Destined to Increase?
The number of slip and fall injuries that occur each year at businesses and commercial properties is expected to rise significantly in the future because the population of aging baby boomers will lead to an increase in the number of seniors. Seniors are statistically the most likely to fall, and when they do, they tend to require more medical care and more time to recover from their injuries.
Some suggest that the number of slip and fall cases is likely to grow not just because of America’s aging population but because commercial property owners and managers are taking money-saving shortcuts that result in more property defects and more falls.
Whatever the cause, the following are suggestions for reducing the chances of falling, most of which are just good common sense:
For business owners:
- >Use high traction flooring materials and low slip cleaning products;
- >Limit the difference in height between mats and floors to one half inch or less;
- >Regularly inspect floors and floor coverings for wear, spills, and other dangers; and
- >Train employees on how to deal with spills.
For the public:
Be aware of the flooring and ground beneath you, try not to be distracted by your phone – instead, always look where you are going. Protect your head when falling, wrap arms around the head and roll to one side as you fall, rather than putting your hands down which often ends up in broken wrists. Trying to catch or brace yourself is not a good idea – distributing the force of the fall to as much body area as possible is.