Eight million people go to the emergency room each year because of slip and fall accidents. Slip and falls are one of the leading causes of accident injuries each year. These accidents don’t just create legal liability and financial uncertainty, but they’re also a public health problem.
Because of the personal and financial risks that accompany slip and fall accidents, it’s essential to do everything that you can to prevent falls. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you will want to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure you get the compensation you need to make a full recovery. Here are ten ways to prevent slip and fall accidents.
Keep up with Routine Maintenance Needs
Over time, your property has routine maintenance needs. Your sidewalks, curbs, and walkways may settle and crack. Seasonal changes can bring wear and tear to your structures. Take the time to remove roots, rocks, weeds, and even twigs from your sidewalks and curbs. Correcting structural deficiencies can help you avoid slip and fall accidents.
Use Carpets and Grip Materials on Slippery Surfaces
Carpets and grippers can work wonders on slippery surfaces. Rugs and mats are great for entryways and other places where people might change their direction of movement. Carpets allow people to brush off their feet to remove debris, water or mud before they proceed into your business.
Grippers can do a lot to improve traction on stairs. Railings are also helpful. Make sure that carpets are secured to the floor. Check grippers periodically to make sure that they don’t peel or fray.
Mark Handicap Entrances and Exits Clearly
Handicap entrances and exits are critical to making sure that everyone can enter your property safely. However, a handicap entrance doesn’t work if people can’t find it. Make sure that handicap entrances and exits are carefully marked. Make sure that your handicap entrances comply with all applicable laws and that you ensure that those who need to use them can do so with ease.
Turn on the Lights
Lighting can make a significant difference to prevent slip and fall accidents. You need adequate lighting both inside and outside. Perform regular inspections to replace burnt out bulbs and solve other problems. Inspecting your property can not only help you prevent a slip and fall, but it can also help you avoid legal liability if a slip and fall occurs.
Use Good Housekeeping Practices
Taking care of your property on a daily basis is essential. Daily cleaning practices can help you prevent a slip and fall. Even things like a paper towel on the floor in the bathroom or tissue that doesn’t make it to the trash can might cause a slip and fall.
Establish procedures to perform routine cleaning on your property. Make sure to clean surfaces like tile, wood, and linoleum so that oil and water don’t cause a problem. When people conduct business or otherwise use a property, it’s common for spills to occur and debris to pile up. You can avoid a slip and fall accident by performing routine housekeeping to clean up the messes that can happen during the course of a day.
Secure Electrical Cords and Wires
With the technology that we rely on today, it’s common for a workstation to have multiple cords and wires. You might have one wire for the work phone, another for the internet, and yet another for your personal phone. These cords and cables can cause a slip and fall when they become caught in chairs or when a person trips as they step over them.
You can secure cords and wires to the walls. You can even run them through walls to minimize their potential to cause a slip and fall. Securing cords and cables can prevent a slip and fall accident.
Avoid Putting Obstacles Where People Walk
To avoid a slip and fall, carefully evaluate where you put items on your property. Don’t put filing cabinets in a narrow hallway. Don’t set someone’s workstation where their chair can obstruct a walkway. Taking the time to plan your layout intentionally can help you avoid a fall.
Require People to Be Safe
Establish practices for employees and guests that help them stay safe. Don’t let people wear sunglasses where lighting is dim. Require everyone to wear shoes and shirts at all times. Make sure that your employees and guests don’t leave personal effects like purses or duffels where they can be a hazard. A little common sense can go a long way when it comes to preventing a slip and fall accident.
Be Vigilant of Changing Weather Conditions
When the weather changes, make adjustments. If there’s rain that’s collecting near an entrance, it might be best to direct people to another door. If there’s wind, you may need to collect twigs and debris that gather on walkways. Whatever the changing weather conditions, staying vigilant can help you avoid an accident.
Take Remedial Measures When a Slip and Fall Occurs
If a slip and fall accident happens, look at the situation and think about why it occurred. Even if there’s nothing that you could have done to prevent the accident, you may want to make changes to prevent additional accidents. You might want to add warning signs. You may need to make design or structural changes to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
If I Take Remedial Measures, Is That Evidence of Guilt?
You might wonder if you’re going to hurt your case by taking remedial measures. You might wonder if the other side can use it against you if you take safety precautions after an accident occurs. The answer is no.
Nevada Revised Statute 48.095 says subsequent remedial measures aren’t admissible to prove fault. If you take steps to move furniture, put down grippers or improve lighting after a slip and fall, the slip and fall victim can’t use it against you when you go to court. The jury can only consider your actions before the fall occurs.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident, you will want to work with an experienced attorney to build your personal injury claim. Your lawyer can help evaluate your case, explore how Nevada law applies, and determine what steps to take to ensure your interests are protected.