Eliminating trip hazards should be high on every commercial property owner’s and tenant’s priority list. Sadly, many operators are either oblivious to the dangers or are just not considering all the ramifications.
Yesterday we undertook a very small job for a retail store. It didn’t require much effort from us, and the bill was minor, but the cost prevention would be staggering.
They had a small mat that welcomed shoppers to their store. It doubled as a ramp. This ramp element allowed for wheelchairs to easily negotiate the height difference between the footpath and their shop floor. It was a nifty little mat, very functional. But, it wasn’t secured properly.
Whoever installed it probably thought they did a good job. They had used plenty of adhesive, and it was perfectly placed. However, the adhesive they used was not water-proof, and the mat was in a location where rain would contact it when the wind blew from a certain direction.
So over the last 12 months since it was installed, it’s received enough moisture to eat away at the adhesive holding down the corner of the mat. That corner has lifted, and all of a sudden this great little mat that’s designed to make life easier for people, has now become a hazard.
Trip hazards like this have a long history of causing immeasurable grief for commercial property owners. Lawsuits are the first thing that come to mind. But there’s also the negative emotions that come from causing someone pain and harm. Most people don’t want to hurt someone else. And when a property owner fails to meet their responsibilities and it causes an injury to someone, the guilt and remorse can be quite something to deal with.
Long story short, we ripped up the mat, and scraped off what was left of the inadequate adhesive. We then re-secured the mat into place with some all weather, water-proof adhesive. Trip hazard eliminated. The general public, the property owner, and the tenant, all protected.