Slips, trips, and falls are the number one reported general industry accident causing personal injury, second only to car accident injuries. According to the Bureau of State Risk Management, falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional non-work related injuries and deaths in the United States, causing approximately 8.9 million visits to the emergency department and 25,000 deaths annually.
Adults aged 55 and older are more prone to falling and experiencing personal injuries than those in younger age groups. The number deaths from falling among those 65 and older are four times the number of fall deaths among all other age groups.
Slips, trips, and falls can cause a huge variety of personal injuries from small to very serious including decreased mobility, back and hip pain, head injuries, back injuries, broken bones, cuts and lacerations, and sprained muscles.
Slip, Trip and Fall Defined
Slip– A slip happens when there is too little traction or friction between the shoe and walking surface, which most commonly causes the person to fall backward.
Trip-A trip happens when a person’s foot connects unexpectedly with an object in their way or a drop in walking surface, and causes them to be thrown off-balance. A trip most often results in a person falling forward.
Fall-A fall occurs when a person is too far off-balance.
Common Hazards that Lead to Slips, Trips, and Falls
There are many situations that may cause slips, trips, and falls including weather conditions such as ice, snow, rain, or mud, insufficient lighting, wet or slippery spots, greasy or polished floors, loose flooring, shifting floor tiles, uneven or torn carpeting, uneven hard walking surfaces such as potholes in parking lots, clutter, electrical cords, open desk drawers and filing cabinets, and loose, irregular surfaces such as gravel.
Common Locations for Slips, Trips, and Falls
Curbs, ramps, doorways, parking lots, lawns, hard-wood flooring, areas with heavy traffic, cluttered walkways, un-guarded heights, ladders, stairs, uneven sidewalks, and unstable work surfaces all have the potential to cause significant injuries from slips, trips, or falls.
Most slip, trip and fall accidents are actually preventable when general precautions, awareness, and safety measures are applied. The number one way to prevent slip and fall injuries is to be aware of where you are going and pay attention to your walking surface. If you see or experience a slip, trip, or fall you should report it, even if it’s minor. It could prevent someone from experiencing a more serious injury in the future.
Tips on Preventing Falls
- Secure lose electrical or phone cords away from traffic areas
- Remove small throw rugs or at least use non-skid mats to keep them from slipping
- Remove tripping hazards (clutter) from stairs and walkways
- Repair damaged steps and walkways as needed
- Never stand on a wheeled chair, table or other surface
- Clean up all spills as soon as they occur
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!