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Signs you should watch for falling merchandise

| Jun 15, 2019 | Premises Liability |

At Weisberg & Klauber, LLC, we understand that it is not reasonable for shoppers in New Jersey to always be alert for possible hazards in retail establishments. You may easily go around a bottle of olives that another customer just broke on the floor, but you cannot be expected to scan the shelves constantly for a precariously placed box. However, a falling product can cause a serious injury.

There are precautions that keep customers from being struck by merchandise. According to the Member Insurance Agency, the following issues may be a warning that merchandise could fall:

  • Tall shelves with product stacked too high
  • Lack of bars, ties, fencing or shelf extenders securing the products on the shelves
  • Lack of cords or warning signs in areas where employees are stocking merchandise
  • Merchandise of different sizes and shapes stacked together
  • Lighter objects placed beneath heavier objects
  • Merchandise that overlaps the shelf it is on

Another way that retailers can protect customers is to keep products near the front of the shelves within easy reach. Often, items on taller shelves are pushed back too far and cannot be reached. Retailers should take the advice of safety experts and stock more popular items on shelves at waist height. If the shelf is above your shoulder height, you should not attempt to reach up and pull a product toward you. 

Employees should be available to assist customers with items on upper shelves, and there should be signs warning that customers should not attempt to reach items on their own. 

More information about the responsibilities of property owners is available on our webpage.