LMW’s Monthly Newsletter: September 

 October 10, 2014

By  LMW Attorneys

At the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce’s September General Membership Meeting, Craig Laporte addressed the importance of injury prevention for the business owner. Slips, trips and falls are a leading cause of injury for businesses and workplaces. Employees and other parties on the premises, i.e. visitors, customers, vendors, contractors and subcontractors, could be at risk for this type of accident or injury. Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for approximately 8.9 million visits to the emergency department annually (NSC Injury Facts 2011).

It is a common misconception that slip and fall injuries “just happen” and that there is little that can be done to prevent them. Years of experience show that proper slip, trip and fall prevention can help in reducing the number of injuries and in reducing loss costs.

Adults 55 and older are more prone to becoming victims of falls, and the resulting injuries can diminish the ability to lead active, independent lives. The number of fall deaths among those 65 and older is four times the number of fall deaths among all other age groups.

Some typical contributors to slips and falls:

Wet product or spills on smooth floors or walking surfaces:
– Water
– Oil
– Mud
– Food
– Grease
– Blood

Dry product or spills making walking surfaces slippery:
– Dusts
– Wood
– Powders
– Granules
– Plastic Wrapping

Highly-polished floors can be slick even when dry:
– Concrete
– Marble
– Ceramic Tile

Common causes of trips:

• Uncovered hoses, cables, wires or extension cords across aisles or walkways
• Clutter, obstacles in aisles & work areas
• Open cabinet, file or desk drawers & doors
• Change in elevation or levels
• Wheelchair ramps & curbs
• Rumpled or rolled-up carpets/mats or carpets with curled edges
• Irregularities in walking surfaces
• Thresholds or gaps
• Missing or uneven floor tiles & bricks
• Damaged steps
• Non-uniform, improper or irregular steps
• Trailing cables, pallets, tools in gangways
• Objects protruding from walking surface
• Uneven surfaces
• Sidewalk/curb drops
• Speed bumps

Mr. Laporte suggested the following actions to protect a business from slips and fall injuries:

• Perform regular inspections by taking a walk around and observing what could cause an employee or customer to trip, fall, slip or injure themselves.
• If it’s on the floor, PICK IT UP RIGHT AWAY. Train yourself and your staff to pick up spills, boxes, brooms, etc.
• Check your lighting regularly (Inside and out).
• Be a customer or employee daily and criticize your business appearance.
• Have mops and warning devices handy to wipe up spills and steer people clear of the spill zone.
• Instruct your employees to be aware of opportunities to create a safe work environment.
• Check your parking lot for defects and dangers. Potholes are invitations for twisted ankles. Get them fixed. Make your parking lot safe.
• Surveillance cameras are a good idea, but can document a real slip, trip or fall or document a faux accident.
• Be sure to do a detailed incident report. Take good notes of what transpired.
• Carry good general business liability insurance. Be sure you review your policy to be sure you are well covered.
• Carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance.

Craig Laporte Named to West Pasco Bar Board

Craig Laporte, a member of the West Pasco Bar Association since 1983, and its President from 1989 to 1990, has returned to the Board of Directors. Craig was invited by the current President of the Bar Association, Nikki Alvarez-Sowles, to fill a vacancy for a two year term. The Board sets the policies for the voluntary bar association, which is comprised of 209 local attorneys. The West Pasco Bar actively promotes professionalism and ethics within the legal community by providing continuing legal education programs throughout the year.

Frances Werner-Watkins, attorney with Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A., is also involved in the organization. She prepared a half-day CLE (continuing legal education) on attorney ethics.

The members receive a monthly newsletter, as well as updated information regarding Administrative Orders implemented by the local judges. Mr. Laporte was featured in last month’s Bar Association newsletter.

Judith Rochelle Award Presented to Attorney Craig Laporte

The Leadership Pasco Board of Directors recently awarded the 14th Judith Rochelle Award to Attorney Craig Laporte.
The criteria for this award are:

Leadership: Ability to motivate and inspire others to action throughout the County to accomplish the mission of Leadership Pasco and to train and unite leaders.
Initiative: Fosters an awareness of the community resources and demonstrates an ability to lead. Has a life-long bond and personal commitment to see Pasco County grow and prosper.
Creativity: promote a greater understanding of issues through interaction and problem solving with peers and community leaders.
Dedication: recognized by others for being dedicated to Leadership Pasco, Alumni and Youth Leadership Pasco. Accomplishes much within the community by his/her pursuit, courage, enthusiasm, and passion.
Recognition: by their peers for their commitment to the success of Leadership Pasco.

The Leadership Board of Directors grants one Community Leadership Award annually.


LMW Presents Check to the Pasco County Fallen Law Enforcement Memorial

Because Pasco County’s Law Enforcement Officers and their families should be recognized by the community that they serve and protect, Attorney Craig Laporte decided to sponsor a Family Fun Day. The plans for the Pasco County Law Enforcement Family Fun day were set into motion. After a rain delay in May, the event was held on June 28th at the FOP Lodge #29 in Land O’ Lakes. Pasco County’s Law Enforcement personnel (current and retired) were invited to enjoy the day. And what a day it was! Over 370 people attended, and a confirmed minimum of 301 of those were law enforcement officers and their families from the Sheriff’s Office, officers and families from Dade City PD, Port Richey PD, Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Wildlife Commission, and a family from the US Secret Service.

Craig Laporte presented a check in the amount of $6,749.61 to the Pasco County Fallen Law Enforcement Memorial and Benefit Foundation. Thank you to all the sponsors of the Law Enforcement Family Fun Day held in June. The event was such a success we were able make this donation to the Foundation!

Review your Automobile Insurance Policy

auto-insurance-claim-form10So many drivers choose to stop thinking about their auto coverage the minute they purchase their policies. Many others don’t think about their policies until something like adding a new teen driver or buying a new car requires them to think about their coverage. However, never thinking about your policy, or only thinking about it when a significant change takes place, could prevent you from saving money or having the right kind of coverage. If you would like a complimentary automobile insurance evaluation, please call our office at (727) 478-4125 to schedule an appointment.