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The Occupier’s Liability Act in BC – Who’s Responsible for Slip & Fall Injuries?

Posted February 27, 2020 in Matting, Flooring, Entrance Mats
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Slip-and-fall accidents are one of the leading causes of serious personal injuries in Canada.  In 2016-2017, there were nearly 9000 hospitalizations in Canada due to falls on slippery surfaces! Falls are a significant cause of injuries, accounting for 34% of injury-related total hospitalizations in Canada, with the most common fall-related injuries being wrist and ankle fractures and head trauma.  But some people are more vulnerable to being hurt by a fall on a slippery surface, particularly those who use mobility devices and the elderly.

While a pedestrian has the obligation to take reasonable care when walking, they should also not be subjected to unexpected hazards. Potentially dangerous conditions could include:

  • Ice/snow that has not been cleared
  • Slippery floors (spills, wet floors)
  • Inadequate lighting conditions
  • Missing handrails
  • Holes, gaps or cracks in flooring
  • Sudden changes in elevation (unexpected bumps, curbs, potholes)

The high frequency and severity of slip and fall accidents has made them a common cause for personal injury lawsuits against property occupiers.  Under the Occupier’s Liability Act in British Columbia, the “occupier” of a building has a responsibility to maintain the premises to a reasonable level of safety – and in the law, the “occupier” of the building includes those who are  “in physical possession of premises”, or “has responsibility for, and control over, the condition of premises, the activities conducted on those premises and the persons allowed to enter those premises”.  

That means building operators and property managers, like you!

You can help reduce your liability for these sorts of injuries by implementing a system of regular maintenance and inspections (along with a written logbook), and taking precautions to make your floors as clean and dry as reasonably possible.  The easiest way to do this is with a proper entrance matting system of sufficient size and performance to handle the amount of foot traffic your building sees.

We can help!  Give us a call today to set up a professional evaluation of your current entrance matting, and we’ll help you find areas in which you could improve your floor safety.

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