Danger Zones: Likely Places for Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls are some of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for millions of visits to the emergency room and urgent care facilities. There are many ways to avoid falls, including being sure to clean up spills and warning others when floors are damp from being freshly cleaned. Handrails can also be installed, and people should avoid standing on chairs, tables, furniture, or any structures on wheels, as well as small throw rugs or mats that can slip, slide, or wrinkle.
Fall prevention is even more effective when individuals understand where falls are most likely to take place. Here are some of the most common places where slips, trips, and falls take place.
Doorways often have planks or bars nailed on the floor between the jambs, which function to seal the door. However, such installations can also present an uneven surface that can cause people to trip. A warning sign near the door to watch one’s step can help avoid injury.
It may seem obvious, but a messy hallway or living room is not just unsightly; it could be dangerous. Stray items, electrical cords, clothing, and discarded paper should be removed from the ground, especially in high-traffic areas.
Broken sidewalks and asphalt and areas where multiple flooring surfaces meet make for an unstable footing. Warning signs and repair to broken surfaces may make a difference in preventing falls by individuals unfamiliar with the terrain.
Ladders lead to many unnecessary falls in the United States. Remember the three-point rule (keep at least three points of contact with the ladder, like two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand), ensure the base is secure, and reposition the ladder instead of stretching to reach.
Stairs combine the danger of unguarded heights with reduced visibility and often other hazards like rugs or slippery surfaces. Ensure that lighting is adequate to show a safe path, install handrails if necessary, and, if you have young children, install gates at the top and bottom of the staircases (and unlatch them to pass; do not attempt to climb over them).
Washed or Wet Surfaces
Liquid on a flooring surface can be a recipe for disaster. Always post a “wet floor” sign if you expect others may pass through the area and stay off of freshly cleaned floors until they are dry if possible. If you work in a food service or retail environment where such surfaces are common, wear shoes with slip-resistant soles.
What happens if you have taken precautions but still become the victim of a slip, trip, or fall? At Barbas, Nunez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian, Lawyers and Counselors at Law, our experienced Tampa personal injury lawyers can help protect your rights and advocate for your recovery. If you have suffered a personal injury, including a slip, a trip, or a fall, call toll-free at 1 (800) 227-2275 for a consultation today.