“TIS THE SEASON TO SLIP AND FALL” Written by Tom Hickey on 12/16/2013 10:00 AM . It has 0 Comments. The complaining has begun. It's a tradition in Newfoundland to talk about the weather. Common statements this time of the year include: "Winter's early this year." "It's some slippery out." "The sidewalks are like ice." Often, people and vehicles are slip, sliding away (catch the Paul Simon reference?), this time of the year. If you own a property, you are supposed to take the reasonable action necessary to make sure that it's safe for visitors. Avoid having a lawsuit as one of your Christmas Gifts this year, and take a few steps to minimize your exposure, and help you defend yourself if there is an incident. The obvious thing is to keep a frequent check on your property so that icy sections are salted, or snow is removed. If you are doing the snow and ice removal yourself, keep a log book that outlines, who did it, the time of day and the weather conditions at the time. Create some standards around when and how frequently these areas should be checked. If you are using a third party contractor, make sure that you have a clear agreement on the services to be performed and get a certificate of insurance. In the past, property owners were often able to get a waiver of subrogation, putting all the liability onto the contractor. Insurance Companies often refuse to do this now, so make sure you understand rights and responsibilities. If you are unlucky enough to have an incident, despite your best Prevention and Mitigation Strategies, file an incident report as quickly as possible including dated photos of the scene and all other relevant information. Often a lawsuit will not appear for a long period of time so keep the records for at least two years as often a Statement of Claim will appear out of the blue, even in cases where it seems that no injury was sustained. Taking some Preventative and Mitigation initiatives are an important part of controlling your Total Cost of Risk. Slip and fall claims are one of best examples where you can really decrease your loss costs, with very minimal investment.