Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

Business owners have many responsibilities and concerns including safety issues. One common premises exposure that must not be overlooked is the risk of slips, trips and falls on the property.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that slips, trips and falls account for 25 percent of all nonfatal and 15 percent of all fatal workplace injuries. Data from the National Safety Council indicates that falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for nearly 8.6 million visits to the emergency room.

With those numbers in mind, and factoring in the cost of insurance claims and lawsuits, it is easy to see why preventing slips, trips and falls among customers and employees is an important safety concern for businesses.

Tips To Help Reduce Risk

It’s important to try to reduce risk whenever possible. Entryways, doorways, hallways, ramps, stairs, uneven surfaces and areas prone to wetness are the most common locations for falls. The following actions are just a few tips to help fall-proof a self-storage facility.

• Clean up spills immediately.
• Use “Caution Wet Floor” signs to alert customers and staff of wet or damp entryways, floors and hallways.
• Clear snow and ice from walkways as soon as possible.
• Make daily inspections of the property to identify hazards such as uneven or slippery surfaces, potholes, ditches, and broken flooring or asphalt.
• Use cones, barricades and signage to alert customers and staff of potential hazards.
• Install handrails on both sides of all staircases.
• Install adequate lighting throughout the facility (indoors and outdoors) and inspect fixtures daily to ensure their proper operation.
• Arrange desks and retail displays to provide open walkways.
• Properly store ladders, furniture dollies and hand trucks after use and away from traffic areas.

In addition to taking steps to prevent falls, it is important to ensure that your commercial clients have adequate insurance coverage to protect their businesses in the event of claim. Schedule a coverage review with your clients to discuss their policies including limits for general liability and umbrella coverage. Awareness is the first step toward preventing slips, trips and falls and minimizing potential claims.