A business owner has many responsibilities, and providing a risk-free environment is one of them. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to prevent all accidents from occurring, and a slip and fall injury is one thing that is common for owners to face.
Some of the injuries can be quite serious, and costs for the owner can add up. Taking steps to prevent dangers is the best way to limit liability.
Slip and fall stats and facts
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls account for the highest number of emergency room visits every year, and 12% of those visits are due to slip and falls. More than 30% of people older than 65 years of age suffer from falls, and these accidents account for 40% of nursing home admissions.
Fractures are one of the most serious of related injuries, and 87% of fractures among the elderly are due to falls. Hip fractures are the most common. Deaths can also occur from falls, and this happens most often among those over the age of 65. The estimated costs related to fall-related injuries are $13 million to $14 million per year.
Preventing slips and falls
According to the Insurance Information Institute, accidents caused by slips and falls are the most common liability for business owners. Since employees are around customers and clients more than anyone else, training them to spot potential dangers and to clear them out right away is imperative. All employees and managers should be on the lookout for things like:
- Curled-up edges of rugs or floormats
- Spills or rain puddles
- Well-maintained steps and handrails
- Adequate lighting
- Cracks or uneven surfaces on walkways and parking lots
If someone sees a potential risk, he or she should make every effort to repair it right away or put up adequate signage to warn patrons of the danger. If a customer does fall and sustain an injury, employees should immediately contact medical help.
Typically, a judge only acts in favor of the injured person if the owner did not take reasonable action to fix the issue in a timely manner, did not provide adequate warnings or was aware of the unsafe condition and did nothing.