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Tips to Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents

65% of all reported slips, trips and falls occur at, what is referred to as ‘same-level’; meaning the person did not fall from a heightened location (referred to as an ‘elevated-fall’), such as a ladder or step stool but from the level they were standing or walking on, i.e. the floor.

60% of falls were reported from wholesale, retail, and service industries, with another 16% attributed directly to warehouse employees, alone.

While a same-level slip and fall may seem like a relatively minimal hazard in the workplace, they account for, on average:

  • 46% of fatal Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) in the elderly.
  • Approximately 20,000 American deaths per year.
  • 15% of all accidental deaths.
  • 12 to 15% of workers compensation claims.
  • 800,000 hospitalizations.
  • 20% of on the job injuries.
  • 1 out of 6 work related, lost-time injuries, and;
  • $31 Billion dollars annually, with 2/3 of the cost going directly to hospital expenses.

Source:

Slip and fall statistics

Tips to Prevent Same-Level Slips, Trips, and Falls

  • Most slips, trips and falls that happen in or around a business are caused by a combination of water buildup (ice in the winter) and oil and soil buildup from foot traffic on hard, unprotected floors.

    Additional, easily preventable hazards result from:

    • Wet or slippery shoes.
    • Dust or power covered dry floors.
    • Uneven walkways.
    • Recently buffed or waxed hard surfaces.
    • Floor surface transition, specifically from carpet to hard flooring.
    • Ramps and similar structures that lack non-skid surfaces.
    • Physical obstructions, such as electrical cords, open desk drawers, and other clutter, and;
    • Outdoor factors, such as rain, snow, or ice, as well as the accumulation of wet leaves at the entrance.

    Source:

    To protect your business, patrons, guests, and employees, the following actions are recommended:

    • Clean up all spilled water, or other fluids immediately.
    • Place wet floor signs along common walkways to alert everyone to potentially hazardous surfaces.
    • Ensure clutter is removed from all walkways as quickly and safely as possible.
    • Use microfiber mops to more effectively absorb water and other fluids from hard surfaces.
    • Prevent water and soil from entering your building, or accumulating at the entrance by employing the ideal configuration of walkway mats, specific to your buildings floor design and layout.

    Outside of the mentioned, average medical cost of approximately $20 thousand dollars, property owners can expect an additional $100 thousand dollar liability suit; more if a fatality is involved, in the event of a slip and fall accident.

    Keeping that number in mind, the cost-effectiveness and return on investment of high-performance janitorial services, combined with the correct placement of walkway matting becomes a sound investment.

    Walkway Matting Tips

    High-performance matting comes in a few basic combinations, with higher end configurations possible for businesses wishing to add to the appeal of their lobby’s and primary entryways; specifically, scraper, wiper, and combination scraper/wiper mats.

    In addition to preventing soil and moisture entrance and walkway buildup, as well as improved building appearance, and protecting pedestrians, walkway mats provide several other benefits, including:

    • Protecting your carpet from damage, especially in winter months when ice melt can cause salt stains to appear on carpets, sidewalks, and hard floors.
    • Improve indoor air quality by trapping as much as 95% of dirt, soil, and other microbes, proven to enter the inside of buildings on the bottom of shoe soles; significantly contributing to the overall health and well-being of all building occupants.

    See Also:

     

    References and Resources

    • Takeaway

      Slips and falls are a common yet entirely preventable hazard if the right equipment is used, and proper floor care is provided.

      Make sure to employ an experienced janitorial services provider that understands seasonal floor care requirements, and possess the ability to provide and care for walkway matting that could potentially save a human life, and your business a fortune in fines, penalties, lawsuits, and lost business.

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    Worried about slip, trip and fall accidents caused by lax janitorial service practices? Maybe it’s time to hire a new contract cleaning company.

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