The potential for injury as a result of slippery conditions is well known in the public domain, with many property owners and managers of retail outlets taking care to remove the risks posed by wet surfaces to the public.
For Carleen Bannerman, the need for a high level of awareness of environmental hazards became abundantly clear after she suffered a dangerous fall in 2008.
Australian Associated Press reports that the 58-year-old mother was placing an order at the KFC family restaurant in Lidcombe in November 2008 when the accident occurred.
Bannerman had entered the premises on a rainy day to place an order for when she realised that she could not recall her son’s preferred meal.
She turned to leave the premises to confer with her son – who remained in the car at this point – when she encountered wet flooring in the restaurant that had not been properly attended to.
During court proceedings on October 19, Bannerman’s compensation lawyer explained: “She slipped on the tiles and fell heavily.”
As a result of her fall, the claimant received a number of injuries – most significantly to her right shoulder – that hindered her movements and impacted on her quality of life.
Of great importance to the case is that Bannerman is a manual worker who – as a result of her accident – is no longer able to perform her prescribed duties.
In fact, the court has heard that the claimant is no longer able to work and has since become unemployed and her husband has had to take on the role of her carer due to the extent of her injuries.
While the case has not yet been resolved, it does serve to highlight the importance of applicable safety protocols at any venue that help to reduce the risk posed to both employees and members of the public.
Simple procedures such as placing safety mats at the entrance on rainy days, mopping up any excess water brought in by patrons and the use of adequate signage to let people actively avoid hazards can greatly reduce the chances of these kinds of accidents occurring.
Where public safety is concerned, exercising a reasonable degree of caution can really make a difference.
Managers and employees should be constantly identifying hazards and putting prescribed protocols in place to prevent harm coming to people who may be in a venue.
Accident victims may be entitled to compensation – an undertaking that personal injury lawyers are able to help with by allowing them to explore their legal options.