Attractive Nuisance Dangers: Is Your Property A Risk?
Although property owners’ duty of care for protecting trespassers is often lessened, in some cases, landowners or those who occupy land under leases can be held responsible for injuries to trespassers that are caused by attractive nuisance dangers, or man-made conditions on the property.
What are Common Attractive Nuisances Danger?
- Construction sites
- Heavy equipment
- Even ditches
Property owners have the power to prevent entrance onto their property and to discourage trespassers, particularly if they are young, from getting hurt. One might use fencing, illustrated signs or other means to prevent trespassers from entering the property and potentially injuring themselves.
If you have any reason to believe that young children or others might trespass onto your property or in your facility, treat the problem seriously. Doing nothing to prevent the entry or injury of trespassers creates a serious financial risk for your company.
As the owner of the property, you are responsible for taking steps to ensure that anyone who enters, whether welcome or unwelcome, stays safe from injury. While warning signs are an excellent start, many children may not be able to read them, so it is important to find additional ways of protecting your property.
Ensure that gates are secured and fences cannot be climbed easily. Adequately protect any other potential attractive nuisances danger such as swimming pools, ditches, walls or other man-made physical features that might present a hazard. This may mean covering the pool to avoid accidental drowning, placing sturdy fencing around hazardous areas or posting warnings or “No Trespassing” signs. In addition, all safety equipment should be stored and locked at the end of each shift to avoid trespasser tampering.
Property owners are also liable for the maintenance and security that the property needs so that it remains safe for all visitors. This includes the following:
- Fixing cracks or gaps in walkways to avoid slip and fall for a dangerous condition
- Locking all tools, equipment and chemicals away from the public
- Ensuring that employees can conduct work duties without the risk of injury
- Hanging floodlights in areas with low visibility
- Hiring security guards for added protection
- Installing rescue equipment, such as ropes and poles, when necessary
- Installing alert devices, such as flashing lights, sirens, alarms and telephones to alert security that someone has trespassed onto the premises
Attractive Nuisance Cases Can Be Avoided
With regard to attractive nuisance cases, negligence means that the property owner was aware that someone could get hurt on the property and did nothing to prevent it. If you take all necessary precautions to protect individuals that are on your property, you are less likely to be found negligent in an occupier’s liability suit.
For more assistance in protecting your property and your business, contact an ALIGNED Insurance Advocate today.