Civil liability: Preventive measures to avoid lawsuits

Your business is liable for any property damage or physical or emotional injury it may cause to third parties. Adopting preventive measures can help you avoid being held responsible for bodily injuries and sued for civil liability.

Preventing employee and visitor fall-related injuries

Falls are the leading cause of accidents in establishments. People can be seriously injured in falls and even die from their injuries. Falls are the second leading cause of death in Canada behind traffic accidents. That's why prevention is so critical.

The 4 main areas to secure

  1. Walkways and outdoor parking areas

    Good lighting on walkways and in outdoor parking areas will make it easier for occupants and visitors to get around. Make sure your outdoor lighting is well maintained and fix any problems immediately (burned bulbs, shattered lamps, defective equipment, etc.).

  2. Building entrances

    A number of falls occur in building entrances where rain, snow or water can accumulate and make the surface slippery. This is why we recommend installing non-slip floor coverings in building entrances. Unsuitable, uneven, damaged or loose floors or floor coverings are responsible for many fall-related injuries.

  3. Stairways

    Good lighting is essential on stairways and in stairwells at all times. They must also be well maintained and free of any objects to prevent falls and ensure safe evacuation in an emergency.

    Be sure to install solid, secure handrails. Replace or repair damaged or unstable steps promptly. On some steps, you may need to install non-slip material to make them less slippery.

  4. Interior areas

    Pay special attention to interior areas that do not get natural light, such as garages, hallways, fire escapes, service rooms, storage rooms, laundry rooms and washrooms. Adequate lighting at all times is a basic preventive measure to minimize the risk of falls.

Provide a clean, healthy environment

The best way to minimize health risks and ensure the well-being of employees and visitors is to provide a clean and healthy environment.

The 6 most common risks in terms of cleanliness

  1. Waste

    Allowing excessive amounts of waste to accumulate inside buildings can seriously affect occupants' health. Organic waste can produce spores and fungi, while chemical waste cause cancer or respiratory or skin lesions. Lean about the National Building Code of Canada (NBC) requirements regarding waste management inside buildings.

    Waste is usually stored outside in large metal or plastic containers. Place containers at a safe distance from the building, as a fire could easily spread to the building.

  2. Mould

    High humidity, mould and the toxins it produces can cause a variety of health problems, including respiratory and skin conditions.

    Mould grows in warm, humid environments containing the right nutrients. Be vigilant and locate and repair sources of humidity such as plumbing leaks, water seepage from the outside at ground level or through the walls or roof, and inadequate ventilation.

  3. Vermin

    Vermin are generally found in vacant buildings, older buildings and buildings that have suffered neglect. It can also be found in areas where food is stored, handled and prepared. The best way to prevent these unwelcome guests from making an appearance is to take strict sanitary measures. To get rid of them safely and permanently, call in the professionals.

  4. Inadequate food storage

    Dry food storage areas must be appropriate, clean and in good condition. Perishable foods that require refrigeration or freezing must be stored in the appropriate area as soon as they are received and kept at the correct temperature until they are ready to be used. As for food preparation, additional sanitary and cleanliness guidelines are required.

  5. Improperly cleaned washrooms

    It's particularly important to keep these areas clean and sanitary by disinfecting them daily to prevent the spread of infectious disease.

  6. Bacterial growth in swimming pools, spas and whirlpools

    To prevent the spread of dangerous bacteria, viruses, and mildew in pools, spas and whirlpools, they must be sanitized regularly using automated equipment to maintain safe chemical levels. Be careful not to install electrical equipment too close to the pool, spa or whirlpool and keep water temperatures at safe and comfortable levels to prevent burns or hypothermia.

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