Too Much Security?

Loss Amount: $155,000

Situation: To prevent forced entry break-ins at his animal hospital, the owner installed a sliding metal gate that opened across the inside front of the facility. It also included a bar crossing the base of the front doors to prevent the doors from being pushed in. On the date of the loss incident the gate was opened in the morning but the employee failed to remove the low crossing bar.

It did not take long for a customer – not expecting the obstacle to be there – to trip and fall over the security bar at the entry. She fell hard on the tiled lobby floor and sustained several injuries to her upper body.

Lesson Learned: Customers of animal hospitals are more likely to trip and fall over hazards than the average retail customer. This is because they are either being distracted by their pets or having their view obstructed by them. For this reason it is important to be ever vigilant about possible hazards.

  • For important daily activities, create a checklist. This helps ensure that items are not missed and can be useful training tools for new employees.
  • Before opening for business each day, or at least twice daily for 24-hour operations, inspect the client areas of the hospital. Start from outside and consider any hazards from a client’s perspective.
  • Anything that looks hazardous should be corrected or eliminated as soon as possible. If it looks like it could cause an injury or property damage, sooner or later it probably will.
  • For potential hazards that cannot be eliminated, such as uneven surfaces caused by a floor scale or stepped entry, add visual warning indicators. These may take the form of caution tape, a painted edge, or conspicuous signage. Again, put yourself in the client’s shoes when determining whether or not safety improvements should be made.

For further assistance in preventing all types of losses, call VISC at 888.762.3143.