Safety experts say slip and fall risk is underestimated

New York is sometimes called a walking city. Unfortunately, walking can often be a risky business -- even indoors. Slip and fall risks can exist anywhere there is pedestrian traffic, and a new report says that many organizations underestimate the risk of slips and falls at their facilities.

The Walk Zone Safety Report from spill control manufacturer New Pig surveyed professionals about safety in workplaces and public facilities. The report states that 46 percent of respondents said that they believe their facility has no more than three same-level fall risk areas. However, the survey found fall risk locations in excess of 10.

The report also found that known fall risk areas are not being properly addressed. While 92 percent of organizations use floor mats at entranceways, they do not place floor mats at other risk areas. In addition, floor mats often cause falls rather than preventing them. Fifteen percent of organizations surveyed reported bunched-up floor mats as the main cause of falls in their buildings.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that slip and fall incidents are the leading cause of on-the-job injuries. But the New Pig report also found that customer walkways are largely ignored by many facilities; only 31 percent of those surveyed said they placed floor mats in such walkways.

Businesses are responsible for making sure that their buildings are reasonably safe for people who enter them. Premises liability law requires property owners to make efforts to prevent safety hazards and post clear warnings when dangers are present. When someone is injured because a property owner failed to meet their obligation to provide a reasonably safe environment, the victim could be entitled to compensation.

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