Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that one in every five fall incidents cause serious injuries such as head trauma and broken bones. Additionally, more than 800,00 people are treated in hospitals for fall injuries, while the overall medical costs shouldered by Medicaid and Medicare totaled over $50 billion.
These facts about slip and fall accidents only show just how critical it is for property owners to ensure that their premises are free from hazards that could cause these debilitating and even fatal accidents. If you own a commercial or residential property, you should consider doing some physical improvements to minimize and prevent slip and fall risks to avoid expensive tort lawsuits.
Here are five property improvements that you should do soon:
- Repair your driveway, parking area, and other paved surfaces
Quite a lot of slips and falls occur in dilapidated paved areas such as driveways, walkways, and parking spots. If you have a spot in your property that has potholes or cracks, you have to spring to action immediately to prevent an accident from happening. The easiest and cheapest upgrade that you can have is to pave the damaged surfaces with high-quality asphalt. Some companies offer affordable asphalt paving services that you can contact to get this job done on your behalf, so you only need to prepare the budget for it and wait for the contractor to finish the project.
- Replace slippery tiles with textured, non-slip ones
It’s a huge no-no to have slippery tiles in bathrooms, hallways, and other areas that see a lot of foot traffic regularly. While they may look all shiny and attractive, glossy tiles are essentially inviting people to slip, fall, and suffer serious injuries. You can easily keep this from occurring by upgrading the tiles to non-slip ones with textures in them. They may cost higher than regular tiles, but they are worth the investment in terms of keeping everyone safe from potential slip and fall accidents.
- Invest in warning signs
Most of the time, the simplest way to avoid slips and falls in any property is to just have visual warnings posted in strategic areas both indoor and outdoor. As such, be sure to allocate a portion of your budget to buy and install signage about wet floors, uneven surfaces, and other warning or similar nature. This way, your property’s occupants or guests can easily see them and make the necessary precautions. These warning signs will also work to your advantage should a slip and fall accident occurred as it would show that you have exercised your duty of warning people about the hazards present within your property.
- Install handrails in ramps and other areas with uneven surfaces or elevation
Handrails allow people to have a secure stance as they ascend or descend areas that are uneven in terms of surface or elevation such as ramps and stairs. You can tap the services of a professional building safety and security officer to work out the details of your planned handrail installation. This way, you can be sure that the handrails are up to standards and will be installed in the right places.
- Buy harnesses, slip-proof footwear, and other PPEs that minimize slip and fall risks
If you own a commercial or industrial building where workers are regularly scaling heights or trading slippery and uneven surfaces, then you must invest in the PPEs mentioned. Agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have strict guidelines when it comes to personnel protective equipment in workplaces, so you have to comply with them.
The majority of slip and fall accidents are preventable and there’s no reason why you should not make the initiatives to achieve zero accidents on your property. With these improvement ideas, your property will surely be safe for everyone to move around.