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Common sources of retail store injuries

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2023 | Premises Liability |

A routine shopping trip can lead to disaster when the store’s shelving practices create a safety hazard. Unfortunately, many customers are unfamiliar with the safety considerations and factors that increase risks.

There are several things that you should watch for when you frequent retail establishments.

Overstocking issues

Overstocking the shelves and exceeding the weight-bearing capacity of the structure can compromise the stability of retail shelving. Be mindful of how the store stocks the shelves when shopping and avoid those areas with excess inventory.

Uneven distribution

Retail displays and shelving require balanced merchandise distribution to keep the structure stable. Otherwise, the imbalance creates a tipping hazard.

Insufficient signage

Retailers with potential hazards, including fragile items or heavy merchandise, should have clear signs that warn consumers about the risk. A lack of signage when the retailer knows of the threat creates a liability issue.

Failure to conduct routine inspections

Regular inspections of the retail environment help business owners identify and address safety hazards before they lead to liability issues. When a retailer fails to establish or follow a standard inspection schedule, they may fail to recognize issues before someone gets hurt.

Delayed or inadequate maintenance

Damaged shelves, loose fixtures and structural issues can create vulnerabilities in the shelving. Failure to maintain the store’s fixtures, shelving and flooring may qualify as negligence if the deterioration is obvious.

The median award for premises liability cases is $90,000. By being aware of potential hazards related to shelf stability, signage, maintenance and customer accessibility, individuals can more effectively protect themselves.