Danger Zone: Business Owners’ Premises Liability

Broken LegMost people are aware of the common “slip and fall injuries” incurred on business property, as well as the subsequent lawsuits. Most business owners say that they are prepared for such incidents, but they are often woefully unaware of the plethora of other injuries and damages for which they could potentially be held liable.

Even if the business is housed in a rental building, the business owner will typically shoulder most if not all of the liability. The landlord may be held minimally culpable assuming there is not a clause in the rental agreement which states that the tenant will assume all responsibility for the building safety (a clause many landlords include).

The business owner can be sued for negligence and premises liability for a number of reasons, including but certainly not limited to:

  • Slip and fall injuries
  • Harmful substances travelling to a neighboring property
  • Employees harming visitors
  • Employee or visitor injuries caused by faulty equipment

How to Limit Premises Liability

It is an unfortunate fact of life that accidents will happen, but there are a few things you can do as a business owner to reduce the risk of employee or visitors being injured.

  • Regular Inspections – Make sure that both you and your employees are regularly looking around for any unsafe conditions or faulty equipment. Finding a problem before it causes an injury can save you tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Timely Repairs – Once a hazardous condition is detected, make sure that it is corrected quickly. Tell employees to never assume that someone else will take care of the situation, and encourage them to speak up if they discover dangers.
  • Sufficient Warning – If the issue is not remedied immediately, then be sure to set up warning signs and make all employees and visitors aware of the problem so they can avoid it.


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