Improving floor safety to prevent slips, trips and falls

More workers' compensation claims are filed over slips, trips and falls than for any other kind of accident. This is according to the National Floor Safety Institute. The same institute says that over two million fall-related injuries each year are directly connected with floors and flooring materials. Property owners in West Virginia will want to see how they can improve floor safety. It all begins with identifying hazardous areas.

For example, the lobby poses a risk because entrants will track in mud, rainwater and snow from outside. The breakroom or cafeteria, with its smooth flooring, can easily become the site of an injury if food or beverages are spilled. Employers must also inspect their roof and pipes on a regular basis. Other hazards are not tied to a single area: for example, torn or loose carpeting.

Employers will need to monitor the weather and prepare their floor blowers to dry up rainwater in the lobby. They can use adhesive-backed matting to absorb liquids. There is also the question of what cleaning chemicals to use for what floor types, which cannot be neglected.

Employees should be trained on floor inspection and the storing of cleaning chemicals. They should be told to put out warning signs when floors are wet or when cleaning buckets and other trip hazards are out.

When customers or clients sustain a confined space injury, they may be left with medical bills and without a job. They could seek compensatory damages by filing a premises liability claim. First, they must prove that their injury was caused by the property owner's failure to maintain a safe environment. Then, they must show that they themselves were using the property in a safe and reasonable manner. Filing the claim and negotiating a settlement may best be done with legal assistance.

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