According to the National Floor Institute (NFI), over a million people are taken to the ER due to slip-and-fall accidents. The effects of accidents vary from bruises and bumps on the skin to deaths and bone fractures. Fortunately, many of these accidents are actually preventable if the people in charge and the victims take the necessary steps to avert them.
Preventable Causes of Slip-and-Fall Injuries
The most ordinary root of slip-and-fall accidents worldwide is wet and uneven surfaces. They account for over 50% of all fall accidents in most countries. Some of the preventable causes of such accidents include loose floorboards, torn carpeting, loose mats, spills that have not been cleaned, cluttered floors, potholes and uneven sidewalks, water collection, recently mopped and waxed surfaces, among others.
Many of these causes can be resolved by good housekeeping practices at home and proper maintenance at the workplace. Businesses should also warn customers of defective surfaces to take adequate measures to protect themselves.
Safety During Wet Weather
Many slip-and-fall accidents happen during wet weather. While the weather cannot be controlled, there are safety procedures required by law for business owners and municipalities during the winter to reduce the risk of such accidents. These include shoveling sidewalks, plowing streets, and salting sidewalks. The establishments are held responsible for any accidents that happen due to their negligence.
Neglect at Nursing Homes
One of the most common causes of slip-and-fall accidents in nursing homes is neglect. Most older people have mobility problems, while others have reduced balance. Therefore, they are likely to fall in places where the rest of us may wade safely. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) describes that one in every three people over 65 falls each year.
Unfortunately, many of these injuries are severe and life-threatening due to the frail nature of their bodies. Most of the slips can be prevented by enough lighting, safer bathrooms, increased monitoring of the nursing home residents, and proper room arrangement. Many of these interventions are lacking in various nursing homes.
According to the NFI, improper footwear contributes to over 24% of all slip-and-fall accidents. Accidents are not limited to people that wear heels; any type of shoe can put you at risk if it is not designed for the surface you are walking on. Go for a shoe that offers the right type of traction for your area, whether outdoors, on smooth floors, or on wet trails.
Lack of Proper Training
Various tools can cause workers to slip and fall while using them in the workplace. Workers must wear the right gear and be trained in the best ways to use various tools and machines. In addition, workshops must be properly planned to have enough room for workers to stay clear of the risk zones when doing their work.
Otherwise, Pacific West Injury Law can ensure that the employer is held liable for any slip-and-fall accidents caused by neglect.
How do You Prevent a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
By taking proper care of the workspace and the floor area, companies can reduce slip-and-fall accidents by up to 100%. This lowers compensation claims, lost workforce, and ensures compliance with safety laws. Here are a few things that the company can do to make the workspace safer and prevent fall accidents:
- Forepersons, managers, and contractors should discuss the safety requirements of various tasks before they commence. This helps them determine the equipment and safety gear to use.
- There should be regular scanning of the potential surface hazards in the workplace. This ensures that any hazards, such as spills, are handled as soon as they happen.
- As a precautionary measure, workers should be trained to report potential safety hazards as well. If one notices uneven ground that may cause a fall, for example, there should be a way to communicate the same to the right people for action.
- If workers are working on wet surfaces, ensure that they wear slip-resistant shoes all the time. In some cases, the company may need to change the floor to make it safer or more ideal for the task being carried out there.
- Scaffolds and ladders should be placed on firm ground. To prevent slipping, the organization should only use ladders suitable for the surfaces they are working on.
- There should be visible warnings when there is a risk of falling around the business premises. Customers and workers should be warned of slippery floors, uneven ground, moving equipment, or poor weather that affects outdoor surfaces.
Precautions You Can Take Around Your Own Home
Similar precautions can be taken around the home to reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents to yourself and to others:
- Plan your home so that it is easier to move from one point to another without tripping over items.
- Ensure that you mop up any water that settles in areas where you work with water, such as the bathroom and the kitchen.
- Wear the right footwear to increase traction when walking outdoors during wet weather.
- Never stand on tables, chairs, or any other unstable surface that could cause you to trip.
- Maintain good lighting, especially at night and in the corridors, so that people can see where they are walking.
Most slip-and-fall accidents are 100% preventable if the right measures are put in place. It is important that everyone is conscious of their working surfaces and ensures that they are safe to walk on. Companies should take extra care to ensure the floors within and around the premises are safe to walk on.
Contact a Lawyer If Someone Else Caused Your Slip and Fall
If you get involved in a slip-and-fall accident, Pacific West Injury Law can help you get compensated for your pain and injuries. An experienced personal injury lawyer will handle your case and help prove negligence on the other party’s part. Contact us as soon as you get into an accident.