Tips for preventing slip-and-fall accidents

People can learn how to prevent slip-and-fall accidents by taking precautionary measures like keeping walkways clear.

It takes only a second for people in Pennsylvania to suffer an injury as the result of a tumble. Of all accidental deaths, 15 percent occurred from slipping, tripping or falling, according to Carnegie-Melon University. Slips most commonly happen due to poor footwear, an uncleaned spill, or an icy or wet surface. A slip is defined as an incident where the traction between the walking surface and someone's feet is not sufficient to keep them steady.

Keeping an area safe

One thing that can be done to lower the risk of slipping and falling is to treat areas where such accidents are most likely to occur with precautionary measures. Such areas include stairs, unstable work surfaces, unguarded heights, spill-prone areas, ramps, high-traffic areas, and doorways. The following list of safety steps by the National Safety Council should help:

  • Any damage to steps or walkways should be repaired as soon as possible. Such areas should also be regularly checked to make sure they are in good condition.
  • When not properly aimed, gutter downspouts can direct water into a walking path, creating a slipping hazard. Therefore, they should be directed to point away from any paths.
  • Lighting is important, especially at nighttime. There should always be enough lighting for people to see where they are going, whether the area is outside or inside.
  • Handrails on both sides of staircases give people something to hold on to in case they lose their footing, and can be a big help in preventing injuries that could happen as a result of a slip.
  • When people have to strain or take awkward positions to reach things, they can lose their balance. Commonly used objects should be kept in places where they can easily be reached.
  • Any time a spill takes place, it should be cleaned up right away. An unattended wet area poses a hazard for a slip-and-fall accident.

In addition, workers should be required to wear slip-resistant shoes with good traction. Mats on the floor should have non-skid bottoms so they don't slide around.

Legal assistance

Even when people are being careful and precautions are taken, it is still possible for slip-and-falls to happen in Pottsville. People who have sustained injury from this kind of accident may be able to obtain financial compensation to help pay for their medical costs, the pain and suffering endured, and other damages. If they are interested in learning more about what they can do in these kinds of cases, they may want to speak with an attorney in the area who practices personal injury law.