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Avoiding the missteps that lead to premises liability

It is an understatement to say that running a business is a big responsibility, and in a 21st century marketplace that spans the globe, that responsibility encompasses more landscape than ever before. But just for a minute, let's talk local and not global. What about traditional mom-and-pop shops that have served Ohio communities for decades? 

It is a fact they recognize their responsibilities to the people they serve or they would not have been in business as long as they have. But let's explore some potential missteps they could take that might cause undue difficulty. 

Premises liability and the safety mandate

When a customer comes into their brick-and-mortar business, he or she must walk into a safe place - as safe as the owner's efforts can make it, that is. Does that mean someone will never slip and fall on an icy winter sidewalk just outside, or an inside floor drenched from summer rain? It does not.

But it does mean owners and managers must do everything in their power to ensure the safety of individuals who come onto their property whether the sun's shining or hiding, it is raining or sleeting.

Missteps on the road to premises liability

FindLaw reminds owners of missteps to avoid:

  • They should not knowingly create a hazardous condition.
  • They should not fail to correct a dangerous condition when they are aware it exists.
  • They should not let something that is unsafe remain that way long after they should have found and fixed it.

If it is "foreseeable that his or her negligence would create the danger at issue," according to FindLaw, an owner may be liable.

To counter potential liability, Entrepreneur says two steps business owners can take to keep people on their property safe is to practice awareness at all times, and put a safety plan in place.

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