“Fall is lively when it is a season, not when it is a danger.” Confused about the saying? Well! We all love the fall season when we breathe in the autumn air. Just ever imagined about the fall that gets the danger to a life? Are you aware about the slips, trips and falls that actually count to be amongst one of the most common workplace injuries? If you are known to the dangers of slip, trips, and falls perhaps you must surely be looking for the safety precautions or the best of risk management available for keeping self and others safe from the injuries. This current article will reflect on slips, trips and falls where we will be keeping a note on some of its most common causes and its statistics. We will also let you know about the effective risk management and the exclusive workplace laws for injuries caused due to slip, trips & falls and the right to claim for damages through a personal injury claim and the role of an attorney in helping you win that claim for slips, trips and falls.
Understanding Slips, Trips And Falls: Explained In Brief!
Injuries due to falls may be because of the fall from height also called as fall from elevation like fall from roof, fall from ladder etc or maybe due to the fall from slips and trips. As this article relates about the slip, trips and falls; in this section we will know about the fall from slips and trips.
When there is very little friction or traction between the person’s footwear and the walking surface, there occur the slips and the fall accidents due to slips. There are various causes leading to slips and the accidents due to slips. Some of the most common causes include the improper cleaning or spills on the floor, uneven surfaces or improper flooring or in case the walking surfaces have uneven traction all around, loose mats, weather factors etc.
Trips are something which occurs when your foot strikes or collides with any object thereby losing your balances and causing you to fall and get injured. Some common causes for trips and falls include poor lighting, uneven walking surfaces, bottom doors kept unclosed, wrinkled mats on the ground, obstructed vision etc.
Statistics Related To Slip, Trips And Falls
Here below are some of the reports available on slip, trips and falls (STF) and the injuries caused by STF.
- On one report during the year 2013, it was mentioned that Slips, Trips & Falls were about 17% of all the injuries caused at workplace during the year. As such according to the report it accounts for the second most common workplace injuries.
- In the year 2011, one study mentioned that falls were the leading causes of unintentional injuries during the year. It also stated that about 8.9 millions of victims of the injuries due to falls were taken to the emergency department.
- A report during 2009 stated that 25000 deaths were recorded due to slips, trips and falls in United States of America.
- It is also recorded that during the year 2009, slips, trips and falls have resulted as the second most leading causes of unintentional deaths at homes.
- There are also statistics which shows majority of the falls are the result of slips and trips. Another cause of injuries arising out of falls is the fall from height.
Factors Linked To Slips, Trips And Falls:
Now, let us dive down towards the section mentioning about some of the factors leading to slips, trips and falls.
- Flooring: This is one of the most common causes for slips, trips and fall accidents. It must be kept in mind that in order to prevent falls due to slips and trips, the walking surfaces must be even and thus the flooring must be taken into a serious account.
- Environment: Sometimes environment also lead to slips, trips and falls. Lightning, loud and sudden noises, humidity etc can be some of the environmental factors leading to slips, trips and falls.
- Footwear: Improper footwear or wrong footwear more often causes slips, and the falls due to slips.
- Housekeeping: “No matter how well your flooring is, if you don’t have an active housekeeping; you are inviting the falls!” Yes! Housekeeping has been one of the major factors leading to slips, trips and falls.Oil spills on the floor, loose rags on the ground, uneven objects in the walking surface remaining unclean etc can lead to Slips trips and falls and the injuries due to the falls.
- Human Factors: Human factors are something where people are involved as a cause, leading to slips, trips and falls. Quick and unstable walking, improper footwear selection, bad housekeeping, etc falls under this category.
Risk Management: How Slips, Trips and Falls can be Prevented?
“Life has risks in it. It is all about how you manage the risks!” So, here let us discuss on some of the crucial ways one can prevent the slips, trips and falls. Below are some of the steps for risk management in slips, trips, and falls.
- In order to prevent the slips, trips and falls caused by environmental factors, one must keep in mind to choose properly fitting, slip resistance footwear which can make fine difference. It must also be noted not to rush down and keep fair focus on the steps and the ground while walking. Key importance must also be providing for managing a proper lightening at house, workplace, communities etc.
- Flooring must be made suitable for engaging work activities taking place on a daily basis. The surface must have an even traction everywhere. Pressure sensitive abrasive strips, non slippery flooring etc can improve the flooring and reduce the chances of slips, trips and falls to a greater extent.
- One must keep in mind to lay emphasis on the housekeeping. Maybe at the workplace or at home, housekeeping must be checked on a strict basis. Floors must be cleaned daily and any spills must be wiped off immediately. Keeping the floor away from any loose rags or unanchored mats can help in preventing injuries due to slips, trips and falls.
- Keeping strict notes on footwear is one of the major steps to be followed for a proper risk management in slips, trips and falls. Slip resistance footwear and properly fitting footwear must be chosen so as to prevent falls due to slips.
- Among other important ways to keep away from the risks of slip, trips and falls; it must be kept in mind to use proper lighting at workplace, house, hotels etc; use flashlight in dark room while entering the room etc. It must be noted to cover the cables running on the floors, etc.
Slip, Trips And Falls At Workplace And The Available Laws:
“It is true, injuries know and visit you; not the place you are in!” Though, slips, trips and falls can occur anywhere including house, hotels, roads or workplaces; it has been noticed that slips, trips and falls are one of the most common causes of accidents at workplace. So, in this particular section, we will discuss about the slips, trips and falls at workplace and the available laws for the employees which can assist you in case of any danger occurring due to injuries of slips, trips and falls at workplace.
Workplace Laws For Slips, Trips, And Falls:
- The Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 (HSWA): This acts states that employers are required to ensure the health and safety of all employees. The necessary steps to control slips and trip risks at workplace, falls under this act.
- The workplace (health, safety and welfare) regulations of 1992: This law states that the floor at the workplace must be suitable enough for the people working under the roof, move smoothly and in a risk free manner.
- The management of health and safety at work, during 1999: A further improvement to the HSWA of 1974, this is built to assess necessary duties on the employers in terms of health and safety of their employers. Taking necessary actions in managing risks at workplace, (including the risks due to slips, trips and falls) comes under this.
Filing For Slips, Trips, Falls Injury Claim:
There are certain cases where one can file slips, trips and falls injury claim in case he/she believes the injury was caused due to some other party’s negligence. One has the right to claim for the damages caused due to the slip, trip and fall accidents through a personal injury claim.
There are Premises liability claims available for the accidents caused due to slips, trips and falls in places which you do not own. You can look for the premises liability claims and claim for the damages caused to you because of the negligence of the property owner or the person liable to the property/place. Actually the Premises liability claims is a term used to explain the responsibility of the owner or the manager liable to the property which is open to public visit. Now, coming clear on this in case you were involved in a slip, trip and fall at a shopping mall or a hotel over a freshly mopped floor without a “Caution: Wet Floor” Sign board, you can claim the premises liability claim from the shopping mall owner for the damages caused due to the fall.
Is Your Slip, Trip And Fall Accident Claim A Valid One?
Now, let us look for the elements which assure that your personal injury claims under slips, trips and falls accidents is a valid claim:
- In case the injury is due to slip, trips and falls.
- In case the place where slips, trips and falls accident occurred is under another party’s ownership or management.
- In case you were practically present on the property that is absolutely clear according to the law.
- In case there was sufficient time and scope with the property owner or the liable manager of the property to identify and eradicate the hazard at his place that caused you the slips, trips and falls injury.
Met With A Slip, Trip And Fall Injury? Contact Attorney/Lawyer!
The role of an attorney or a lawyer is highly important in case you are claiming for personal injury or the slip, trips and falls accident claims from the third party for the injuries sustained because of the other party’s negligence. Filing a personal injury claim for the slip, trip or fall accidents can help in compensating the financial pressure caused due to the medical expenses as well as help compensate the lost wages in case you have to take leave from your work because of the injury caused due to slips, trips and falls accidents occurring because of the negligence of another entity. Here a personal injury lawyer can help you from recovering damages as well as help you calculate the extent of your future losses due to the injury. So, reach out to an expert personal injury attorney/lawyer or an established team of attorneys which can help you in seeking damages for slips, trips, and falls through a personal injury claim.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention for Healthcare Workers: https://www.cdc.gov/nora/councils/hcsa/stopfalls.html
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – Slips, Trips, and Falls: https://www.osha.gov/walking-working-surfaces
- National Safety Council (NSC) – Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls: https://www.nsc.org/safety-first-blog/preventing-slips-trips-and-falls
- The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – Slips, Trips, and Falls in the Workplace: https://www.hse.gov.uk/slips/
- National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) – Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls: https://nfsi.org/resources/publication-library/
- American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) – Slips, Trips, and Falls: https://www.assp.org/resources/topics/safety-topics/slips-trips-and-falls
- United States Department of Labor – Fall Prevention Campaign: https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/safety-health/falls
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) – Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention for Healthcare Workers: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/falls/default.html
- American Bar Association (ABA) – Slip, Trip, and Fall Injuries: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/young_lawyers/publications/the_101_201_practice_series/slips_trips_falls/