According to the National Safety Council (NSC), slip and fall accidents are the third leading cause of accidental death in the United States. In 2014 alone, nearly 32,000 people died from injuries sustained in a fall. Although slip and fall accidents are the number one cause of workers’ compensation claims, they are even more common in the home or community. Read on for more information about slip and fall accidents at home and in the workplace, and how you can avoid becoming a statistic.
- Falls are the second leading cause of injury-related fatalities in individuals between the ages of 65 and 84, and the leading cause for those 85 and older.
- Most fall-related injuries occur at ground level.
- More than 60 percent of nursing home residents are injured in a fall-related accident annually.
- Approximately 85 percent of workers’ comp claims cite slipping on slick floors as the cause of injury.
- Nearly one-quarter of all slip and fall accidents result in at least one month off work.
- Total costs for workplace slip and fall accidents reach about $70 billion annually.
How to Avoid a Slip and Fall Accident
The risk of being injured in a slip and fall accident rises with age, and is most likely to occur in the home or community. But workplace slip and fall accidents can also be fatal (nearly 600 deaths and 47,000 injuries in 2013). The tips below can help you dramatically reduce your risk of being seriously injured or killed in a slip and fall accident. A Boston personal injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident.
- Clean spills immediately.
- Wait until freshly mopped floors have dried completely.
- Walking paths should be clear of all electrical cords, boxes, books, toys, and other clutter.
- Avoid using small throw rugs. If you must use them, apply non-skid adhesives to the underside.
- Frequently used items should be stored in easy to reach areas.
- Wear slip-resistant shoes.
- Furniture should be arranged so as to provide open pathways for walking.
- Drawers and cabinet doors should be kept closed.
- Install handrails on staircases.
- Install gates at top and bottom of staircases if you have little ones.
- All walking pathways – indoors and outdoors – should be well lit at all times.
- Check outdoor walkways for damages. Repair as needed.
- Never stand on a chair or table to reach something.
- When using a ladder, maintain at least three points of contact at all times (i.e. one foot and two hands or one hand and two feet).
- A ladder should always be placed on a stable surface.
- When climbing down a ladder, step one rung at a time.
- Never lean or overreach when on a ladder.