How To Protect Your Business From Slip And Fall Accidents
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and are the leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 years and older.
The causes of slip and fall accidents are varied, ranging from wet floors to uneven surfaces, from improper cleaning to lack of hazard identification. However, slip and falls are also the most preventable accidents that occur in the workplace.
The financial impact of a slip and fall accident can range from minor inconvenience to massive liability, depending on the circumstances. Furthermore, employers may also suffer a loss of productivity when employees are injured and unable to work.
As a business owner, you need business insurance to protect yourself, your employees, your customers, your assets and the future of your company. Make sure you have adequate business liability insurance coverage for slip and fall accidents to cover customer and non-employee claims, as well as workers compensation coverage to protect employees.
Furthermore, according to most insurers, it is important to establish a program that addresses prevention, as well as employee response if someone does get injured.
For example, Nationwide offer these tips to prevent the incidence of slip and fall accidents at your business, as well as protect yourself in the event of a claim:
- Conduct a daily safety survey to look for common culprits such as wet or greasy floors, loose mats, torn carpeting, bad lighting, clutter, cables or wires, and uneven floors.
- Immediately attend to any problems by putting up warning signs and taking steps to quickly eliminate the hazard.
- Maintain all floors and walkways on a consistent basis, using the recommended cleaning products and methods. Fix all uneven surfaces if possible by recoating or leveling the floor, or illuminate (or otherwise identify) areas that can’t easily be leveled.
- Train your employees in slip and fall safety, and establish guidelines on how employees should report problems and respond to customer injuries or hazardous situations. Install secure handrails near all stairs and balconies.
- Take care of your outdoor areas, including sidewalks and parking lots. Potholes, snow and ice all create potential problems. If necessary, subcontract snow and ice removal to make sure it’s handled promptly.
- Document all of your efforts by keeping records of your daily safety inspections, maintenance work and how you dealt with any slip and fall accidents.
Slip & Fall Quick Facts
The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) obtains up-to-date information on same level, slip and fall occurrences collected from a wide range of sources, including governmental databases, private industry loss data, and insurance company loss data:
- Fall fatalities are nearly equally divided between men and women. However, more women will experience a slip-and-fall accident. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls accounted for 5% of the job-related fatalities for women compared to 11% for men.
- Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits, or 12% of total falls.
- Fractures are the most serious consequences of falls and occur in 5% of all people who fall.
- Slips and falls do not constitute a primary cause of fatal occupational injuries, but represent the primary cause of lost days from work.
- Slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and are the leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 years and older. If you are thinking about making a workers’ compensation claim then you might want to take a look at using someone like the house of workers compensation lawyers to help you with your claim.
- According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), floors and flooring materials contribute directly to more than 2 million fall injuries each year.
- Half of all accidental deaths in the home are caused by a fall. Most fall injuries in the home happen at ground level, not from an elevation.
- Of all fractures from falls, hip fractures are the most serious and lead to the greatest health problems and number of deaths. The following statistics describe the slip-and-fall crisis affecting our nation’s elderly.
- Each year in the United States, one of every three persons over the age of 65 will experience a fall. Half of which are repeat fallers.
- According to the CDC In 2005, more than 15,000 people over the age of 65 died as a result of a fall. Up from 7,700 a decade earlier.
- The CDC also reports that approximately 1.8 million people over the age of 65 were treated in an emergency room as a result of a fall.
- For people aged 65-84 years, falls are the second leading cause of injury-related death; for those aged 85 years or older, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death.
- Incidence of falls goes up with each decade of life.
- Of all deaths associated with falls, 60% involve people aged 75 years or older.
- Falls account for 87% of all fractures among people over the age of 65 and are the second leading cause of spinal cord injuries and brain injury symptoms.
- Half of all elderly adults (over the age of 65) hospitalized for hip fractures cannot return home or live independently after the fracture.
- Falls represent 40% of all nursing home admissions and are the sixth leading cause of death among people aged 70 years or older.
- Over 60% of nursing homes residents will fall each year.
- According to The National Institute on Aging, every year 30% of people over the age of 65 will sustain a fall, of which 10% will result in a serious injury.
- 67% of fall fatalities are among people aged 75 years or older.
- People over the age of 85 are 10-15 times more likely to experience a hip fracture than are people aged 60-65 years.
- 85% of worker’s compensation claims are attributed to employees slipping on slick floors (Industrial Safety & Occupational Health Markets 5th edition)
- 22% of slip/fall incidents resulted in more than 31 days away from work (US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2002).
- Compensation & medical costs associated with employee slip/fall accidents is approximately $70 billion annually (National Safety Council Injury Facts 2003 edition).
- Occupational fatalities due to falls are approximately 600 per year down from 1200 during since the 1970s.
- Total injuries due to falls estimated at $13-14 million per year in U.S. Falls are the number one cause of accidental injury, resulting in 20.8 percent of all emergency room visits in 1995. (Motor vehicle accidents accounted for 11.9 percent of ER visits.)
- Disabling (temporary and permanent) occupational injuries due to falls are approximately $250,000-$300,000 per year.
- Falls occur in virtually all manufacturing and service sectors. Fatal falls however are in construction, mining and certain maintenance activities.
- According to Workers Compensation statistics from ITT-Hartford Insurance Company, falls account for 16% of all claims and 26% of all costs. This compares to 33% of costs associated with sprains and strains.
- According to the American Trucking Association, slips and falls are the leading cause of compensable injury in the trucking industry.
- Falls from elevation (approximately 40% of compensable fall cases, approximately 10% of occupational fatalities).
- Falls on the same level (approximately 60% of compensable fall cases). (W. Monroe Keyserling, Ph.D. 2000)