It’s scary to know that one moment your day is going well; then, suddenly, it all changes when someone slips, trips, or falls while on your property. Hopefully, they are uninjured and get up with just a bruise, but that is not always the case.
According to the CDC, slips, trips, and falls “are the second most common cause of lost-workday injuries and can cause back injuries, sprains, strains, contusions, fractures, severe head injuries, paralysis, and even fatalities.”
Let’s define each: a slip is when there is not enough traction between your feet and the surface where you’re walking. A trip happens when your foot strikes an object and causes you to lose your balance. And a fall is when you lose your balance and tumble to the ground.
Thankfully, many of these injuries can be avoided. So, how can you protect your employees, customers, and your business or private property against someone getting hurt from a slip, trip, or fall?
Here are 10 ways to prevent slips, trips, and falls, both inside and outside of your property:
- Maintain proper lighting in parking areas, sidewalks, and stairways for people to see any obstacles.
- Repair any potholes and uneven surfaces in the parking areas.
- Ensure gutters and downspouts do not drain onto walkways or in parking areas. This can cause puddles where people can slip. These puddles may also hide a pothole, causing someone to fall.
- Remove all obstructions from walkways, including ladders or other maintenance equipment.
- Replace outdoor surfaces that become slippery in the rain. A tile entrance area may look nice, but it’s slick when wet. Also, place nonslip skids on wooden steps and ramps.
- For a spill, quickly mark the area to deter people from walking in that area. Clean up the spill and make sure it is dry before allowing people to walk there.
- Repair or replace any torn carpet, loose rugs, or missing floor tiles.
- Remove all obstructions from walkways, including boxes, chairs, or supplies. This includes keeping cabinet drawers closed when not in use.
- Cover cables and cords that run across walkways.
- Maintain adequate lighting in hallways and work areas. Replace burnt-out lightbulbs and faulty switches.
Under Georgia state law, the property owner must manage the area to prevent slips, trips, and falls. Failure to maintain your property can result in someone becoming injured and hold you responsible for covering their medical bills, lost wages, and even emotional damage.
What to do if someone slips, trips, or falls while on your property
If that day comes and someone slips, trips, or falls while on your property, the following steps are critical.
Immediately secure the area and check with the person as to the extent of their injury. Call for medical help If the situation seems to be more than a simple fall. A person may be embarrassed by falling and could downplay their injuries. Having a medical technician assess the person will help determine hidden problems… or ensure ones do not arise later.
Next, you will want to collect all information you can about the accident. Do not assume blame, but never place blame on the other person.
Assess the area to see what caused the fall. Was the person wearing slippery shoes? Did you or an employee leave an obstacle in the walkway that the person tripped over? Take pictures and talk with anyone who may have seen the incident. Figure out exactly what happened.
If you are a business, fill out an accident report. Writing down exactly what happened will keep the situation fresh in your mind.
Call Georgia Trial Attorneys.
Notify your Georgia personal injury attorney of an accident just in case it comes back later. As time goes by, you and the other person may not remember the scene the same, but telling the details to your attorney will keep it on record.
Georgia Trial Attorneys have experience with slip and fall cases and will be there to help if needed.
Georgia Trial Attorneys can help you with your case. Content us for a free case evaluation if you are in the Atlanta or Georgia area.
Are you are ready to take the next steps? If you are ready to meet with an attorney you can contact us and call 833-4TheWin or (678) 667-8965 to speak with one of the experienced personal injury attorneys from Georgia Trial Attorneys.