Did you know that slip and fall accidents are the second-leading cause of injury-related deaths? Slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of many hospital emergency room visits, accounting for over 21% of visits. But why are they so common? What makes people slip and fall that easily?
The truth is, it’s not very hard to slip and fall–it’s part of being human. Sometimes you just lose your balance and trip over your own two feet. But sometimes, it’s not your fault. Sometimes you slip and fall because of someone else’s negligence.
In today’s blog, we’re discussing the different causes of falls and how we can prevent them.
How Common Are Slip and Fall Accidents?
Most slip and fall accidents are severe enough to require medical treatment and cause the individual to take time off of work. Some falls occur at work and are the leading cause of lost workdays. If you’re lucky, you’ll be uninjured and go about your day. But if you’re not so fortunate, you could end up with a nasty sprain or fracture.
Fractures happen to about 5% of all fall victims and are the leading cause of health problems and death from slip and fall accidents. For individuals over 65, approximately 87% of all fractures result from falling.
Simply put, slip and fall accidents happen constantly, frequently require medical care, and often result in serious injuries.
To examine how common slip and fall accidents are, we need to examine where they happen. This blog is split into four sections: workplace, home, nursing homes, and public places. These are the most common locations for slip and fall accidents.
Slip and Fall Accidents in the Workplace
Did you know that nearly 40,000 people have died from slipping and falling in a single year? The workplace is a common place for these falls to happen.
In recent years, 880 workers have died from falls, and 244,000 suffered bad enough injuries to need time off to recover.
Every profession comes with a risk of slipping and falling, but construction workers are most at risk because they frequently work from high heights. Having said that, you don’t need to fall from a high place to suffer a fatal injury.
Even though falls are prevalent, they are 100% preventable. Proper training and communication can help employees avoid slip and fall hazards. Some simple tips include:
- Check for hazards when you walk into a room.
- Get formal training on equipment before you use it.
- Set up equipment on level ground. Don’t stand on a ladder on uneven ground, even if it’s just for something quick.
- Avoid working in inclement weather.
- Don’t use tools that weren’t designed for the job you’re doing.
- When using a ladder, make sure it’s locked in place.
- Never just stand on a ladder. Make sure you have one hand on the ladder at all times.
- Wear proper shoes. Don’t step on a ladder in heels or open-backed shoes. Try to wear slip-resistant shoes.
Slip and Fall Accidents at Home
It’s entirely possible to slip and fall on a ladder while you’re doing home improvement projects. Projects like installing siding, gutters, or roofs frequently cause these accidents, which is why it’s best to hire a professional for those types of projects.
But ladders aren’t the only cause for slip and fall accidents in the home. Stepping out of the bathtub is another common cause. It’s easy for water from the tub to slosh over the edge. It’s not unheard of to slip while doing yard work, either. If you have tall enough grass, it can be challenging to spot uneven ground.
Simply put, slip and fall accidents can happen as easily at home as at work.
Slip and Fall Accidents in Nursing Homes
It’s very common for nursing home residents to slip and fall. Because age comes with brittle bones and conditions like osteoporosis, residents have to get up and sit down very carefully. They often walk slowly, sometimes with canes or walkers. Some nursing home residents have gait disorders or shuffle their feet instead of taking steps.
Depending on their health, a nursing home resident might need help getting around. But nursing homes frequently face the problem of not having enough staff to cover all their residents. Because of this, many residents are left unattended and must fend for themselves. This is the cause of many slip and fall accidents.
Slip and Fall Accidents in Public Places
Slip and fall accidents in public places happen all the time. Whether you’re grocery shopping, trying on clothes, or shopping for electronics, you run the risk of slipping and falling.
But why do slip and fall accidents happen in public places? The following are the most common causes:
- Wet floors
- Torn carpets
- Dimly-lit areas
- Escalators not working properly
There are usually cautionary signs that warn customers when a floor is wet, but sometimes signs are removed prematurely, aren’t seen, or are ignored. Additionally, if it’s hard to see in a dimly-lit area, you might miss a hazard that you’d generally spot.
These slip and fall accidents can cause head and body injuries, depending on what part of your body takes the brunt of the fall.
Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton
As you can see, slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. It doesn’t take much to get severely injured. But not all slip and fall accidents are your fault. Some of these falls are due to other people being negligent.
Take a nursing home, for example. If your loved one fell on their own when they were supposed to have assistance, they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and their pain and suffering.
Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton is here to help you. We’ve represented slip and fall injury victims for over 25 years, and we’re here to guide you through the process, too. We serve clients throughout Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.