Slip and fall accidents may result in serious injuries with life-changing implications for victims. Slips, trips, tumbles, and falls may occur while walking down the sidewalk, shopping in a store, doing household chores, performing work duties, or engaging in numerous other activities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every five falls leads to a serious injury.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Slips and falls may cause a range of injuries, from minor to severe. In addition to abrasions, cuts, and bruises, those who trip or tumble may also suffer sprains, dislocations, nerve damage, broken bones, and head trauma. In some cases, slip and fall accidents may prove fatal.
The treatment people may require and their prognoses following such accidents depend on various factors, including the type and severity of the injuries. The CDC points out that more than 800,000 people require hospitalization every year for injuries resulting from falls. Some people may recover from their injuries, while others may experience lasting effects due to their accidents.
Risk Factors for Slip and Fall Accidents
Numerous environment- and person-related factors contribute to slip and fall accidents. For instance, property conditions such as uneven walking surfaces, unguarded heights, clutter, poor lighting, and wetness or spills may increase the danger of people slipping or falling and suffering serious injuries. Additionally, older adults and people with lower body weakness, balance problems, or vision issues may also have a greater risk of slipping or falling. Often, a combination of risk factors plays a role in causing these types of accidents.
Slip and Fall Accident Prevention
At work, at home, and in the community, people may use precautions to avoid slip and fall accidents and injuries. Some of the simplest steps people may take include:
- Always wearing appropriate footwear
- Avoiding freshly mopped or otherwise wet or slippery areas
- Removing clutter from doorways, walkways, and stairs
- Ensuring adequate lighting when possible or using a flashlight
- Using nonslip mats in bathrooms
- Consulting with their medical providers or pharmacists to understand the risks based on their health and medications
Avoiding distractions when walking or working at heights and refraining from looking down at their phones can also help people prevent slip and fall accidents.