Slip and fall incidents are no laughing matter. Serious injury can result from these types of accidents. In fact, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported that, in 2014 alone, close to 32,000 people in the United States died in falls at home and at work. Furthermore, in 2013, more than 8.7 million people went to the emergency room seeking treatment for fall-related injuries.
Slip and falls are most commonly due to hazardous conditions on premises. Whether it is a parking lot, sidewalk, or different types of flooring, slip and falls can happen anywhere if there are hazardous conditions on a property that have not been properly addressed. Such hazardous conditions may be:
- Wet floors
- Greasy floors (including freshly waxed or polished floors)
- Flooring in disrepair
- Loose flooring or carpeting
- Transition point between two types of flooring
- Uneven flooring
- Missing tiles or bricks
- Damaged staircases or steps
- Absence of handrails
- Cluttered walkways
- Electrical cords or cables
- Wet leaves
- Ice and other weather hazards
Premises, especially businesses, should take reasonable steps to address these hazards in a timely fashion and try to keep visitors safe. To help keep the premises clear of some of these common slip and fall hazards, owners and managers should make it a priority to establish routine safety checks. Good housekeeping and routine checks regarding conditions on the premises can solve the vast majority of problems that lead to slip and falls.
Keeping all walkways clear, clean, and in order as well as making sure all floor surfaces are in good condition can also do a great deal to make sure people stay safe. If there are any cords being used on the premises, such as for vacuuming, having the cord run across a hallway or designated walkway should be avoided as much as possible.
There are also times when hazards appear suddenly and not over a period of time, such as flooring wear and tear. If it has snowed or the sidewalks have iced over, these hazards should be addressed as quickly as possible. If the hazardous conditions cannot be remedied in a timely manner, it would be a good idea to suspend use of the area. If a spill occurs on the property, “wet floor” signs should be utilized and the spill should be cleaned up. Safety materials such as anti-skid paint and moisture absorbing mats in entrance areas should also be put to good use.
When property owners fail to take the steps necessary to help ensure visitors remain safe and free from injury, accidents can happen too easily. All it takes is failure to maintain a property or oversight of hazardous conditions to lead to an accident such as a slip and fall resulting in serious injury. If you have been injured in a slip and fall caused by the negligence of another, our slip and fall attorneys are here to represent you. We work tirelessly to help you get the compensation you need to cover things like medical bills. Don’t wait. Contact us today.