Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common personal injury cases, and they are responsible for some pretty costly settlements for those who are found negligent. Understanding the most common slip and fall causes can provide you with the best possible chance at staying safe.
Understanding Slip and Fall Causes
“Slip and fall” is the general catch-all term that actually refers to a wider range of accidents involving the loss of balance on a surface. A “slip” occurs when there is not enough traction between a person’s foot and the ground. Other types of accidents that are generally included in this category are “trip and fall,” which occurs when the person trips over an obstacle in their path, and “step and fall,” which happens when there is a hole or unsupported dip in the walking surface.
As the National Safety Council reports, nearly 250,000 workers were injured badly enough in a fall to take a day off work in 2019, and 880 workers died due to the hazard. Some sites are more likely to be the location of a slip and fall accident than others, with construction sites being among the most common. However, slip and fall accidents can truly happen anywhere, and safety considerations are necessary even for offices and spaces with low physical demands.
If you want to avoid the most common slip and fall causes in Florida, read on for more tips.
Tip 1: Keep Your Safety at Top of Mind
You’ve probably heard the saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that is certainly true for slip and fall causes. Whenever you are entering a new space (whether for the first or the hundredth time) be sure to take stock of your surroundings. Some things to look out for include:
- Are there any steep inclines?
- Is the ground wet?
- Are there hazards on the ground I could trip over?
- Does everything look well-maintained?
- Are there any caution or hazard signs around?
Tip 2: Use the Proper Tools
There are many tools available to make slip and fall accidents much less likely. If a business has rubber mats that are placed in doorways to prevent wet feet from tracking in hazardous puddles, be sure to use them! The same goes for handrails installed near stairs to ensure that those walking up and down them have the support they need to stay safe. Whenever steps have been taken to provide you with tools that enhance your safety, you should always make use of them.
Tip 3: Be Aware of the Lighting
Slip and fall accidents aren’t just about the condition of the ground. Many are also caused by low visibility. Making sure that you do not enter a space unless there is adequate lighting — especially in areas where there are likely to be hazards — can be an easy and straightforward way to reduce the chance of injuries.
Tip 4: Notice if Things Are Not Well Maintained
Well-designed surfaces and lighting are all great plans, but they only continue to function if they are maintained. Preventing slip and fall accidents requires an ongoing plan to monitor the condition of surfaces and lighting, assess damages, and conduct repairs in a timely manner. A business needs to have a maintenance plan that includes standards for rerouting workflow and foot traffic until a repair can be made, making it far less likely that an accident will occur due to a burnt-out light bulb or a crumbling stair. If you enter a premises and the area is in disrepair or otherwise not well maintained, it is in your best interest to leave the location or choose a different route.
Tip 5: Wear the Proper Gear
The right gear can protect you from all sorts of hazardous situations. Pay attention to the required or recommended footwear and attire in order to stay safe. For example, closed-toed shoes with non-slip soles will help make sure you keep your footing on slippery surfaces. If gear is required or recommended it’s for a reason! Adhering to these guidelines will help you stay safe.
Tip 6: Watch the Weather
Slip and fall accidents are much more likely when there is precipitation. Luckily, Florida is usually free from the hazards of ice, sleet, and snow, but rain can still present a serious risk when people are tracking water onto internal surfaces and making them much slicker than usual. When the ground is wet, be careful where you step. Many businesses will have a plan for increased cleanup and additional absorbent materials on days when weather is likely to make slick surfaces more common. If you do not see a business taking these precautions, you may want to reconsider entering their premises.
Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident?
If you have been injured due to any of these slip and fall causes, you might be able to pursue a personal injury case.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.