Slips, trips and falls can cause catastrophic injuries. While the majority of slips and trips happen on a floor, about 30 percent occur when the person falls from a height.
The Prevention of Slips, Trips and Falls
Slips, trips and falls can cause catastrophic injuries. While the majority of slips and trips happen on a floor, about 30 percent occur when the person falls from a height. The latter often results when the individual falls from a ladder or down steps or off a roof.
How Do Trips Happen?
Trips occur when your foot hits an object, causing you to lose your balance and fall. The top reasons why people trip and fall are:
- Dim lights that make it hard to see
- Cables lying on the floor such as light and computer cords
- Older or poorly laid carpets that are loose and wrinkled
- Clutter left strewn about the area
- Furniture placement that hides objects
- Walking surfaces that are uneven
- Open drawers that fool walkers into thinking there is no obstruction
Slips and Falls
Slipping is frequently caused by a wet or slippery floor. Without traction, the foot slides and the individual falls. Common reasons for slips are:
- The floor surface is oily or wet.
- A product has spilled on the floor such as laundry soap or food.
- Rugs that are not anchored to the floor or do not have an anti-slip mat present a slip and fall hazard.
- Wet weather that makes entrance areas slippery is a common cause of falls.
Preventing Slips and Trips
Usually, trips and slips are caused by an unexpected change in the walking surface. There are ways to prevent falls:
Keep the Premises Safe
Keeping the area clean is fundamental to preventing falls such as the following:
- Immediately cleaning up spills
- Clearing debris from floors by mopping or sweeping
- Using tacking or taping methods to secure mats, carpets and rugs that will not lay flat
- Containing spills and identifying wet areas
- Keep filing cabinets and storage drawers closed at all times
- Covering cables running across walkways
- Maintaining walkways as clutter-free as possible and removing obstacles
- Replacing faulty switches and dim bulbs
- Maintaining a well-lit workspace and walkways
Safety protocols are critical for any preventive measures. This includes high traction flooring, slip-proof footwear and teaching workers safety techniques. It also includes scheduled inspections of the area, especially in commercial buildings. If proper practices are not instituted, a premises liability claim can be filed.
Modifying walking surfaces is another way of preventing slips. Replacing the walking surfaces if they are uneven and installing mats or a non-slippery coating can improve the risk of falling and overall safety. Also non-slippery flooring reduces foot fatigue and helps prevent slipping.
The proper footwear should be chosen for work environments where floors may be oily or wet or where workers spend a lot of time outdoors. It’s highly recommended to consult with manufacturers since there’s no footwear with anti-slip properties for every condition. An employee’s safety is improved by properly fitting footwear as it enhances comfort and prevents fatigue.
How an Attorney Can Help When Slips, Trips and Falls Occur
If an accident on a slippery floor or one littered with boxes, food crates or debris occurs, it is a good idea to seek legal advice. The attorney can investigate the incident and determine liability if it happened on another’s premises. Failure to take preventive measures in such cases or respond to dangerous situations can implicate another homeowner, an owner of a commercial business or even a government agency.
The Roeser Law Firm
If you suffer a slip, trip or fall accident injury, call the Roeser Law Firm at (202) 660-4070, or contact us online to schedule a free case review. Our slip and fall lawyers will answer any questions you may have, and after reviewing your case, discuss the options you have going forward.