Here on the Hastings & Hastings blog, one of our primary missions is to provide people education across a wide range of topics. There is so much to learn about, from personal injury law and accident prevention to the legal profession as a whole. Often, the more you start learning, the more you see there is to learn. It can be an addicting thing!
Over our last two posts on accident prevention, we have set our sights on the road. We have focused primarily on preventing car accidents through learning about the common causes of car accidents and how to best avoid them. Accidents occur with startling frequency. They are the fourth leading cause of death in the UnitedStates, following heart disease, cancer, and lower respiratory disease.
Looking closely at accident deaths, we see that unintendedly slip and falls account for almost as many deaths annually as motor vehicle accidents. In today’s post, we will look closely at the prevention of slip and fall accidents.
Differentiation Between Slips, Trips, and Falls
As we turn out eye towards prevention, it is important to differentiate between slips, trips, and falls. Theend result of each of these is the same, pain and suffering for the victim of the accident, but each of these accidents comes about in a different way. Taking a careful look at how they occur can help us learn how to prevent them.
Slips: A slip occurs when an individual loses their footing as a result of a loss of traction or too little friction between their feet and the walking surface. Low friction/low tractions surfaces can occur naturally or as a result of a spill. Ice, snow, and rain commonly cause naturally occurring low friction surfaces outside. Indoor surfaces can be naturally sick, or they can become hazardous as a result of a spill. It is the duty of the owner of a private residence or business to maintain a safe environment. This is also true of the individual/group/organization who maintains a public space. Avoid hazardous surfaces whenever possible. Slip resistant footwear can go a long way towards preventing slips.
Trips: Trips occur when your foot strikes an object, halting your forward momentum and throwing you off balance. Trips typically occur in cluttered environments. To avoid tripping, walk only through easily navigable areas free of obstructions. If obstructions cannot be avoided, proceed carefully and slowly. Avoid dragging your feet. When in doubt, find a way around.
Falls: Most falls occur when an individual drops from when level to another. Such conditions commonly occur around stairs or when entering into a hazardous situation such as standing on a chair. Falls also occur outside when individuals engage in activities such as hiking. They to preventing falls is paying attention. Whenever you are using stairs, use available handrails. Never enter into a situation you are uncomfortable in, such as a strenuous hike. If you engage in such activities, make sure you are prepared.