Personal Injury Blog


Slip and fall accidents are both common and painful. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of Americans, especially those 65 years and older,  suffer a slip and fall injury annually. One out of four older adults suffers a fall every year and one out of every five falls will land the victim in the hospital with serious injuries. 

Slip and falls are also costly; in 2016, over 800,000 people were hospitalized because of a slip and fall injury, usually for head injuries or hip fractures. This can result in hefty medical bills; the combined medical costs for fall accidents in 2015 accumulated to more than $50 billion

If you can prove you were not at fault for your slip and fall accident, you can receive financial compensation to help with the recovery. But even better than winning your case is avoiding one at all; educate yourself on everything you need to know about slip and fall prevention tips to prevent this occurring to you or a loved one. 

What Are the Most Common Causes of Slips, Trips, and Falls?

For proper slip and fall prevention awareness, you must be aware of the common causes of slips, trips, and falls to avoid situations that could be dangerous. 

Slips occur when there is not enough friction or traction between a person’s footwear and the walking surface, while trips occur when a person loses their balance due to an obstruction. Common causes for slips and falls are:

Wet, Slippery Surfaces

Wet surfaces can be dangerous conditions; since they provide little traction, they can be very slippery and cause you to fall. Slippery surfaces can be caused from a variety of sources, such as water, oil, and soapy residue. 

Weather Hazards

Certain weather conditions can make you more susceptible to slipping and falling. In 2014, there were 42,480 workplace injuries and illnesses related to winter conditions, especially low temperatures, snow, sleet, and ice. Of that number, 80% of injuries were related to slip and fall accidents. Ice and snow, especially dangerous black ice, can cause even the most stable walker to slip and fall if they are not paying careful attention. Even if you’re inside, you can slip on wet floors from when people track in snow and slush.  

If you slip and fall on someone’s property, they can be convicted of negligence if they were notified of the hazard and ignored any steps to mitigate the risk. In the winter, this would look like failure to clear up or salt ice on a sidewalk.

Uneven Surfaces and Obstructions

Indoor surfaces that are uneven or have obstructions can be a major cause for slip and fall accidents. Loose mats or unanchored rugs can trip a person walking, causing a fall and potential serious injuries. Flooring and other surfaces that do not have the same degree of traction in all areas can create situations where a slip and fall is likely. 

Additionally, debris in walkways or hallways can cause a person to trip and fall. This includes messy cords and cables, clutter, open filing cabinets and desk drawers, and any other obstacles that can serve as stumbling blocks. 

Poor Lighting

Limited lighting, whether from burnt-out light bulbs or simply not enough lighting, can cause a slip and fall accident. In the dark, people naturally have a harder time being able to see where they are going and may trip on obstacles in their path that could have been avoided with proper lighting.

What is Slip Safety?

By understanding common causes of these accidents, you can take the proper precautions for slip and fall prevention. 

Slip safety measures are slip and fall prevention strategies that you can take personally or have your business put in place in order to protect employees and customers. Occupational slip safety is enforced through OSHA’s slip and fall prevention guidelines. According to OSHA, it's the law that all places of employment must have dry conditions. In the case of wet surfaces, drains must be applied or employees warned about avoiding certain areas where friction is compromised. 

Employers can help protect customers by implementing slip and fall prevention education as a part of employee training. Employees should be trained on the seriousness of accidents and the best ways to precipitate slip and fall prevention strategies for the workplace. This could look like training employees about how to recognize the causes of a potential accident, such as a spill, and the proper way to clean flooring. Initiating proper slip safety in a business will not only protect employees and customers, but prevent you as an employer from being negligent. 

How Can You Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls?

Whether you’re a customer, employee, or employer, there are several ways that you can help slip and fall prevention and protect yourself and the people around you. Practice these fall prevention tips to help prevent an accident 

  • Clean up spills immediately and properly. If a spill can’t be cleared up right away, or if the floor needs time to dry, place “wet floor” warning signs for employees and customers.
  • Keep sidewalks, walkways, and hallways free of debris and clutter. This includes making sure filing cabinets are shut and cables and cords are properly stored or covered to reduce chances of tripping. 
  • Replace worn flooring or cover with abrasive floor mats to increase traction.
  • Replace burnt-out light bulbs swiftly and consider installing more lighting in your workplace or home if you think there is not enough.
  • If you’re an employer, make sure to immediately respond to notification of potential hazardous. Failing to do so can make you liable for negligence. 
  • Install handrails for uneven surfaces.
  • Exercise caution during the winter months; salt your sidewalks, driveways, or other areas where slipping on ice is likely. 
  • Wear high-traction shoes or encourage employees to do so.
  • Provide warning signs in areas where surfaces are uneven or commonly slippery. 
  • If you are an employer, implement a slip and fall prevention program in your employee training.  

By following these slip and fall prevention strategies, you can reduce the chances of you, a loved one, a customer, or an employee experiencing a slip and fall accident and serious injuries. Slip and fall prevention is all about being aware for the safety of you and the people around you. 

What To Do If You Experience a Slip and Fall? 

Unfortunately, sometimes the best slip and fall prevention will not stop an accident from occurring. If you or a loved one experiencing an accident, it's crucial that you immediately start taking steps to pursuing your case.  

Slip and fall accidents can be very complex in court and require extensive documentation and witnesses. Working with an expert slip and fall attorney who has experience working with similar cases can make all the difference. 

At Lowman Law Firm, our experienced slip and fall attorneys have the knowledge and expertise slip and fall cases to make the process as smooth as possible for you in a difficult time. Contact us today and we can help you receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and the pain you have endured. 

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