Preventing Slip and Fall Incidents at Your Home or Business

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We may not get much ice in Central Florida, but many other potential hazards can cause someone to slip and fall at your house or your office. In Central Florida we also have a large elderly population who are all potential fall victims, steps must be taken to keep them from falling. Prevention is the key to eliminating slip and fall hazards and preventing serious injury from occurring due to negligence. Here are a few ways that you can make both your home or business safe from slip hazards:

Tips for Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents

  • If a slippery substance such as oil, grease, or a household cleaner spills at your home or business, it should be cleaned up right away. As you undertake cleanup, be sure that adequate signage is used to alert customers, employees, or family that a slip hazard is in the area. 
  • Regular inspections and cleaning of high traffic areas or work areas where oil and grease are used should be made.
  • Make sure there is sufficient lighting around your home, in parking lots, on sidewalks, walkways, and in stairwells to ensure they are visible. LED lights are best for commercial settings because they light a wider area and act as a deterrent for crime.
  • Bunched carpet, loose tiles, and uneven flooring can all cause someone to trip and should be repaired.
  • Potholes that are not filled present a hazard where someone could twist or break an ankle, or they could fall and break a bone.
  • Water that runs into a parking area can quickly become slippery, and the source of the runoff should be dealt with to prevent any slipping.

Stairs and Ramps

  • Handrails are an effective way to prevent the disabled and elderly from falling.  Installed securely in stairways, ramps, halls, and bathrooms they can help people to have a sense of independence while at the same time eliminating the potential for a fall.
  • Broken or loose steps in a stairwell is a recipe for a lawsuit if someone falls due disrepair.
  • Make sure that stairwells are lit well and have something that will increase friction such as carpet or non-slip treads.

Lawn Areas

  • Make sure lawn areas are kept mowed to 7 inches or less so that hidden items such as a sprinkler or tree roots are visible.
  • Don’t leave old toys, tools, or portable sprinkles on the lawn, so they do not become trip hazards.
  • Make sure to keep lawn areas and the exterior of homes free of stinging insects like wasps so that customers or family members are not stung.

Walkways

  • Clear your walkways of ladders, tools, or anything else that could be a potential trip hazard.
  • Make sure walkways are even and have no large cracks. Repairs should be made if either one of these conditions exists.

What to do if a Slip and Fall Happens on Your Property

  • Seek medical attention for the injured party if needed.
  • Gather critical information such as the name of the injured party, the time of the day the slip or fall incident occurred. The location of the incident. What was going on at the time of the accident (was it the injured party’s fault?) Take pictures of the scene and if possible, of the injuries sustained by the person who fell.
  • If you or the person who experienced the accident need to file a claim, contact your insurance company promptly. Follow the insurance company’s instructions to document the claim correctly.
  • If a severe injury occurs as a result of a slip or trip, contacting an attorney may be in your best interest.

All that is needed to stop slip and fall accidents is to care enough to prevent them. Should you have any questions about Liability Insurance, contact us via email here or call us at (863) 646-LOCK.

About the Author Don

Don Westerfeld has been active in the field of Insurance and Financial Planning since 1997. Don grew up in Indiana later moving to Lakeland Florida where he continues to reside with his wife and children. When he’s not in the office you can find him enjoying the great outdoors. He has served on several charitable business and non-profit organizations and continues to provide guidance, advice and support to local charities.

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