Accidents can happen anywhere. Businesses are required to exercise due diligence to keep their premises safe and in good condition for guests and invitees. Whether you’re preparing for the worst or have been involved in a premises liability accident, it’s good to know the answer to the question – what is the leading cause of slips, trips, and falls?
Many top causes of slips, falls, and trips are often cheap and easy to fix. Simple actions like regularly cleaning up any spillage after an accident immediately or removing cables that are lying around can prevent injuries. Removing a trip or slip hazard is all it takes to put a stop to the problem and avoid a costly lawsuit when a serious injury occurs.You’ll need a respected and experienced West Palm Beach premises liability lawyer to help you file your lawsuit to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Slips, trips, and falls may not seem like a big issue, but these types of accidents can cause serious injuries, long-term damages, liabilities, and even death. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, slips, trips, and falls cause nearly 700 fatalities per year and even more injuries.
Leading Causes of Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls can be caused by different things, not just common spills. Let’s take a look at some common examples.
Floors and other walkways can easily become slippery in different circumstances. Sidewalks or hard flooring can become hazardous due to inclement weather, such as ice, snow, rain, or a mix of these. Walkways of any type can become slippery when there is a liquid spill, whether it be oil, water, paint, or something else.
Polished floor tiles become even more of a slip and fall hazard when used in the entrances of buildings, since rain, snow, mud, and other debris is often tracked in. Anyone who is walking into a building on inclement weather days must be cautious, and floors must be diligently kept dry and clean throughout bad weather days.
Since computers, smartphones, and digital technology have taken over our lives and our businesses, so have cables. In a typical office workspace, there are cables for charging, computers, printers, monitors, internet cables, and more.
Cables may be lying around the floors and may be disorganized throughout workspaces. They are a trip and fall hazard that could both hurt you and damage the connected equipment.
Managing cables is vital to avoid trips and falls, ensuring first and foremost that no uncovered cables are in or near the walkway. Cable management can be easy, but it must be planned for when adding in lots of technology, extra workspaces, equipment, and more.
Poor housekeeping happens when the businesses’ maintenance staff fails to keep the premises clean, organized, and safe. Walkways should be kept clear, level, and secure. When a business is cluttered and dirty, more obstacles are in the walkway, leading to a trip and fall. Businesses must uphold responsible housekeeping standards to keep employees, customers, and other guests from falling.
Even if a business is busy, spills must be cleaned up immediately, and walkways must be kept free of clutter, obstacles, slippery areas, spills, and beyond. There must be procedures in place for cleaning up any waste, loose objects, or other hazards regularly.
Flooring should also be kept as level as possible, as uneven flooring is a major cause of slips and falls. Any repairs in flooring need to be done immediately.
Lack of Lighting
A premise can become even more hazardous when there is inadequate lighting. A well-lit facility keeps everyone safe and informed about what’s around them. When there are potential hazards, they are visible and can be avoided or remediated.
A business may need to add more lighting to its facility to ensure that all guests have full visibility at all times. If there is ever a change in flooring or floor levels within the premises, it is a good idea to have even more lighting to avoid these types of accidents.
Obstacles and Obstructions
Obstacles can easily obstruct the walkway, especially when large equipment is in use. Employees may leave equipment, tools, or materials lying around the workplace, causing trips and falls. Sometimes, temporary obstacles are necessary but are not well-marked, leading to an accident.
Employees must put away materials, supplies, and equipment as soon as possible after work, especially in small facilities. Putting goods in the wrong place and not cleaning up your work equipment can cause someone else harm.
Meet With a Premises Liability Lawyer After Your Accident
Beyond knowing the leading cause of slips, trips, and falls, it’s important to wear the right footwear and be careful at all times, especially if you know of any hazards present.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a premises liability accident, a trusted Boca Raton premises liability lawyer at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, lvey & Fronrath is here to help. Call 561-655-1990, send us a message, or chat with us live to ask us any questions or schedule a free consultation.