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How common are slip and fall accidents? According to the CDC, more than one million people suffer from slip, trip and fall injuries each year in the United States. Unsafe floors pose a great risk to employees as well as customers. 15 percent of job related injuries occur from slips, trips and falls. Though many people fall without serious injury, nearly 20,000 people die in the U.S. each year from unintentional falls.
It is the duty of the landlord or property owner to maintain safe conditions in all areas customers and employees use. Slip and fall accidents fall under the category of same-level falls, and are the most common type of falling injury. Scrapes and bruises are the most common types of injury received from minor accidents. More severe injuries include sprains, fractures, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, or even death.
Slippery surfaces are the leading cause of slip and fall accidents. Wood, concrete, and linoleum are the preferred flooring materials for many businesses. These nonporous types of floors are easy to clean and maintain. Unfortunately, they also provide little traction and can contribute to dangerous conditions. With the right precautions, business owners can protect themselves from lawsuits involving falls and resulting injuries.
Floor mats are one of the principal ways to prevent slip and fall accidents. Placing doormats inside each entry on the property is an easy first step to safety. These mats trap dirt and water before it reaches the floor and creates a hazard. Clean the mats regularly so they maintain their ability to trap water and debris. This is especially important in rainy or snowy weather, and especially in high traffic areas.
Floor mats must lie flat. Loose floor mats can be as much of a safety hazard as having no mat at all. Many available industrial floor mats come with a vinyl backing. Double sided tape can be used as long as it is maintained on a regular basis. The best floor mats are designed to absorb up to 1.5 gallons of water per square yard.
Some businesses have areas where spills frequently occur; self serve soda and coffee grinders are examples of spill prone areas. Platform mats sit slightly off the floor and have holes for drainage to prevent slips in these areas.
Extension cords, cables, or other wires are often required in common areas in offices or workshops. Floor mats can be a great addition to these areas as well to prevent employees or customers from tripping over the wires. These mats should be flattened and taped down around the cords to prevent slippage or loose edges.
Slip and fall injuries are the most frequent accidents leading to personal injury. Strategic placement of floor mats allows business owners to protect their business from the hassle and expense of a personal injury suit. Contact a Philadelphia injury lawyer at your earliest convenience if you’ve been injured as the result of a slip and fall accident.
Just because slip and fall accidents are the most common type of accident does not mean injuries may be taken lightly. Accidents which may be avoided with something as simple as a door entry mat shouldn’t occur as frequently as they do. Discuss your claims with a Philadelphia injury lawyer to help prevent the same accident from claiming another victim.