National Safety Month: How to Prevent Slips & Falls
June is National Safety Month, and each week focuses on keeping you safe in different everyday situations. This week, the National Safety Council (NSC) focuses on preventing slips, trips, and falls.
Slip and fall accidents can result in serious injury, but most people write them off as nothing more than an embarrassing moment of clumsiness. The truth is, slips and falls pose serious threats to your wellbeing, especially for children and older adults. Edgar Snyder & Associates and the NSC want your summer to be happy, healthy, and free of accidents like these.
How to Prevent Slips and Falls
- Wear shoes with good tread. If the soles are wearing out, feeling self-conscious about a fall could be the least of your worries.
- Keep an eye out. Summer is a popular time for crowded sidewalks and construction that may leave debris or pitfalls in your path. Take a look around to find potential hazards.
- Review your medications and supplements to look for side effects that may affect balance. Medications can take a toll on your balance and perception, especially in the summer heat.
- Take care with ladders, step stools, and other equipment. Moisture gathering where you stand on them could mean a serious accident.
- Watch out for puddles in the rain. They can be deceptively deep and cause you much worse than a wet pant leg.
What to do After a Slip and Fall
Of course, accidents will still happen. Here are some tips on what to do if you have a slip and fall.
- Take care of your injuries. Your health is your primary concern – seek any medical attention you may need if you're hurt.
- Report the accident to the owner of the property. They will fill out a report that you should keep a copy of if you are injured.
- Take notes of what may have caused your fall. Ice, foreign objects, cracks in pavement, etc., may have been the reason for your slip.
- Contact an attorney before you talk to the property owner's insurance company. If you were seriously injured and have medical bills or lost wages, you don't want to take less than you deserve as compensation.
Prevention Tips for Parents
These are all good things to remember when looking out for yourself, but what if you are looking out for others? Here are some tips to help parents keep their children out of harm's way.
- Never leave small children or infants alone on furniture that isn't designed to secure them. If you must leave them for a moment, the floor or a crib with guard rails is the safest place for them.
- Arrange furniture so that you can see children from anywhere in the room. This will make it easy to keep track of them as they move around.
- Take a look at your home from the child's perspective. Crawl around with them to see from their eyes what might be hazardous.
- Pad sharp corners of tables and chairs to lessen the likelihood of painful injuries in the event of a fall.
- Block stairways off until your child is competently climbing them and using a handrail.
- Secure area rugs with non-skid pads. When children start running, a rug they've only known to be part of the floor could slide out from beneath them.
- Keep windows shut and far away from anything a child may use to climb to them.
- Keep your yard or play spaces free of things to climb until your child understands how to use them safely.
Keeping your home safe for a child will likely keep it safe for visitors, as well. If someone slips and falls on your property, you may be held liable for their injuries. Tend to walkways and living spaces to keep them free of hazards. If you rent, find out who is responsible for property surrounding your home, and make sure your homeowner or renter's insurance can cover you if an accident occurs.
We hope these tips keep you and your family safe, but if you're ever the victim of a slip and fall accident, call our law firm at 412-394-1000 or use the form in the top right corner of this page for a free legal consultation.