If you have a small business, and wish to be protected against people suing you because they got hurt while on your premises, you should probably understand the basics of risk and liability assessment. There are always stories on the news and in the papers about people who hurt themselves in a store and then sue the owners for an enormous amount of money. If you follow the steps below, you will be on your way to protecting yourself from losing a lot of money.
First, when assessing your business, it is important to take a step back and look at it from your customer's point of view. You may have walked through your store or shop hundreds of times, and know where all the nooks and crannies are; a customer entering for the first time likely does not. You may have already conducted this kind of assessment, but if it has been some time since you did so, then a lot of things could have changed. Even if your stairs looked great a couple of years ago, it does not take much for an old wooden staircase to break. When conducting your assessment, make sure to do so with an unbiased perspective and always have an outside party help you. Just because you are more than capable of maneuvering around your store does not mean an elderly or handicapped person can.
When fixing the potential problems you have discovered, make sure that you do quality repairs instead of short-term quick fixes. A great way of preventing an accident (and protecting yourself against people who might sue) is to put up signs indicating where small steps are. In addition, make sure your store is properly lit; doing so will make people better able to avoid tripping, while also making their experience at your store better.