Compensation For Being Injured In A Shop Or Supermarket
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Typical Accidents At Shops We Have Claimed For:
· Slips and falls e.g. wet floors (recent cleaning and leakages), spilled products, litter
· Trips over obstacles e.g. pallets, packaging materials, stock cages
· Objects falling from height e.g cans from shelves, aisle signs, product displays
· Trips and falls in car parks (pot holes, raised concrete, broken drain covers)
· Ice and snow injuries in winter
Compensation For Slipping Or Tripping In A Shop
Slips, trips and falls are the most common type of accidents that happen in shops and supermarkets. Such accidents usually take place when the normal systems of inspection and cleaning fail to operate properly, usually due to staff shortages or poor store management. Accidents are most likely to happen at peak times when premises are crowded, and shops need to adjust their system of inspection and cleaning accordingly. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report found that one store achieved a two thirds reduction in slipping accidents simply by changing the lunch break of their cleaning staff to a non-peak time.
Shops Must Take Measures To Prevent Slip & Trip Accidents
Visitors to shops are broadly protected under the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957, which requires that owners take all 'reasonable' measures to ensure their premises are 'reasonably safe' for their 'lawful visitors'. This will involve formulating and enforcing an adequate system of inspection and cleaning. The basic principle for employees is that spills and similar hazards should be eliminated as soon as they become evident. Where this is not possible, warning signs should be immediately erected and form an adequate barricade to protect visitors. Hourly inspections should take place to minimise the risk of slip and trip accidents.
Other Common Causes Of Accidents In Shops
Inadequate maintenance and poor layout can also cause accidents and injuries in shops. Examples include lifts, escalators or automatic doors that malfunction and shopping trolleys or baskets that are damaged. Frayed carpeting or trailing electrical cables may pose a tripping hazard, as may product packaging that has been discarded by staff in public spaces. Outdoor areas at stores may have uneven surfaces or be inadequately lit, while ice and snow in winter can make such areas slippery and dangerous. Shop shelves and displays may also be poorly stacked or arranged, causing products and signs to fall and injure customers.
Accidents Involving Shop Workers
Employees in the retail sector face a variety of hazards in the course of their work beyond those posed to regular shop visitors. Workers on meat, fish, bakery and cheese counters use sharp implements and cutting devices when serving customers. Shelf stackers are at risk of manual handling injuries, particularly strains and sprains when they are required to lift and carry excessive loads. Finally any employee involved in the cooking or handling of hot food may be vulnerable to scalding, burns or electric shocks from spills or contact with hot surfaces and electrical appliances.
The Duty Of Care Owed By Shops To Visitors
When a visitor is injured in a shop through no fault of their own, they may be nervous about the idea of bringing a claim against a large corporation and unsure about their chances of success. The main legal point to bear in mind is that retailers owe their customers duty of care, and must take all reasonable measures to maintain safety standards and minimise the risk of accidents occurring. If the negligence of either management or staff is to blame for a customer getting injured, then the shop in question will have breached this duty of care, and the owners or parent company will be liable to pay compensation.
Bartletts Solicitors has successfully claimed compensation for visitors injured at shops across England and Wales. Our firm has been using the law to protect and support our clients since 1860 and is fully regulated, serving clients all over the country. Bartletts offers free legal advice, no win no fee agreements and the expertise of over 50 professional legal staff. Our firm is Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
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