You’re walking as you go about your business in the mall, the workplace, another person’s property, or even your own home, and suddenly, you slip and fall! Statistics have it; that slips and trips are responsible for more than 17,000 deaths and almost a million injuries annually in the US alone. Many who suffer such injuries are also left with lifelong scars, head trauma, incapacitation, or disability. Needless to mention, these accidents also tend to affect older adults more, in which they can have serious consequences.
What’s more, they can happen in both indoor and outdoor settings and can be caused by various factors, including slippery floors, uneven surfaces, and obstructions such as trailing cables, spillages, as well as improper PPE ethics at work. If it happens to you in someone else’s property and negligence is apparent, you may have the right to claim compensation for medical bills incurred, lost wages, pain, and suffering that result from your injuries. Gary B. Englander from Englander Peebles law firm says that slips and trips are common accidents in workplaces as well as commercial and residential properties where the owner has the duty of care. Apart from just disrupting the victim’s life, a slip and trip accident can change the victim’s life forever. Whether you’re a property owner or a potential victim, understanding the various causes of these accidents can keep you informed about your rights and obligations so you can also take protective measures.
On this note, here are the common causes of a majority of slip and trip accidents.
1. Wet and Uneven Surfaces
It’s rare not to encounter a wet surface in our daily routines, either at home, the office, or even the shopping mall. Some conditions that contribute to slip and fall accidents under this category may include:
- Recently mopped wet or waxed floors
- Failure to install warning signs on wet surfaces
- Portholes at the parking places
- Poor construction of stair rails
- Poor flooring
- Loose mats and carpets
- Fallen objects
- Spilled liquids
2. Improper Training
Slip and fall accidents are likely to occur at workplaces or construction sites. This makes it important to ensure you train your employees or workers on how to maneuver themselves around the construction site. From time to time, let them look out for objects on the floor, which may cause a foot trip. Remove unnecessary debris and any other material dropping on the floor. Also, construction site managers need to ensure that warning signage is put on the site indicating hazards such as wet paints, oil spillage, etc. Employers should invest in on-the-job training for their workers to minimize these workplace accidents.
3. Poor Lighting
Poor lighting systems can contribute largely to fall and slip. In homes, staircases, streets, and workplaces, proper lightings are essential to prevent slips, trips, and falls. To protect yourself, it’s best to avoid walking in dark places, or premises with poor lighting since you will hardly notice any obstructions on the floor. Proper lighting ensures improved vision when walking at night, especially in the streets or in the neighborhood.
4. Watching Your Steps
People are always in a hurry running daily errands. Many slip-and-fall accidents occur to people who are not keen on where they’re stepping. For instance, you could be using your phone while walking, which makes it difficult to notice when you’re about to trip on something.
5. Improper Footwear
Lack of proper footwear contributes largely to slips and falls. It’s advisable for women who love wearing high heels to choose a pair of shoes that is not only comfortable but also appropriate for the kind of environment they’re walking through. On the same note, sneakers and boots that don’t provide the proper traction can also result in slips and falls at home or in the workplace. Ensure you wear the appropriate shoes for each activity, especially while jogging or having your normal walk and tie shoelaces properly.
Well, your bathroom is by far one of the most important rooms in the home. Surprisingly, research has shown that a huge number of accidental injury deaths in the house occur in bathrooms. Wet slippery floors, high tub walls, and small spaces in the bathroom or shower designs pose a threat to everyone. To make it safer, always clean the bathroom regularly to avoid the slimy floors. Also, it pays to avoid the use of glossy tiles or polished stones in the bathrooms, which makes the floor more slippery. You can also reduce the risk by making your bathroom friendly for both adults and children.
The risk of slips and trip accidents can range from minor to serious and potentially fatal injuries. Some of these injuries can wreak havoc in the victim’s life, physically, emotionally, and financially. It’s best to take precautions to reduce and prevent slip and trip hazards as much as possible, both at home and in the workplace. With knowledge about some of the mentioned causes, homeowners, employers, and employees can protect their loved ones and the people who matter to them most from these kinds of injuries.