Wintertime Slips and Falls: What to Look Out For

winter-slip-man-snow-fb-shutterstock_173109380

If your employee falls and is injured in your parking lot it’s likely the employee is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits—regardless of who’s responsible for snow removal.

Employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits when an injury occurs in the course of employment. Generally, injuries sustained going to and coming from the workplace are not deemed to have occurred in the course of employment.

One exception, however, is the so-called “parking lot rule.” This holds that, if an injury occurs in a parking lot or other off-premises area over which the employer has some control, the injury may be considered work-related and subject to workers’ compensation benefits.

snowy-parking-shutterstock_119793205It is important to contact your landlord if snow removal is not up to par. Let the landlord know that your employees are in danger of falling due to snow and ice. Be specific about the areas that need to be addressed—the steps near the front door or the sidewalk near the north end of the parking lot, for example.

The third party may be liable as well. If your organization leases office space from a property manager or if you employ a third party for snow removal services and your employee fell due to poor maintenance or slippery conditions in the parking lot, you or your insurer may be able to recover some workers’ compensation benefits from the third party.

Do what you can to prevent winter slips and falls by thinking outside the box.

Hazards to watch for:

  • Snow-covered ice
  • Black ice
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Unsalted sidewalks and parking lots
The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “Slips and Falls: Prevent wintertime falls that impact your work comp costs.” For more information, please visit www.wcfgroup.com.

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