Slip and fall injuries are among the most common, as well as costly, workplace injuries. Business owners in Pennsylvania who do not provide a safe environment for their workers, clients and guests may wind up facing workers’ compensation claims and even premises liability claims. They can start to make things right by reducing the chance of slip and fall accidents.
According to the National Safety Council, half of all same-level slips, trips and falls are due to unsafe floors: for example, wet floors, torn or unanchored rugs and floors with cracks or holes. Owners should, therefore, check for unsafe floors throughout their property, especially the entrance, high-traffic areas and transition areas. Previous workers’ comp claims or incident reports can alert owners to the presence of high-risk areas.
Owners should recognize that dirt and grime brought in from outside can affect floor safety. Temperature changes can contribute to making a floor slippery. Debris can clutter floors and especially stairs. Tools and cables pose a hazard, too, if there are no rules for where to place them.
Finding The Right Balance
Problems may arise with over-cleaning and under-cleaning, so owners should review their current schedule for maintenance and housekeeping. They also need to see if hazards like wet floors are being adequately communicated through signage. There should be written guidelines for protecting workers from floor hazards.
When slip and fall accidents occur because of negligence on the property owner’s part, victims may have a valid premises liability case on their hands. There are many steps involved in the filing process; victims will need to prove that owners should have known about the dangerous condition that led to their injury, and they must show that they were using the property safely. With a lawyer, the entire process, in particular the negotiations, may go smoothly.