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Retail: Minimising customer injury risk

Customer personal injury claims can be costly and very damaging to a retail establishment’s reputation. At a glance, customers are more at risk for accidents than employees for three main reasons: customers expect the store to be safe, groups like children and the elderly are predisposed to injury and customers do not receive safety training. It’s crucial for you to mitigate liability risks on-site by taking steps to prevent injury.

Your liability

You are legally required to maintain safe premises for your customers. This includes the duty to warn customers of non-obvious, dangerous conditions on-site, to use ordinary care in active operations in the business and to make reasonable inspections to discover dangerous conditions and mitigate them. Most customer accidents are preventable, so it is important to take steps to make your facility safer and less exposed to the risk of customer injury.

Common injuries

  • Slips and falls as a result of wet floors, torn carpets, poor lighting or escalators.
  • Head and body injuries from falling objects, retail displays, out-of-reach objects or other mishaps.
  • Shopping trolley injuries due to the trolley tipping.
  • Overcrowding injuries, such as trampling.
  • Car park injuries as a result of cracked, improperly designed lots or failure to remove ice or snow.

Methods of prevention

  • Identify high-risk areas on-site and set up an employee inspection schedule to mitigate hazards.
  • Install cameras to monitor for dangerous conditions and provide proof for any claim.
  • During severe weather conditions, take care of dangerous surface situations promptly.
  • Ensure proper lighting in all areas of the store, and check on a regular basis that all bulbs are functioning. Document your inspections.
  • Ensure that displays are stable, and always put heavy items near the bottom of shelves.
  • Properly maintain and inspect shopping trolleys, and discard those that present a risk of tipping.
  • Control crowds, especially during busy seasons or large sale events, through physical methods.
  • Design car parks to avoid injury. Repave, repair and check for hazardous conditions regularly. Document these inspections.

Detecting fraud

Criminal accident teams can stage injuries, targeting several businesses in the same area. This fraud could cost you millions of pounds in unwarranted pay-outs.

Transfer risk

Liability insurance addresses the cost of legal damages and claims up to policy limits. Work with Inspire Risk Management to design the liability package that fits your business—you will be able to select from a wide range of cover options that you can tailor for your unique needs. For a quote, please call us on 01925 711500 or fill in our online quote form.

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