2017-07-11 Press Releases
For Immediate Release
Toronto ON—Slip and falls can result in serious injury. A sudden increase in these types of claims has prompted Ecclesiastical Insurance to direct clients to risk control measures to mitigate this risk. Slip and falls can be prevented with a vigilant inspection program and by taking proactive steps to reduce the hazards.
There are legal obligations that any organization’s management should be aware of. Ontario’s “Occupier’s Liability Act” places the onus on the property owner to ensure safe conditions for visitors. Similar legislation exists in many other Canadian provinces. If someone is injured on your property, you must be prepared to demonstrate that an appropriate standard of care was provided. The following criteria are generally applied:
- was the danger foreseeable;
- was the occupier’s conduct in accordance with acceptable standards;
- was there an adequate system of inspection in place and being carried out;
- was the danger permitted to remain for an unreasonable amount of time;
- the ease with which the danger could have been prevented.
Slip and fall occurrences are most common in winter due to slippery ice and snow conditions; however, the unusually wet spring and early summer experienced across large parts of Canada also present hazards due to uneven and/or slippery surfaces.
Tips to Help Keep Your Property Safe
- Regularly inspect the property and flooring, identify problem areas, promptly repair damaged areas and clean up spills. Document inspections and repairs using checklists and a log book to provide necessary records proving that reasonable action was taken to maintain the property in a safe condition.
- Parking lots and pathways, paved or unpaved, should be checked regularly all year round. Ruts, potholes and cracked, broken or unstable pavement surfaces should be patched. Gravel parking lots should be levelled with fresh gravel as needed.
- Inspect carpet and floors, especially vinyl and ceramic tile, to ensure surfaces are even and undamaged. Place pylons to limit access to areas where spills have occurred until the spill can be cleaned up. Consider replacing inherently slippery flooring with non-slip flooring in high traffic areas and place non-slip mats at entrance ways.
- Inspect stairways for uneven or unstable steps. Replace loose, worn down or broken treads. Handrails should be stable and firmly attached.
About Ecclesiastical Insurance
Founded in 1887 and with offices in Canada since 1972, Ecclesiastical Insurance is a specialist insurance provider. Working closely with the national independent broker network, Ecclesiastical provides customized insurance solutions and services to faith organizations, retirement communities, education facilities, arts & culture institutions, funeral services providers and registered charities and non-profit groups. For more information visit www.ecclesiastical.ca
Colin Robertson, Vice President, Operations and Risk Control