Most people entering a grocery store or department store do not realize the hidden dangers that exist down each aisle. Of course, most trips to the store are routine, and you will typically leave the store unscathed. Being aware of the dangers will not always prevent you from sustaining an injury; however, it can lessen the chances of an unfortunate incident occurring.
Even before customers enter grocery stores and department stores, they may face dangerous conditions. Parking lots are the site of many, instances of car accidents or a car striking a pedestrian. With many drivers pulling in and backing out, plus those driving around looking for a parking space, it is not surprising that they are not always aware of their surroundings. Additionally, many drivers choose to drive at speeds more appropriate for a street than a parking lot, decreasing the driver’s reaction time and the pedestrian’s warning time. Unfortunately, drivers do not often use the same care in a parking lot that they do on the road. The holiday season will increase the chances of an incident occurring, with the extra cars and extra shoppers.
Department stores often place signs, displays, tables, and other objects in the aisle ways where customers are expected to walk. Not only do they clog the walking paths throughout the store and affect your ability to navigate, but they can also present trip and fall hazards. Signs, in particular, usually have somewhat long bases to compensate for their height, which tends to be at eye-level to attract the customer’s attention. When customers are walking through a crowded aisle with an armful of items or bags, they may not be able to see the floor properly and might trip over a sign or another object. The problem will soon become worse with the holiday shopping season bringing more signs and displays, as well as more shoppers.
In both department stores and grocery stores, the employees create eye-catching displays, often where products are stacked high. The person designing the display may not take into account the possibility of shoppers bumping into the display or shoppers pulling items from the middle of the display instead of the top. When a display is hit or becomes unstable, products may fall and strike customers. While getting hit with a blanket will not cause a customer harm, a falling mayonnaise jar or coffee maker could result in an injury.
In grocery stores, the produce section tends to be the area where customers are most likely to slip and fall. In order to make the produce both eye-catching and accessible, it is stacked in a way that makes it easy for the produce to fall to the ground. Once the produce is on the ground, it becomes a slipping hazard. Grapes are among the most likely fruits that cause customers to fall in grocery stores. If the store’s staff is not vigilant, they may not notice that grapes have fallen and it does not take many grapes to create a slick surface on the tile floors typically found in grocery stores.