Slips, Trips, & Falls- Staying Safe and Preventing Injury

a0b7bf6eb8febc2d57f7769bd6b44b66-1-300x260Slips, trips, and falls are some of the most common types of injury and account for over 1 million ER visits each year in the U.S.  Though most falls are minor and result in a bump or bruise, 1 in 5 falls causes a serious injury like a broken bone or head injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Falls are the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths for all ages and the number one cause for those ages 65 and older. Slips, trips, and falls can happen at home, at work, at the grocery store, or simply walking down the street. Slip and fall accidents can be particularly serious to the elderly. Falls are also mostly preventable. Rhode Island property and business owners alike are obligated to maintain safe conditions for those who are expected to come upon their property and make repairs in a timely manner. As individuals, we must hold ourselves accountable by being aware of our surroundings and avoiding unnecessary distractions that can result in a fall, like looking down at a cell phone while walking. In light of June being National Safety Month, the Providence slip and fall lawyers at Tapalian Law would like to share with you some tips to eliminate common tripping hazards and reduce injuries from a slip and fall.

Distracted Walking

Cell phones have made it easy for us to stay in contact with work, friends, and family 24/7 but they are also a major cause of slip and fall accidents. Falls are frequently the consequence of inattention or a distraction, like looking down to use a cell phone. This is known as distracted walking. Like distracted driving, distracted walking can cause injury, both minor and severe. Looking down at a cell phone while walking can cause a crash into another person, a trip down a flight of stairs, a fall off a sidewalk, or worse. Distracted walking can cause a person to unknowingly walk into traffic or take a serious fall, resulting in severe injuries or a fatality.  If you must use a cell phone while walking, stop in a safe spot out of the way of other pedestrians and vehicles to make your call or send your text to avoid an injury due to distracted walking.

Workplace Slip & Falls

When we think of workplace injuries, typically we think of a warehouse environment involving forklifts and heavy lifting. And trip and fall accidents do occur in these types of work settings. Fall protection leads OSHA’s Top 10 list of cited workplace violations for the second year in a row. But falls are also a very common source of injury in an office setting. You may wonder- how can someone get hurt sitting at a desk in an air-conditioned office? It’s more common than you think. Some tips for reducing office related slip and fall accidents are:

  • Remove clutter- boxes and files piled up can create a tripping hazard, according to OSHA. Store away boxes and files in a desk, a closet, or another appropriate spot out of walkways.
  • Secure electrical cords- not only do stretching cords across walkways or under rugs prevent a tripping hazard, they also create an electrical hazard. Ensure electric cords are properly secured and covered to prevent falls.
  • Use a ladder- if you need to reach something up high on a shelf, use a properly secured ladder instead of a chair. It may seem like common sense, but many accidents happen in the workplace by workers climbing on rolling chairs.
  • Keep corners clear- there are frequently blind spots around hallways or cubicle corners. Keep these areas clear or use mirrors to avoid collisions.
  • Use proper flooring- Tiles can be slippery. Using carpets, especially at entryways where people may enter with wet shoes, can reduce the risk of a slip and fall. About 40% of slip and fall accidents at retail locations take place in the main entryway. Flooring should be regularly inspected for any cracks or rolled up edges to reduce falls.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident at work, seek out the advice of a Rhode Island workers compensation lawyer at Tapalian Law. After motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls are the second major cause of workplace incidents. Attorney David Tapalian has experience helping those injured in workplace accidents including slip and falls in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Our injury law firm can establish whether you have a valid slip and fall claim or workers compensation claim and advise you how to proceed. 

Have You Been Hurt in a Slip & Fall Accident?

If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident, it is important to take immediate action in order to validate your personal injury claim. Whether you have been injured at the workplace, at the grocery store, or on someone else’s property, the following tips are important to remember.

  • Report your injury right away to the property owner or management and complete an incident report.
  • Take photos of the incident location right after the accident, before any clean up or repairs are made.
  • Seek medical attention for your injuries.
  • Contact a Rhode Island slip and fall personal injury lawyer like Tapalian Law to discuss the details of your injury claim and establish whether or not you have a valid slip and fall claim or workers compensation case.

Even if you seem fine after a fall, you will still want to report the injury, take pictures, and seek medical attention. Seemingly minor injuries can quickly turn into major ones and internal medical problems, such as internal bleeding, can be easily overlooked by the untrained eye.

Contact a Slip & Fall Lawyer in the Providence Area

If you have been injured in a slip, trip, or fall accident, you want an experienced slip and fall attorney like David Tapalian on your side. A skilled injury lawyer who specializes in slip and fall cases will determine the answers to some important questions in establishing a valid injury claim. Did the property owner have a “duty of care” to protect those coming upon the property? Did the owner breach this “duty of care”? If so, did the breach of duty cause harm or injury? Did the injury cause economic damages to the injured such as medical bills or lost wages? To determine if you are eligible to seek compensation for your Rhode Island slip and fall case, contact the injury law firm of Tapalian Law at 401-552-5000 or reach out to us online today. We offer a free consultation and are available to discuss your legal rights with you today.

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