This case involves a slip and fall incident at a supermarket resulting in serious injury. The plaintiff was in the supermarket when another shopper dropped a large case of drinks in glass bottles, which immediately shattered. A nearby store employee asked that the plaintiff watch over the spill on the floor while he went to get cleaning supplies. When he came back, the employee found the plaintiff lying on the ground. The plaintiff sustained several injuries that will require a number of surgeries to repair. The plaintiff alleges there were no guidelines or protocols in place to ensure the safety of the patrons of the supermarket in the event of a dangerous spill.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please discuss your experience with safety protocols in a supermarket.
- 2. Based on the description of the summary, what are some of the guidelines to prevent such an accident from occurring?
Expert Witness Response E-008287
In my management experience of supermarkets, I designed safety protocols as well as wrote safety manuals that spanned the whole supermarket environment including the parking lot. In this case, the employee should not have left the scene and should have contacted another employee to retrieve the cleaning supplies.
Expert Witness Response E-008027
I have over 25 years of experience as a manager in a grocery store. My career path has been one of greater responsibility for setting safety protocols every year. Since my days in the “Mom and Pop” store where being responsible for employee and customer safety was basic common sense, I have become familiar with the implementation and training of safety projects. At my current grocery store chain, the Store Manager is responsible for setting, training and implementing safety protocol. I did this for 7 years. For the last two years, my position has changed to more of a mentoring role for new store managers, where I have helped them develop their standards. During this 9 year period, we have worked with our insurance carrier to increase safety, lower our accident rates, and our rates. Protocol dictates that employees do not leave the customer while the customer is still in the dangerous situation.