The world we live in is becoming more and more an online environment where both businesses and consumers order products ranging from supplies to personal items for which these goods need to be delivered. The Postal services is no longer just delivering the mail but now includes Amazon while UPS and Fedex are a daily occurrence on streets and office complexes. The average delivery truck is delivering from 200-300 pieces per day. So what happens when a parcel service employee is injured when they slip on accumulated ice on an exterior walkway?
Is this a premises liability concern, OSHA incident, or both?
Although this sounds as if it may be simple to answer, it can quickly get complicated. Is a walkway to a business considered a workplace environment for someone who does not work at that business? How did the ice form and how long had it been there? Another consideration is the location of the fall as cities and states often have different requirements regarding property maintenance.
“The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created OSHA, which sets and enforces protective workplace safety and health standards. There are OSHA standards for construction, agriculture, maritime and general industry. Employers also must comply with the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act, which requires them to keep their workplaces free of serious recognized hazards.”
A business who maintains property also has the responsibility to keep the premises clear of hazards (including ice). So who is responsible for delivery person’s fall? The answer is that there is no straightforward response. Each situation is different and requires a knowledgeable expert who not only has training in the field of worker safety but also in building codes and other merits of the case. CED engineers have such experience and can certainly assist is premises and work safety liability cases.