Premises managers and building owners in Ohio and around the country could be doing more to protect their employees and visitors from slip and fall injuries, according to a report released recently by the industrial absorbent company New Pig. Thousands of people are hurt every year by slips, trips and falls. In fact, this type of accident is the leading cause of workplace injuries in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The New Pig researchers came to their conclusions after speaking with leading figures in the areas of health, safety, building management and risk assessment from a broad range of industries. Almost half of the experts who contributed to the Walk Zone Safety Report underestimated the number of high-risk zones in their facilities, and placing floor mats in entrances was the only preventative measure taken by many of the respondents. The New Pig report identifies nine other high-risk zones that the organization says are routinely ignored by building safety managers.
While rubber-backed floor mats are used to prevent slip and fall accidents, they occasionally do more harm than good. Almost 15 percent of the organizations that contributed to the study reported that shifting, wrinkled or bunched-up rubber-backed floor mats were the leading cause of slips, falls and trips in their facilities. While almost a quarter of slip and fall accidents take place in customer walkways, less than a third of the respondents said that they placed floor mats in these areas.
Studies like the one conducted by New Pig can be used by personal injury attorneys to establish a pattern of reckless behavior for premises liability lawsuits. Building owners and managers are expected to take all reasonable steps to protect their visitors and workers from injury. Research conducted by advocacy groups and organizations like New Pig could be used by attorneys to establish that accidents were foreseeable and injuries could have been prevented.