Prevent Trip, Slip and Falls
Do you know the difference between a slip and fall and a trip and fall? A slip is when there is insufficient friction between an individual's footwear and the floor surface and the individual falls. A trip happens when one’s foot collides with an object causing them to lose their balance and fall. There are two types of falls – falling at the same level and falling to a lower level.
Trip, slip and falls can can happen to anyone and occur anywhere – in the home, the workplace, in parking garages, in stairwells, on walkways, at school, in retail stores, in the grocery store, at a mall, in hotels, at theme parks, and more.
Falls are the third leading cause of unintentional-injury-related deaths for all ages and the number one cause of death for those 65 and older, according to injuryfacts.nsc.org. There are 3 million older adults who are treated in emergency departments each year for fall injuries and more than 800,000 patients are hospitalized each year because of injuries due to a fall.
Many trip, slip and falls are the result of someone or a business’ negligence. Common causes of trip, slip and falls often include debris, liquid or water on the floor, loose rugs or mats, broken or missing handrails, uncovered cables or wires, uneven surfaces, cracked sidewalks, improper use of ladders, unsafe construction or work zones, poor lighting, lack of employee training, lack of or improper use of safety equipment, and inadequate warnings of an existing danger in the area.
Trip, slip and falls can lead to serious injury and even death. Injuries can include cuts, bruises, sprains, broken bones, fractures, hip fractures, burns, dislocations, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
Trip, slip and falls are preventable. Here are some of the National Safety Council’s trip, slip and fall preventions safety tips:
- Take your time and pay attention – don’t walk distracted and put your phone away.
- Wear proper and sensible footwear and use appropriate safety equipment.
- Practice good housekeeping and maintenance – clean up and remove any obstacles or dangers.
- Use drink container lids to prevent spilled liquid.
- Always use handrails when walking up or down stairs.
- Maintain good lighting indoors and out.
- Pay attention to weather conditions.
- If you see a slip, trip or fall hazard, don’t assume someone else will deal with it. Please alert the appropriate person, manager, supervisor, or business owner to fix or remedy the situation.
If you are the victims of a trip, slip and fall, and are injured – call 911, if you are able take pictures of the scene and what caused the fall (preserve the evidence), get contact information from any witnesses, and call an experienced trip, slip and fall attorney.