Unsafe Flooring Responsible for Many Slip-and-Fall Injuries
While most people realize that a fall can result in a serious injury, such as a broken arm or hip, the actual scope of the problem usually falls outside the public’s perception. In contrast, business owners, who pay high insurance premiums in anticipation of slip-and-fall accidents on their premises, and their insurance companies, are acutely aware of the problem. A recent interview with the president of the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) — yes, the problem is real enough to merit a research and public relations agency — gives an interesting perspective on how the flooring and building maintenance industries view slip-and-fall hazards.
In the interview, NFSI President Russell Kendzior urges architects and property owners to utilize the new floor safety standards developed by the NFSI and the American National Standards Institute that rate floor traction. According to the NFSI, the causes of slip-and-fall accidents are as follows:
- Poor traction on walking surfaces — 55 percent
- Footwear — 24 percent
- Lack of hazard warning — 10 percent
- Inadequate training in floor maintenance — eight percent
- Fraud — three percent
According to Kendzior, public establishments with high-traction floors see a 90 percent reduction in their slip-and-fall claims. Installing good flooring is just the beginning, however. Businesses must also train their staff to clean the floors properly using safe, nonslippery products. Paying more attention to floor traction is especially important with the aging of the baby boomer generation. Senior citizens are at the greatest risk of suffering an injury from a slip-and-fall accident outside the home.
Public facilities such as restaurants, stores and hotels may be required to pay high premises liability premiums, but that does not mean that the insurance companies are willing to pay fair compensation to injured parties, even when the accident was preventable. At Largey Law we know how devastating a slip-and-fall injury can be, which is why we commit all our resources to securing a just outcome for our clients.