We have yet to encounter a business intent on harming customers who are there to patronize. The problem, however, especially around the holidays, is safety protocol is either not properly developed or overlooked. The result is people get hurt.
In bustling stores packed with eager shoppers and harried workers, this most often manifests in the form of falls - either slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall. It's not just malls, either. Even a trip to the grocery store can be treacherous during this busiest of seasons.
There is a growing awareness among merchants they need to do more to protect visitors who come to their property to shop - known in legal terms as a "business invitee." For example, in Ohio recently, the state's Council of Retail Merchants formed a partnership with the state's Department of Aging to help older customers avoid injuries and falls in crowded malls and stores. In that state - as in Florida - falls are the No. 1 cause of injuries leading to emergency visits, hospitals stays and death of those over the age of 65.