Our maintenance crew mops bathrooms and some of our lobby common areas. They post “Caution: wet floor” signs. Are we still liable to a resident or visitor who falls in these areas? Similarly, we clear snow and ice around our entrances. But do we have liability if we do not remove snow and ice?

Negligence claims against organizations serving seniors are on the rise. You should make sure your insurance provides the most expanded coverage for claims arising for premises that are not a safe environment to residents and visitors. 

Negligence is defined as a duty that is breached, and which breach causes injury. Owners of buildings have a duty to provide safe premises. 

Thus, it would be up to a court to determine if a reasonable person would remove snow and ice in the entrances, and whether failure to do so would breach that duty. And that the breach could cause injury and liability for legal damages.

The same liability could arise for failure to keep interior floors dry and not slippery. The signage you reference is a good risk management technique that should reduce claims by alerting residents, visitors and staff to be careful in the area. However, such signage may not defeat all claims.

You also should regularly check railings to make sure they are in good repair and not a danger to residents, visitors or staff. Other premises that should be reviewed and kept safe are fire exits.  

Also, if employees are fixing premises and they set up ladders or scaffolding or use tools, they must not create unsafe conditions for residents or visitors.

In sum, landowners must take all reasonable actions to provide safe premises to avoid claims and liability.