What Are the 5 Keys to Preventing Slips and Falls?
Ice, wet leaves, and clutter all present slip and fall risks that you do not want to be exposed to or expose others to when they’re on your property. These five steps are key to preventing slips and falls, whether at home, on a private business’s land, or on public government property.
Contact a Wisconsin injury lawyer to learn more about your rights if you sustain injuries due to a slip and fall resulting from a property owner’s negligence. You may have grounds for a lawsuit.
1. De-ice Before and After Winter Storms
The best way to prevent slips and falls on ice is to de-ice before and after storms. There are chemicals, like rock salt, that prevent ice from forming during a snowstorm. They decrease the melting temperature of ice. Sometimes it is necessary to apply salt after the storm to melt any ice that formed.
Use sand or cat litter to create more traction for walking traffic when you haven’t been able to de-ice a busy area completely. It is the property owner’s responsibility to eliminate any dangerous conditions like iced walking paths.
Business owners must also provide safe conditions for staff, visitors, and pedestrians. If you have sustained an injury from a fall on another person’s property because they neglected to create safe conditions, contact our Wisconsin slip and fall attorneys immediately.
2. Remove Leaves from Walkways and Roads
Loose leaves present a couple dangers that lead to slips and falls. Like ice, wet leaves create slippery conditions for walking and driving. People know to walk carefully on ice but are less likely to exhibit the same caution on leaves.
Leaves also cover dangerous ground conditions like holes and lifts in a sidewalk. This leads to slip and fall injuries during the autumn months. Homeowners should remove leaves from walkways, and businesses need to keep parking lots free of fallen leaves.
3. Clean Rain Gutters Regularly
Working rain gutters divert water from walkways and driveways to drainage points. When rain gutters are left uncleaned for long periods, debris blocks the flow of water, and the water spills out onto high traffic areas. During cold months, the water freezes in and causes a slip and fall risk.
According to the National Center of Healthy Housing, property owners should clean their gutters in the spring and fall. Landlords have a legal duty to repair or replace any equipment on the premises that is no longer in working condition.
Wisconsin follows a contributory negligence law that requires those liable for injury to compensate the injured party to the extent that they are responsible for the injury. A homeowner’s liability for a slip and fall injury may increase if they have not fulfilled their legal duty to repair or replace damaged equipment, like the gutters.
4. Check Ground/Floor Conditions
Business owners and homeowners should regularly check their properties’ grounds and floor conditions. Holes, cracks, lifts, and clutter increase the risk of slips and falls on a property. Clutter on the ground includes loose gravel, tools, or trash.
OSHA requires employers to provide clean, orderly, and sanitary walking-working spaces. This includes keeping the floor free of hazards such as sharp or protruding objects, loose boards, corrosion, leaks, spills, snow, and ice.
5. Use Non-Slip Throw Rugs at Entrances
Prevent slips and falls inside your property with non-slip throw rugs placed at frequently used entrances. When wet surfaces are common, OSHA requires employers to provide mats for safe passage in hazardous walking-working surfaces.
Non-slip throw rugs provide secure footing for guests, customers, or workers with wet shoes. OSHA’s recommendation does not specifically require you to adhere non-slip mats to the ground but allows you to do so if you wish to prevent slips and falls due to mats that are not secure.
If you recently slipped and fell because a property owner failed to uphold their property maintenance duties, contact Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers. It is important to act quickly so you don’t miss statute of limitations deadlines and receive the damages you deserve.
Our law firm is ready to represent you. You should not be financially responsible for the negligent actions of another party. Contact us today to arrange a free case evaluation.