Slip, trip, and fall prevention is something that every property owner needs to have on the top of their minds. The last thing anyone wants is for someone to get injured on their property – especially if they could have done something to avoid it. If you’re a property owner, it’s your responsibility to reasonably protect the personal safety of guests. While it’s true that guests need to be aware of obvious slip, trip, and fall safety hazards themselves, preventing accidents is something all property owners need to consider in order to ensure the safety of their homes and sustainable operation of their business or organization. Not only is it the right thing to do, but negligent slip, trip, and fall prevention efforts can get you into deep water with insurance companies and injured claimants. Slip and fall lawsuits can result in costly legal fees and negative press that can hurt your reputation, brand and business.
Sure, you might think it’s almost impossible to prevent every accident from happening at your property, but extensive slip, trip, and fall prevention is still extremely important and can be drastically reduced by exercising caution, care and being proactive about safety. Here, we’ll be going over some of the best tips for property owners to prevent accidents from happening on premises so they can keep employees, customers, visitors and clients safe and avoid being involved in a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
1. Create strict safety practices and good habits
Slip, trip, and fall prevention starts with creating safe practices and habits. Getting into the right habits can prevent hazards from being created in the first place and will ensure all potential hazards are promptly taken care of before they become larger issues. Develop a strong safety culture in your business and stick to it!
Planning ahead is key to creating effective slip, trip, and fall safety practices, so know what needs to be done, what team members will be responsible for doing it, and what an area should look like when tasks are completed and areas are targeted and clear of hazards that could compromise safety.
2. Reduce wet and slippery surfaces
Many of your slip, trip, and fall prevention practices should involve reducing wet and slippery surfaces on your property to prevent falls. The places you’ll want to pay the most attention to include parking lots, sidewalks, food preparation areas, bathrooms, and high traffic areas.
This becomes especially important during extreme weather conditions, as guests can track in moisture from the outdoors that makes indoor areas wet and slippery. To avoid this, place good moisture absorbing mats that won’t slide and “Wet Floor” signs at all entrances, and continue all other slip, trip, and fall safety practices. Make sure employees have regular cleaning and monitoring schedules to ensure areas are walked through by employees looking for any hazards that they can eliminate.
3. Don’t create obstacles that impede walkways
While slippery floors are thought of as the main culprit for falls, it’s just as likely that clutter and obstructions in a walkway can cause a person to trip, fall, and get injured. So, in addition to ensuring walkways aren’t slippery, you should also keep them clean and orderly.
To keep walkways free of obstacles and potential tripping hazards, avoid leaving things like boxes, cables, and cords strewn about and encourage people to pick up after themselves and keep common areas safe. These efforts should be included in your slip trip fall prevention practices.
4. Maintain proper lighting
Ensuring all areas are well lit is a crucial part of slip, trip, and fall safety because it helps people be more aware of the potential hazards they could encounter in a space. Light switches should be clear and easily accessible, and all lights should be on during business hours.
No matter how low traffic an area is, proper lighting is still crucial. Walkways, staircases, hallways, restrooms, offices, ramps, basements, and more all need good lighting. If a fixture breaks, get it repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
5. Wear the proper shoes
The kind of footwear a person was wearing when they slipped and fell is often investigated when a fall-related injury occurs. Thus, footwear is something you need to consider alongside these other slip, trip, and fall prevention tips.
Many employers require employees to wear non-slip shoes as a precaution, so consider whether you should do the same at your property. Employers can also use friction grip flooring on delivery ramps and non-slip flooring in hotel showers and bathrooms to further mitigate these risks.
6. Code Compliant
Many homeowners and businesses need to be aware of federal and local municipal building and property codes that are utilizes to reduce risk of injury in the workplace at a private properties. We will address this in great detail – stay tuned for other blogs on code compliance
7. Control behavior
Ensure all new hires get comprehensive slip, trip, and fall safety training that touches on all these points, and re-train all employees on a continuing basis and hold regular safety meetings with staff to maintain a strong safety culture.
If a slip, trip, or fall injury has occurred, contact the professionals at Whalen Injury Lawyers for guidance in pursuing your legal rights.