The idea of a slip and fall leading to serious injury may seem silly to some people. Imagery of clumsy people and frivolous lawsuits immediately come to mind. However, slips and falls can be very dangerous and lead to over 1 million emergency room visits each year. Nearly half of all accidental deaths at home are caused by falls, and most injuries happen at ground level rather from elevation.
The risk carries over to the workplace as well. In fact, slips and falls are the leading cause of worker’s compensation claims , tallying nearly 85% of all claims, primarily on slippery or slick floors. They also represent the primary cause of work days lost, with 22% leading to over 30 days of work missed. The combination of compensation and medical costs from slip and fall injuries is estimated at over $70 billion annually. The most common places for slips and falls are doorways, uneven surfaces, areas prone to wetness or spills ramps, and areas of heavy traffic.
Despite the danger, there are a number of simple steps that can be taken to make the workplace or home safer:
– Stay off freshly mopped floors and ensure caution signs are used on wet areas.
– Clean up spills immediately
– Secure all electrical cords in any traffic areas
– Wear footwear with good support and slip resistant soles
– Maintain open walking pathways
– Ensure that all traffic areas have adequate lighting, both indoors and outdoors
– Adjust gutters to drive water away from walkways and paths
– Never stand on a surface that has wheels, such as a table or chair
– Use non skid mats
– Install handrails on both sides of all staircases
These steps, along with countless others, can go a long way creating a safer workplace, home, and overall environment. Martin Solomon is a Phoenix personal injury attorney and has represented hundreds of people who have been injured. He is an advocate for safety and works to help create safer work environments for employees and the general public.