Falling accidents resulting from the negligence and mistakes of others can end in serious injuries for you. This can include anything from a sprained ankle to a broken bone or concussion depending on the circumstances of the accident.
Slip and fall accidents in airports, malls, grocery stores, and other crowded public locales in particular are surprisingly common. They are also a big risk in the workplace when everyone has other priorities. Even if someone else caused your fall, you don’t want to deal with the hassle and potentially life-changing consequences of a falling injury.
While you can’t prevent others from being negligent, you can be diligent about avoiding a slip-and-fall accident for yourself and others. To assist with this, we have a few useful techniques you should try below.
Scan Your Surroundings
A crucial starting point is to constantly scan your surroundings.
The easiest way to miss a falling hazard is to see it well before you walk into it. If you are not paying close attention or if you’re actively engaging in a distraction, then the odds of you successfully missing a dangerous obstacle plummet.
Make sure to look for wet floors, garbage, or anything else that can cause you to lose your balance and trip. Wet floors are especially dangerous because they can be hard to see and often result in swift and unpredictable falls.
If you see anything dangerous, make sure to move it out of the way so nobody else falls from it as well. Many falling hazards are noticed but not addressed and this leaves the issue for whoever comes next.
With your eyes focused on the path ahead, you’ll have far more time to avoid a potential fall and injury.
Minimize Obstructions and Prioritize Visibility
Another key safety tip to minimize slip and fall accidents involves a hands-on approach that prioritizes minimizing obstructions and enhancing visibility. This means looking at how a room or area is furnished and proactively removing anything that might cause issues.
Good examples of this include uneven floor mats, random changes in incline, and objects that obstruct common walkways. The lesser the number of potential hazards, the fewer opportunities there will be for someone to get injured.
In addition, any problem points must be easily visible. If it is dim or there are plants and other furnishings that physically obstruct the pathway ahead, this won’t provide an adequate environment to walk safely.
This can be especially beneficial in the workplace to protect yourself and your coworkers from encountering a workplace injury. By removing an ongoing hazard yourself or alerting someone else to fix it, you can eliminate a significant source of slip and fall accidents in the workplace.
You should also have a strategy for general housekeeping.
This tends to be an issue for newer businesses that haven’t fully addressed logistics, but it also happens at facilities that lack good standards. Poor or nonexistent housekeeping can result in situations where easily avoidable issues become prevalent and an accident is only a matter of time.
Tripping concerns like unsecured power cables going across rooms, loose debris, and spills can all go unaddressed and result in an injury for someone unsuspecting. While you can notice and fix these issues yourself, this is not sustainable and you won’t always be able to avoid an accident.
With an effective strategy for frequent and thorough housekeeping, you’ll greatly increase the safety of your workplace by limiting the chance of slip and fall accidents.
Use Safety Equipment Properly
Making use of safety equipment properly is another fantastic way to avoid falling injuries.
Safety equipment is excellent at limiting accidents, but only when it is used properly. Incorrect or nonexistent use invalidates the purpose of safety equipment and leaves you vulnerable to the weaknesses the equipment would have addressed.
A good example of this is handrails. These are fantastic for providing balance and stability while traversing uneven flooring. Without them, you rely on your body’s balance and you lack the physical stability of something to hold onto.
The most important piece of safety equipment to use correctly is footwear. Good shoes are designed to be slip-resistant and comfortable, providing better traction and enabling longer use.
On the other hand, poor footwear choices can easily result in slips and falls.
Because each working environment is different, it is important to understand what your workplace needs are regarding footwear. Your workplace may involve uneven ground, wet surfaces, or even oily floors. Selecting and always using the proper footwear option is essential to preventing serious injuries in dangerous environments.
When you and your workplace commit to using safety equipment properly, the risk of falling accidents greatly decreases.
Lastly, you should encourage safety within the workplace.
While you can do everything possible to provide a safe environment, the way your employees interact with it determines their safety. Employees might have bad habits that don’t initially cause a problem on injury, but being habitually unsafe will eventually catch up to them.
Promoting the proper use of safety equipment is a good first step here, but you also need to ensure that employees fully appreciate and understand the need to always behave safely at the workplace. You can do this by adequately informing them of the risks of unsafe use and behavior while instructing them on the correct approaches.
In turn, your employees and the workplace will take safety seriously. This means fewer hazards and resulting slip and fall accidents.
Most slip and fall accidents are easily avoidable with adequate planning and safe habits. These accidents are particularly common in the workplace with so many moving parts and people.
Reducing falling accidents begins with addressing the situations where hazards are present. To do this, you should constantly scan your surroundings, minimize obstructions and prioritize visibility, establish general housekeeping, make proper use of safety equipment, and encourage safety in the workplace.
Slip and fall accidents can be incredibly devastating and you may not receive adequate compensation from your workplace. Should you have any concerns about the fairness of a slip and fall accident settlement, contact a reputable lawyer to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.