How COVID-19 Prevention Affects Normal Safety Standards in Businesses
Businesses of all kinds struggle to keep the coronavirus at bay while maintaining normal operations as much as possible. Many have had to furlough employees or cut their hours too. Those staff who remain are finding themselves spread very thin, and at times like these, accidents happen. There may be a correlation between protection from COVID-19 and personal injuries.
How COVID-19 Concerns Affect Property Safety Standards
Some of the most common accidents that take place in businesses are preventable. These include slipping and falling, tripping over obstacles or loose flooring, and injuries from falling objects, according to the National Safety Council.
To prevent slip and fall accidents, the law requires that businesses clean up spills regularly. However, when overtaxed workers are distracted with COVID-19 tasks, spills may go unnoticed. If you get hurt in a fall as a result, you should talk to a personal injury lawyer.
Hazards that can cause customers to trip and fall, such as a loose floorboard or boxes of merchandise left in the aisle, are also the responsibility of the business. If you trip on something and take a spill while shopping, the store owner is likely liable for your damages. Unfortunately, this kind of negligence could happen more frequently during the pandemic when employees have too many responsibilities and too little time.
How New COVID-19 and Personal Injuries Health Guidelines Affect Normal Operations
Some of the normal safety practices in public places, retail stores, and other commercial properties have undergone subtle changes now that COVID-19 prevention has taken priority.
- People are washing and sanitizing their hands much more often than before.
- Workers are sanitizing high-touch surfaces frequently.
- Many places require a temperature check before you can enter.
- The majority of businesses require customers to wear masks.
- You have to maintain social distance when lining up at checkout.
All of the above are time-consuming and can get costly. Maintaining a healthy distance between customers requires direct attention from employees. Enforcing mask and temperature check rules are ongoing, daylong tasks that employees never had to do before.
All of these new requirements may easily distract clerks, service providers, and other employees from standard practices like keeping aisles clear, putting tools away immediately, or getting rid of a spill right away. Also, because providing PPE like masks and gloves for employees, cleaning supplies, and hand sanitizer can add up, employers may not get potential dangers repaired, such as loose flooring, as quickly as they would normally do so.
What You Should Do About COVID-19 and Personal Injuries on Someone Else’s Premises
In the same way that the law requires that the responsible person in a car accident pays for damages, the owner of the premises where you get hurt is likely responsible for covering your related costs. This is called premises liability, and it applies in specific circumstances:
- You have to be an invited guest, customer, or licensee rather than a trespasser.
- There must be some breach of duty or care or a wrongful act on the landowner’s part that resulted in your injury.
A qualified attorney is your best resource if you get hurt in a workplace, business, or retail establishment. You should speak with one as soon as possible following your accident.
While you are still on the scene, though, you or a friend should do a few things that will help make your case:
1. Take photos of the danger that caused your accident.
2. Get contact information from witnesses at the scene.
3. Get contact information for the premises owner and insurance carrier.
4. Do not apologize to anyone or assume responsibility for your accident.
Sometimes accidents occur and are not anybody’s fault. Other times, an accident could have been prevented by a responsible property owner. If you have been hurt because of someone’s negligence or recklessness in New Jersey, call us at Rebenack Aronow & Mascolo, L.L.P., (RAM Law) at 732-247-3600, or visit our New Brunswick and Somerville personal injury lawyers online to request your free case review.