On average, a person takes 8,000 steps a day.  However, it only takes one slip to destroy a life.

Each year, thousands of people fall victim to slip-and-fall accidents in the United States, resulting in sprains and strains, bruises and contusions, abrasions, lacerations and fractures. Slips and falls are also the leading cause of fatalities in the workplace and the cause of more than 20 percent of all disabling injuries. Workers’ compensation and medical costs associated with slip-and-fall accidents approach $70 billion annually, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). 

“Falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits in the United States, totaling over 8 million a year,” says Russ Kendzior, president of the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), Southlake, Texas. “More people will go to an emergency room for an accidental fall than any other form of injury, including car crashes.”

According to the 2013 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, falls ranked second among the leading cause of all workplace injuries in 2011 — accounting for 15.4 percent of direct costs associated with injuries in the workplace, or more than $11 billion. The Safety Index reports that “falls on the same level” are the second-most costly occupational injury with an estimated annual cost of $8.6 billion, trailing only overexertion ($14.2 billion). “Slips or trips without a fall” ranked seventh in workplace injuries at an estimated $2.6 billion annually.

Wet or damp floors aren’t the only cause of slip-and-fall accidents in facilities. Improper cleaning, footwear, and clutter can also cause hazards for building occupants. According to reports, nearly 50 percent of facility accidents can also be attributed to the type of flooring used.

Regardless of the cause, slip-and-fall accidents can cost facilities a great deal of money in liability, says Bill Griffin, president of Cleaning Consultants Inc., Seattle. With the average cost of a slip-and-fall accident estimated at $22,800 per incident, and the average workers’ compensation claim averaging $19,000, Griffin says custodial managers should not only understand the main causes, but also follow proper floor care safety standards to ensure their floors are safe for building occupants.

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Causes And Prevention Of Slips And Falls