Injuries from a fall in a store are very common. There is a risk of employees or even customers becoming injured from slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents in stores can occur for a variety of reasons. For example, a customer or employee can trip over a tattered floor mat or fall from the slippery of liquid on the floor.
Employees and customers are entitled to safety from harm while on the store property. The law entitles them to compensation should they be injured due to a store’s negligence.
Slip and fall in stores can result in a serious injury like a broken bone, traumatic brain injury, or spinal cord injury, besides soft tissue injury.
How common are slip and fall accidents in stores?
The accidents are likely to occur in stores and some customers or employees are at greater risk of getting hurt than others. The following information provided by The National Floor Safety Institute shows just how common slip and fall accidents are happening:
- There are more than one million visits to emergency healthcare departments due to slip and fall accidents every year
- Male employees in-store sustain injuries in slip and fall accidents more often than women
- A common cause of slip and fall accidents in stores are flooring materials
- Older people are likely to sustain severe injuries
- More likely injuries are sprains, bruises, strains, lacerations and more serious ones are back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and neck injuries
- About 20 percent of slip and fall accidents lead to a person nursing an injury for a long term
Slip and fall accidents in stores can also be caused by us because:
- Of a momentary lapse of attention,
- The mind is distracted because you are thinking of a personal problem
- Your eyesight is distracted by an activity
There are many ways a person will slip and fall while in-store. That’s why slip and fall accidents are so common. In general, the most common way of slips, trips, and falls in stores is:
- Loss of traction between a person’s shoe and the flooring
- Unexpected contact with a fixed or moveable object
Overall, the following factors make slip and fall accidents in stores common:
Wet and Slippery Flooring
Walking floors in stores contribute significantly to injuries from slip and fall. The most likely flooring areas where trips occur include:
- Parking lots
- Food preparation areas
- Changing rooms
Traction on the flooring can change considerably when weather patterns change. The change in weather conditions affects indoor surfaces as moisture is tracked by pedestrian footing.
Therefore, floor surfaces should always be kept clean and in good repair condition. Any liquid material should be removed or even the area suspended from use if the situation deems dangerous enough.
Obstacles in Walkways and Aisles
Injuries in stores also result from trips caused by clutter, obstacles, materials, and equipment placed in corridors, walkways, aisles, stairwells, and entranceways. Proper housekeeping should be done in traffic areas to avoid such hazards. Stores should have policies and procedures in place to ensure traffic areas are kept tidy always.
Packaging materials or scrap materials should always be stored in one place especially around areas of work operations. Cables, stringing cords and air hoses should be avoided across hallways and in any designated aisle.
Office areas should not be left with boxes, briefcases, and files lying around. Staff should be trained on safe storage practices such as closing file cabinet drawers after use and picking up loose items from the flooring.
When the lighting is not enough there is an increased risk of slip, trip, and fall accidents occurring, especially in hallways, docks, ramps, and basements. These areas should be well lit and kept tidy if not clean. Clutter and obstructions should be removed.
Any repair should also be done, such as on cords, switches, etc.
Poor Gear or Clothing
The clothing we wear or gear we use determines how well we are prevented from slip and fall accidents in stores. For example, look at the shoes and evaluate the slickness of the soles and the type of heels. And the shoelaces need to be tied correctly.
Whenever an accident occurs, the footwear will be one of the things evaluated to see if it contributed to the incident. Employees in stores are required to wear appropriate footwear that is not prone to slips while on duty.
Our behaviors contribute to slip and fall accidents in stores to be common — when we let our guard down and become distracted by random thoughts or multitasking. This increases our chances of a slip, trip, or fall.
We should always:
- Be watching where we are going,
- Avoid being distracted with our cellphones,
- wear sunglasses that do not obstruct vision, and
- Use designated walkways.
The possibilities of slip and fall accidents in stores are endless. But regardless of the cause; the legal responsibility of the store will depend on whether it had reasonable notice of the cause and a chance to fix it.
HussaiN is a full-time professional blogger from India. He is passionate about content writing, Tech enthusiast & computer technologies. Apart from content writing on the internet, he likes reading various tech magazines and several other blogs on the internet.