Whenever you enter a commercial property, you expect a certain level of safety. You expect that the staff has your best interests in mind and that they will be careful and respectful to keep you from injury.
Unfortunately, that’s not always what you get. Through neglect or deliberate inaction, the staff may leave a dangerously slippery floor open to the public. One wrong step is all it takes to find yourself falling to the ground, resulting in cuts and lacerations, bruises, head injuries, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and much more.
Don’t underestimate a slip and fall accident. It can change your life. If you suffer a TBI, for instance, you could have a permanent disability. Between 3.2 and 5.3 million people in the United States do, after all.
Why is the floor so dangerous?
To help avoid these incidents, the first step is to examine why the floor is so dangerous in the first place. What you’ll find is that it can become hazardous for many reasons, including:
- The floors are wet or greasy
- The floors have walking surfaces that are uneven
- The floors are dry, but they’re covered in power, dust or a similar substance
- The floors were just waxed or polished
- The flooring switches from one type to another — from carpet to tile, for instance, or tile to wood
- The floor has loose coverings, like mats, carpets or rugs
- The flooring is missing bricks, tiles, boards or other pieces of material
- The steps are not regularly spaced and uniformly sized
- The stairs do not have a handrail
- The walking surface is dangerously sloped
- Employees have not cleaned up clutter, so there are trip hazards everywhere
- People have been walking over the floor with shoes covered in mud, water, oil, grease, dirt, dust and other substances
- Electrical cords and other trip hazards got left out in the walking path
- There are open doors, drawers or cabinets extending into the path
- The floor needs a skid-resistant surface but does not have one
- There are wet leaves or needles getting tracked into the building
- The floor is compromised by weather hazards like frost, hail, snow, ice, sleet or rain
- There are metal plates on the floor, such as construction plates or dock plates
This is not even a comprehensive list of all of the potential issues you could face. It depends on the type of work and the type of business it is. However, this still shows you how many different types of hazards you could face just by going inside.
If you do suffer any injuries, you need to know your rights. Remember that serious issues, like a traumatic brain injury, could change your life forever. You may have lost wages, medical bills, a shorter lifespan, a permanent disability and many other things to consider.