Slips, trips, and falls are common hazards and their causes range from slippery surfaces caused by weather to poorly conducted maintenance. These types of accidents cause millions of hospital visits each year. Knowing what causes them is useful in learning how to prevent them from happening.
Flooring is a Dangerous Factor
Tile and polished stone do not create a solid friction coefficient that is sufficient for preventing slips and trips. When wax, water, ice, or sand are added to the equation, these surfaces become even more dangerous. Add in sun glare and the inability to see these on the surface of the flooring and it creates a dangerous combination of factors that can cause an individual to lose their footing. While any indoor surface can pose a slipping hazard, the risks are often greatest near entrances, exits, and on stairways.
Weather Raises the Risk
Rain, ice, and snow can make any surface hazardous to walk over and increase the risk of suffering a personal injury. It can make a concrete sidewalk or asphalt parking lot a dangerous zone to navigate. Of course, people track snow, water, ice, and sand indoors from parking lots and sidewalks which can make interior surfaces tricky to tread upon. In general, slip and fall accidents trend upwards happen when it is snowy or wet outside and Mother Nature increases the number of hazards present in the environment.
Poor Maintenance is Poor Protection
Many slip and fall accidents are caused by poor maintenance and adherence to cleaning standards. Cracked tile, chipped concrete, loose carpeting, potholes, and other imperfections on the surface make it easy for individuals to trip as they tread across these uneven surfaces. Similarly, failure to thoroughly remove water, ice, and cleaning agents including soaps and waxes from the surface creates a hazard for pedestrians that isn’t always easy to spot. When poor maintenance causes a slip and fall accident, an injury lawyer can file a premises liability claim to pursue compensation for personal injuries, medical expenses, and lost wages that the accident causes.
All of these risks can be compounded by the individual’s footwear. Shoes and boots without sufficient tread do not provide the necessary traction needed to safely move about. Regardless of whether the individual is a nurse, office worker, or construction professional, proper footwear for conditions is the first line of defense against a slip and fall accident at work.