Sidewalk Inspection

Sidewalks abut many urban and suburban properties. Pedestrian falls on sidewalks are often the result of the failure of the abutting property owner or other responsible person to maintain the sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition (e.g., in good repair or free of snow, ice, and other materials). Regular sidewalk inspection is an important tool for identifying hazardous conditions that reuire correction. This checklist highlights areas that should be considered when inspecting existing sidewalks for liability concerns.

Sidewalk Construction

Are any of the following construction defects present:

  • Missing sidewalk flags?
  • Large cracks, missing pieces, or other substantial structural defects?
  • Improperly sloped flags or pavement?
  • Loose or otherwise unstable flags?
  • Uneven settlement or heaving?
  • Raised surface impediments (e.g., sewer drain plugs or improperly set manways and junction boxes)
  • Hazardous conditions (e.g., excessive deflection, change in surface texture, or lack of structural integrity) caused by cellar doors, gratings, or other flush-set items?
  • Hazardous conditions created by improper sidewalk repairs?

Temporary Hazards

Are any of the following temporary hazardous conditions present:

  • Puddled water?
  • Snow and ice?
  • Sand, dirt or mud?
  • Leaves, fallen branches or twigs?
  • Oil, grease, or other foreign substance?
  • Construction barricades or scaffolding?

Other Areas of Concern

  • Are curb edges clearly marked?
  • Are curb heights excessive?
  • Are ramps and other accessible sidewalk features sloped properly?
  • Do bicycle racks, planters, retail displays, or other man-made objects obstruct pedestrian traffic?
  • Do tree limbs or other overhanging objects pose a substantial hazard to pedestrians?

COPYRIGHT ©2002, ISO Services Properties, Inc. LB-95-05 9/16/03

The information contained in this publication was obtained from sources believed to be reliable. ISO Services Properties, Inc., its companies and employees make no guarantee of results and assume no liability in connection with either the information herein contained or the safety suggestions herein made. Moreover, it cannot be assumed that every acceptable safety procedure is contained herein or that abnormal or unusual circumstances may not warrant or reuire further or additional procedure.