Falls are a leading cause of injuries and deaths – responsible for eight million emergency room visits per year, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. Slip and falls specifically send around one million people to the hospital annually. Although slip and fall accidents are often caused by dangerous property defects, such as slippery or uneven surfaces, you may be able to protect yourself from this injury risk with a few simple tips.
Spot Slip and Fall Hazards
In your workplace, at the grocery store and right at home, get into the habit of spotting potential slip and fall hazards. Look for property defects that could lead to a harmful fall accident, such as cracked sidewalks, uneven stairs, puddles on the floor, unsecured floor mats and exposed cords. Tell someone about the defect, such as your landlord or employer. If they don’t fix it in a reasonable amount of time, ask again. Document each time you request repairs as proof of negligence if the defect causes an injury later. Keeping documented evidence can help your Pittsburgh workers’ compensation attorney in the event that you file an injury claim.
Watch Where You’re Walking
Many slip and fall accidents can be prevented by the victim paying attention to where he or she is going. This is especially true during the winter months in Pennsylvania, when walking surfaces may be covered in slippery ice or snow. Don’t look down at your phone while you walk and try not to rush to your destination. Take your time and pay attention to the floor surface in front of you so that you can notice potential slip and fall hazards ahead of time.
Maintain Your Home and Grounds
Adequate property maintenance can prevent most slip and fall hazards, as well as other property defects that could cause injuries. As a property or homeowner in Pennsylvania, it is your responsibility to properly maintain your premises. Staying on top of property maintenance can also keep you safe from slip and fall risks. Inspect your property regularly for potential slip or trip and fall hazards. If you notice any issues, post warning signs for others and make repairs as soon as possible.
Prepare for Seasonal Slip and Fall Hazards
Prepare ahead of time for bad weather that could increase slip and fall accident risks, such as rain and snow. If you run a business or plan on welcoming anyone onto your property, use “Caution: Wet Floor” signs to warn visitors of slippery floors. Keep a mop or paper towels handy to dry wet floors quickly. If you experience snow or ice on your property, shovel or salt walkways to prevent weather-related slip and fall accidents.
Train Personnel on Slip and Fall Safety
If you are an employer or own a business, train your staff members to abide by basic slip and fall safety measures. Your personnel should not be in a hurry, run in the office or engage in horseplay. They should always wear the proper footwear with good traction. If they see cluttered walkways or potential fall hazards, they should let you know immediately to remedy the issue. Our team of Pittsburgh premises liability lawyers recommend training on safety precautions to avoid injury in the workplace.
Wear the Right Shoes
Always wear the right shoes when working or walking around a property. Closed-toed, nonslip shoes can help keep you on your feet on slippery surfaces. Shoes with good traction, such as rubber-soled shoes, can prevent a slip and fall accident. Our experienced Pittsburgh slip and fall attorneys recommend taking extra safety measures in wet, slippery or dangerous conditions, such as after a snowstorm.
Maintain Proper Lighting
Make sure all rooms and walkways have adequate lighting. Proper lighting and walkway illumination can increase visibility and allow people to see potential trip and fall hazards. Repair any lights or switches immediately if they malfunction. Taking steps to prevent slip and fall accidents can keep not only yourself safe but also any workers or visitors on your property. Being proactive about preventing slip and fall accidents could protect you from liability if someone does fall on your premises.