Slips and falls might not seem like serious occurrences, but they result in thousands of injuries and fatalities each year across the United States. In fact, slips and falls together comprised one of the top five most common workplace accidents last year based on data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Businesses and employers are responsible for keeping their premises safe in order to prevent slips, trips, and other accidents. If a business fails to ensure customer safety, a slip could cause anything from head trauma, nerve injury, paralysis, and death.
A number of accidents can be prevented just by being careful. It’s important to know the most common causes of slip and fall injuries, as well as the best ways to successfully navigate dangerous surfaces.
Major factors causing slips, trips, and falls:
- Wet or slippery surfaces, including polished, wet, and waxed floors.
- Environmental conditions, including ice, snow, and water. “Black ice,” a layer of thin, almost-invisible ice, can be hard to detect and causes frequent injury.
- Insufficient lighting, which can hide obstacles or drop-offs.
- Elevation changes, including stairs. Many stair-related injuries are caused because of stairs with uneven surfaces and tread heights.
Best ways to avoid slips and falls:
- Wear shoes with good traction.
- Use handrails and other objects to steady yourself and retain your balance.
- In the event of a fall, use your hands and legs to protect your head, neck, and spine from injury.
Businesses or workplaces with insufficient warning about slippery surfaces are often responsible for slip and fall injuries. If you have been hurt in a slip or fall, you should seek medical help immediately.