Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that more than three people seek treatment in the emergency room each year for fall injuries. Out of those, around 800,000 individuals are hospitalized every year due to their fall injuries, typically due to hip fractures or head injuries. Not every fall injury is a slip-and-fall case, but slip-and-fall incidences do make up a large percentage of fall injuries.
Preventing fall injuries is important, particularly for ensuring elderly individuals do not slip and fall, as they are much more likely to sustain severe injuries as a result of these incidents.
1. If You Think It’s a Hazard, Fix It
If you have ever had a moment walking around your property and said to yourself, “That looks like it could be a hazard,” then you should go ahead and remedy the potential hazard as soon as possible. If you think it is a hazard in your mind, then chances are it will be a hazard to someone who comes onto your premises, whether that be a child, an adult, or an elderly individual. This can be one of those “go with your gut” moments.
2. Regularly Inspect Your Entire Premises
You should create good housekeeping practices, regardless of what type of property you own or maintain. Whether it is your home or business, make it a practice to regularly inspect the entire premises to look out for anything that could possibly be a hazard. Encourage other adults in your household or employees in your business to conduct regular “rounds,” particularly if there are other individuals allowed on the property on a regular basis.
3. Warn Guests of Any Known Dangers
There may be a time when you have a hazard on your property, but you are unable to fix the situation right away. Perhaps this is because you do not have the right materials to solve the problem, or you just need a little more time to remedy the situation. In these cases, you need to place visible warning signs around the potential hazard and warn any guest that comes to the property about the hazard. You need to cover your bases just in case anyone does do something to cause harm to themselves. In the event individuals ignore your warnings and go around any type of barrier, this could limit your liability in the event individuals sustain an injury.
4. Reduce Wet or Slippery Surfaces
Wet and slippery surfaces are a leading cause of slip and fall injuries, so reducing the number of these hazardous services on your premises is important. This can be as simple as fixing a leak or as complicated as creating a new drainage system around the premises. You need to examine every aspect of your premises to determine what is best for your particular situation. Do what you can to ensure all regular walkways are dry at all times.
5. Keep the Clutter to a Minimum
Clutter happens, but you need to do what you can to ensure the clutter does not get onto the pedestrian pathways and become a constant hazard for individuals. Even though you may know your way around your premises like the back of your hand, that does not mean that any other individuals on your property will know about regular hazards that could cause slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall injuries.