Springtime Concerns

Published on April 26th, 2016

Springtime will soon be upon us!  Spring is such a wonderful time of the year, the flowers start blooming, grass starts growing and we begin to see many great changes to our environment.  Spring signifies a new beginning for many.  The warmer weather conditions and spring flowers provide a beautiful setting that makes us want to spend more time outdoors.

A good way to enjoy the outdoors and improve safety at your worship center is by conducting exterior safety evaluations.  Many people do not realize the potential liability issues that are present on the exterior of the building.   Below are a few areas of concern that could cause a potential liability claim.  Identification and correction of these hazards can greatly reduce the chance of an accident or property damage event.

Parking lots and sidewalks are the first thing that attendees at your religious institution see and the last thing with which they will come in contact before they leave.  For that reason alone, it is important to keep your parking lot and sidewalks in good condition. Still, far more than first impressions, parking lot and sidewalk maintenance is an important part of your overall safety plan.

Slips, trips and falls account for approximately 50% of all injuries each year. Whether it is slipping on ice or tripping in a pothole, parking lots and sidewalks are among the most prevalent places for injuries to your attendees. Parking lots and sidewalks tend to develop pot holes or cracks during the colder weather months and quick identification of these hazards is essential.  Another main concern in parking lots are the presence of concrete parking bumpers, these bumpers account for many trip and fall related injuries.  It is recommended that bumpers be removed from the parking lot to reduce the risk of these injuries.

Trees and foliage provide a beautiful setting for many places of worship, but falling branches or toppled trees can cause major damage to buildings and property.  We recommend taking a proactive approach to tree pruning with regular inspections and professional help to avoid potential damage and injury.  Properly trimmed trees and bushes not only reduces the risk of property damage but it also helps to improve security by eliminating potential hiding spaces for burglars.

For more information on these and other insurance and risk control questions contact Don Inglis, Church Mutual Insurance at (800) 554-2642 or Dinglis@churchmutual.com.