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Slip and Fall Safety

Slip and Fall Accident Tips

If you're ever involved in a slip and fall accident, here are some good steps to follow:

  • Immediately report the accident to the store manager, landlord, homeowner, or person in charge of the facility where you fell.
  • Collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses.
  • Obtain a copy of any existing slip and fall accident report before leaving the scene, even if the accident was documented by someone other than a police officer.
  • Take notes of any conditions that may have contributed to the accident. These might include deteriorated sidewalks, foreign substances, or ice and snow left uncleared for an unreasonable amount of time.
  • If possible, obtain a sample of whatever caused your harm and keep it in a safe storage place. If it is perishable, preserve it in an appropriate manner. For example, it may be able to be frozen in your freezer.
  • Get medical help as soon as possible.
  • Place the shoes and clothing that you were wearing at the time of the accident in a safe storage place.
  • If possible, return to the accident scene to photograph the area.
  • Contact an attorney before you talk to the insurance company or sign any papers. Otherwise, you may give up your rights to be compensated for pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.

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Slip and Fall Injury Prevention Tips

  • Wear good shoes that have proper tread.
  • Watch out. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking into dangerous areas.
  • Get your eyes checked. If you wear glasses, don't leave home without them.
  • Remember that hearing plays an important part in balance and space perception. Have your hearing checked regularly.
  • Review medications with your doctor to see if they cause balance problems.
  • Before using a ladder, step stool, or similar equipment, read the instructions and follow them.
  • Take extra precautions in bad weather. Walk slower in rain, ice, and snow. Keep an eye on ground surfaces to avoid puddles, ice patches, and other fall hazards.

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Slip and Fall Safety Tips for Parents

  • Never leave babies alone on furniture including beds, tables, chairs, and sofas, as well as cribs and changing tables with unsecured guardrails.
  • If you must leave your baby alone for a few moments, place him or her on the floor or in a crib with secured guardrails.
  • When changing your baby's diaper, make sure the guardrails of the changing table are up and secured. If the table has safety straps, use them.
  • If you must change your baby's diaper and a changing table is not available, use the floor. If you must use an elevated piece of furniture, make sure you keep one hand on the baby at all times.
  • When purchasing items for your baby such as a crib, highchair, changing table, or stroller, make sure the product meets current safety standards.
  • In order to identify and correct potential trouble areas, crawl through each room of your house and take a good look at things from your child's perspective.
  • Arrange furniture so that you can see your child from all areas of the room.
  • Pad sharp corners of coffee tables and other furniture to lessen the severity of fall-related injuries.
  • Lock doors and block access to any dangerous areas of your home, particularly stairways. Hide keys from your child.
  • Secure area rugs and throw rugs with nonskid pads.
  • Avoid over waxing if you have hard floors, such as wood, tile, or linoleum. In addition, clean up spills immediately.
  • Use rubber mats or slip-resistant stickers in the bathtub and on bathroom floors.
  • Never leave a child alone in a bathtub.
  • To prevent tripping on wires, run all cords behind furniture or along the walls, and tape or tack them down.
  • Keep your home free of clutter.
  • Make sure your stairs are well-lit and free of clutter. Place a non-skid runner on your stairs.
  • Space stair rail pickets 4 inches or less apart to prevent infants from slipping through.
  • Clear all windows of climbing aids, such as chairs and beds.
  • Keep children away from all open windows, regardless of whether they have screens. Screens are used to prevent insects. They will not prevent a child from falling out of a window.
  • Do not permit your children to engage in active play on outdoor decks, balconies, fire escapes, high porches, or roofs.
  • Keep your yard free of climbing aids, such as wood piles.
  • Do not place furniture near deck railings.
  • Cover window wells to prevent children from falling in.
  • Make sure your child has good shoes that reduce the chance of falling. Low-cut sneakers with rough, rubber soles are a good choice.

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Slip and Fall Safety Tips for Homeowners

  • Make sure you have an adequate amount of homeowner's insurance in place.
  • Make sure your home and yard are free of clutter and debris, particularly around doorways, stairways, and high-traffic areas.
  • Fill holes and depressions around your property.
  • Tend to all concrete, stone, or brick work that need repairs.
  • Keep your sidewalks and walkways free of ice and snow. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are in good condition. Leakage can cause dangerous ice patches to form.
  • Make sure inside and outside lighting is adequate. Replace old light bulbs and be sure to use the appropriate wattage listed.
  • Install light switches at the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Make sure stair height and tread widths are adequate and that each step is identical in size.
  • If your stairs are wide enough, install a second handrail.
  • Be sure carpeting is tightly woven and installed so it doesn't move or slide.
  • Secure area rugs and throw rugs with a nonskid pad.
  • If you have hard floors, such as wood, tile, or linoleum, avoid over waxing. In addition, clean up spills immediately.
  • To prevent tripping on wires and cords, run wires and cords behind furniture or along the walls and tape or tack them down.

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