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Poor slip resistance causes most slip and falls, study says

Business owners in West Virginia and the rest of the U.S. will want to review the Slip and Fall Study Report released by CNA Financial Corporation. Researchers studied the slip and fall liability claims that it received over a six-year period, from January of 2010 to December of 2016, and came to several conclusions.

Most of the accidents took place on the premises of retail and real estate businesses. Moreover, 50 percent of the floors on the surveyed sites failed to meet the dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) level that was set by the American National Standards Institute. This meant the floors suffered from poor slip resistance.

40 percent of accidents took place on walking and working surfaces, especially business entryways, while parking lots were the site of 33 percent of slip and falls. 27 percent occurred on sidewalks leading to entrances. The high frequency of slip and fall liability claims was offset somewhat by the severity of the injuries; however, some cases involved traumatic brain injuries.

CNA has laid out several steps that business owners can take to ensure floor safety. First, they should choose slip-resistant floors that hold up under wet conditions; a tribometer could be used to measure DCOF levels. Second, they should only use cleaning agents that are compatible with the floor. Third, owners should promote risk awareness.

Victims of slip and fall accidents may wish to consider filing a premises liability claim if they suspect that the business owner could have done something to prevent it. For example, there may have been inadequate lighting or security on the property. A lawyer may be able to hire investigators to find proof of negligence, factor in any contributive negligence, and negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement. If successful, the claim could cover medical bills, rehabilitative care, and lost wages, among other matters.

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