Illinois business owners have a duty to keep guests on their premises safe from hazards all year round. In the winter months, they may have to work a little harder to keep their premises safe due to cold weather hazards like ice and snow. If they fail to do so, they may be held financially responsible for slip-and-fall accidents involving customers and staff.
To keep their employees safe during the winter months, business owners must follow federal safety regulations that are imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. There may also be state laws related to winter weather conditions that business owners must comply with. Depending on the lease agreement and the jurisdiction where a business is located, business owners can have different levels of responsibility for accidents that occur on their premises.
One of the most important ways that a business owner can prevent injuries is by placing caution signs near potential hazards. Even if slippery walkways are cleared of ice, caution signs may still be necessary in case more ice accumulates on the walkways. Business owners should pay close attention to areas where water is dripping because these will be the areas where ice will form on freezing cold days.
A person who has been injured after slipping on an icy parking lot or walkway controlled by a business may want to meet with an attorney who has experience with this type of premises liability litigation. The attorney can review the situation to see if the owner of the property was negligent in its duties. If so, the next step could be the filing of a lawsuit seeking appropriate damages.