In Wisconsin, slip and fall on ice accidents often involve safe place law, which is designed to protect workers and others on premises with permission from certain risks of harm or injury. The law only applies to certain parties and in certain circumstances. But when it does apply to a factual situation, its application is significant for this reason. In most interactions between people, we all have a duty to act with reasonable care toward each other. If what we do, or in some cases fail to do, creates an unreasonable risk of harm to another and that person does incur injury or damages as a result of our actions, then we are liable. This is referred to as the ordinary standard of care, the obligation to act with reasonable care under the circumstances. The safe place law creates a higher or more careful standard of care: as safe as the nature of the place will reasonably permit.
Wisconsin’s safe place statute reads:
101.11 Employer’s duty to furnish safe employment and place.
101.11(1)(1) Every employer shall furnish employment which shall be safe for the employees therein and shall furnish a place of employment which shall be safe for employees therein and for frequenters thereof and shall furnish and use safety devices and safeguards, and shall adopt and use methods and processes reasonably adequate to render such employment and places of employment safe, and shall do every other thing reasonably necessary to protect the life, health, safety, and welfare of such employees and frequenters. Every employer and every owner of a place of employment or a public building now or hereafter constructed shall so construct, repair or maintain such place of employment or public building as to render the same safe.
Although Wisconsin’s safe place law was originally passed with worker’s safety in mind, it does not afford most workers with a sword to recover damages against their employer. As part of Wis. Stats. Ch. 102, workers compensation is the exclusive remedy for injured workers against their employer.
Safe place law is most often applied in the context of slip and fall cases in commercial or business situations where the injured party is not an employee of the responsible party subject to the safe place law. Ice is a dangerous condition and should be salted. Safe place law is more complicated than it appears and has been interpreted and explained by Wisconsin supreme court and court of appeals decisions over the years.
McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin fights for persons injured through slip and fall violations of the safe place law. Settlements include compensation for medical bills, hospital charges, lost wages, pain, suffering and disability.