips and can become icy if the temperature drops below freezing.
  • Quickly clean up any spills around your business. Conduct detailed inspections of the business work area on a regular basis. This includes the interior and exterior to quickly identify potential hazards. Post warning signs to alert employees, customers and guests about the hazard, while repairs or clean-up efforts are made.
  • Repair or replace torn carpets, rugs, loose or missing floor tiles or any other flooring materials.
  • Have a removal plan for snow and ice on sidewalks, stairs, parking areas and around dumpsters.
  • Always repair potholes or uneven surfaces in driveways and parking lots.

Safety tips for stairways, steps and ramps

  • Install handrails on stairways and ramps in accordance with local building codes.
  • Ensure handrails are stable and securely fastened.
  • Consider using nonslip surfaces, such as carpet, on stairs.

Walkways and lawn areas

  • Repair uneven surfaces, large cracks or bumps in the sidewalk.
  • Remove obstructions from walkways, such as ladders and other maintenance equipment.
  • If there is a lawn sprinkler system, turn it off and drain the system when the temperature nears freezing. If you don't, the pipes can freeze, create leaks and icy patches.

Other important safety tips

  • Make sure to have a manager on duty whenever possible.
  • Post emergency phone numbers.
  • Keep emergency kits handy and stocked .
  • Investigate and keep a record of incidents, including who was involved, dates and circumstances. Management should review all incident reports.
  • Select adequate insurance coverage in the event an accident occurs.
  • Provide slip-and-fall safety training to your employees.
  • Have an accident prevention plan in place.

What to do if a customer is injured

  • First of all, if the customer's injury warrants it, seek medical attention for the person. Allow medical and emergency personnel to take care of the injured person.
  • Gather important information, like name and contact phone number of the person that suffered the fall. Also, collect other details like the time and place of the incident. If possible, take pictures of the exact location where it happened.
  • If you and/or the person who suffered the accident determine a claim is needed, promptly contact your insurance company. Follow their process to document the claim accurately, in a timely manner.

Talk with a State Farm® agent today to learn more loss control tips for your business and Small Business Insurance.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

State Farm Fire and Casualty Company
Bloomington, IL

State Farm General Insurance Company
Bloomington, IL

State Farm Florida Insurance Company
Winter Haven, FL

State Farm Lloyds
Richardson, TX

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