Slip and Fall Liability
December 8, 2022
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Author: Gifford Carr Insurance Group | Resources Sourced: law.com
In the colder months, businesses and property owners can expect higher foot traffic, such as delivery personnel, friends or family, and pets, which is why it is so important to keep the walkways at your home clear of snow, ice, and other debris that may lead to an incident.
Effective January 2021, the government passed the Occupier’s Liability Amendment Act, Bill 118, designed to limit liability for slip and falls. It was designed for two main purposes 1) provide better circumstances for snow removal contractors, and 2) to increase the level of accountability for any individuals suffering a slip-and-fall injury. The new law requires you to provide written notice of your claim to the property owner, property manager, snow removal contractor, or tenant within 60 days of the incident. This is a change from the previous period which had been two years. Written notice requires the location, date, and time of the incident as well as other details about what happened when you fell.
You may have seen our original share on the announcement of this policy on Instagram on December 09, 2020.
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Find more information via the Legislative Assembly of Ontario here.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Business
As the owner of a property, you have a duty to ensure that your premises are safe for all visitors under the Ontario Liability Act and take steps to safeguard people from foreseeable risks or injuries on your property. This includes warning visitors if there are any temporary unsafe conditions and providing instructions for handling those hazards.
If you operate a business, it is important to create a snow and ice removal plan. Business owners can avoid personal injury and liability claims by creating a winter snow removal plan for their business. Your snow removal plan will depend on the size of your property, its location, and snow accumulation. However, if it’s a large property or there is more than average accumulation of snow or ice, it would be advisable to use ice melt. If you only occasionally use ice melt on your slippery sidewalks, customers or employees may slip and fall. By adding an ice treatment plan to your snow removal plan, you provide an added layer of safety that can help reduce the risk of slips and falls.
- Keep ice melt near doorways and high-traffic areas for easy access.
- Consider icing before a snowstorm to keep on top of slippery surfaces.
- Remove snow promptly.
- Distribute ice melt evenly across surfaces in a thin layer.
- Inspect your property regularly for any dangers.
- Pay attention to areas that receive sun in the early day, and shade in the evening. These areas will become ice as temperatures drop.
- Always use ice melt as directed and protect your hands from chemicals by wearing gloves.
- Consider using pet-friendly ice melt to protect the paws of animals who may frequent your property, such as pets and wildlife.
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