image
image
image

HSP Supply Inc.


 

 

      HOW MUCH DOES A SLIP FALL COST?:


Wet or damp floors are not the only cause of slip, trip and fall accidents within the facility. Clutter, footwear and improper cleaning can also cause hazards for both employees and building occupants alike. In fact, according to reports, 50 percent of facility accidents can actually be attributed to the type of flooring used. Regardless of cause, these accidents can cost facilities big bucks in unemployment and liability claims.

Slips, trips and falls make up the majority of general industry accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Labour’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), slips, trips and falls account for 15 percent of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities.
“Last year there were 822 occupational deaths due to falls,” says Don Ostrander, CSP, director of consulting services occupational safety and health at the National Safety Council in Itasca, Ill. “The large majority of those were due to falls from one level to another.”

Slips and falls are actually two very different things.

“When you slip, you slip on a floor, and lose your balance,” says Ostrander. “A fall is when you move from one level to another.”

Dollars and Cents
According to the 2006 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the annual direct cost of disabling occupational injuries due to slips, trips and falls is estimated to exceed $11 billion. The Index reports that falls on the same level are the second most costly occupational injury (estimated annual cost of $6.7 billion), just behind overexertion. It also shows that bodily reaction, which comprises injuries from slipping or tripping, is the third highest injury category, followed by falls to a lower level (4.6 billion).


“The average cost from slip and falls is $22,800 per accident,”

“The average workers compensation claim is $19,000.”

These numbers often account for medical costs alone, a hefty fine for an accident that could have been prevented. If an employee has an accident, managers must also factor in potential replacement workers, the salary of the unemployed staff member, restricted duty for that person, etc.

If a building occupant or visitor has an accident, there is no limit to what fees (medical, legal, etc.) companies will be responsible for. Those costs add up quickly.

The annual direct cost of disabling occupational injuries due to slips, trips and falls is estimated to exceed $11 billion. The Index reports that falls on the same level are the second most costly occupational injury (estimated annual cost of $6.7 billion), just behind overexertion. It also shows that bodily reaction, which comprises injuries from slipping or tripping, is the third highest injury category, followed by falls to a lower level (4.6 billion).

“The average cost from slip and falls is $22,800 per accident,” says Ostrander. “The average workers compensation claim is $19,000.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labour’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), slips, trips and falls account for 15 percent of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities

The Index reports that falls on the same level are the second most costly occupational injury estimated annual cost of $6.7 billion.

 The Health and Safety Commission in the UK identified slips and trips as one of eight priorities. The reason they account for the highest number of major injuries and occur across all industry sectors. In the manufacturing and service sectors, they are the most frequent cause of non-fatal major injuries.

 In Canada, slips and trips are classified as “falls on the same level.” Workers’ Compensation boards reported 32,337 time-loss injuries in 2001.* Slips are the third largest category for time-loss injuries, and a significant number are slip-falls.

 The potential business liability for slip-falls is high. Slips are not only a problem for workers. Customers and even the general public can also be at risk. Fortunately, the basic precautions are simple and cost effective: clean, dry walking surfaces and proper footwear.

Slip-Falls No Laughing Matter

 Safe Floors

 Man slips on banana peel. Audience laughs uproariously. The slip-fall is a staple of slapstick comedy. Nonetheless, slips are a major occupational safety issue. They are one of the most common and preventable workplace injuries.

 The Health and Safety Commission in the UK identified slips and trips as one of eight priorities. The reason they account for the highest number of major injuries and occur across all industry sectors. In the manufacturing and service sectors, they are the most frequent cause of non-fatal major injuries.

 In Canada, slips and trips are classified as “falls on the same level.” Workers’ Compensation boards reported 32,337 time-loss injuries in 2001.* Slips are the third largest category for time-loss injuries, and a significant number are slip-falls.

 The potential business liability for slip-falls is high. Slips are not only a problem for workers. Customers and even the general public can also be at risk. Fortunately, the basic precautions are simple and cost effective: clean, dry walking surfaces and proper footwear.

 Safe Floors

 Slippery floors are a factor in most slip-falls. Spills and debris can be hazardous on any walking surface, so good housekeeping practices are essential. Clean spills immediately, and mop or sweep up any debris.

 For floors with a hard mineral surface, such as tiles or polished untreated concrete, a non-slip treatment can help reduce falls.

 Floors in workplaces where people continually enter from outdoors will often be wet in the winter and when it rains. For example, in shopping malls, hotels, grocery stores and fast food outlets employees and customers can slip and fall where the floor surface is wet. In commercial  kitchens and some industrial operations, grease or oils may settle on the floor, increasing the chance of a slip-fall. A non-slip floor treatment is needed when wet or greasy floors are inevitable.

 A non-slip coating or treatment does not eliminate the need for good housekeeping. The floor must still be properly cleaned to maintain its anti-slip surface. Some suppliers offer regular inspections to ensure continued floor safety.

 

SLIP FALL STATISTICS

 

  • Over 540,000 Slip-Fall injuries, requiring hospital care, occur in North America each year.
  • Slip-Falls account for over 300,000 disabling injuries per year in North America.
  • One in three serious bone breaks for seniors result in death, within one year of the accident.
  • Slip-Falls account for over 20,000 fatalities per year in North America  i.e. 55 persons per day.
  • It is the second leading cause of accidental death and disability after automobile accidents.
  • Slips and falls are the number one cause of accidents in the home and workplace 30% of all reported injuries.
  • Slip-Falls kill more workers than all other combined forms of workplace accidents.
  • Slip-Falls are the number one cause of accidents in Hotels, Restaurants and Public Buildings; 70% occur in flat and level surfaces.
  • Slip-Falls are the leading cause of death in the workplace and the source of more than 57% of all disabling injuries.
  • Slip-Fall accidents account for 30% of all reported injuries.
  • There are social burdens related to this problem, including Worker’s Compensation claims over $1.8 Billion year – i.e. 40% of all accidents claims paid out. Worker’s Compensation and Liability Insurance Rates are increasing on the average of 30% per year.
  • The focus should be on prevention, not compensation.
  • The total expense resulting from slip-fall injuries alone is a $100 million per day problem.
  • Insurance rates are increasing on average of 30% per year.
  • Slip falls account for forty per cent of general-liability claims relate to slip and fall.

 

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

 This document was developed utilizing Part III (28 CFR Part 36), Non discrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Buildings Ground and floor surfaces along accessible routes and in accessible rooms and spaces including floors, walks, ramps, stairs, and curb ramps shall be stable, firm, and slip-resistant. A coefficient of friction of 0.6 for accessible routes and 0.8 for ramps is recommended. The key to compliance for ADA may depend on proof of “DUE DILIGENCE” when selecting and using floor cleaners and treatments. The products you purchase need to be proven products designed for safety.

ADA Section 4.5.1

4.5.1 General. Ground and flour surfaces along accessible routes and in accessible rooms and spaces including floors, walks, ramps, stairs, and curbs ramps, shall be stable, firm, slip-resistant, and shall comply with 4.5. 

Due Diligence

HSP Slip solutions can test your floors to determine if you are using improper cleaning chemicals, improper cleaning procedure or the wrong type or amount of floor finish; and help modify your operations accordingly. Documentation of this due diligence and remediation could be used to dismiss liability cases or reduce the award, if the judge or jury finds your was not slippery according to reliable measurements. This also might help with insurances rates – several groups of insurance underwriters recently heard a presentation for floor safety assurance plan and are actively seeking to make it part of their facility-survey form.

Here is an opportunity for you to be proactive and make a positive impact on a very real problem for your customers, and employees. We can help develop and institute a floor safety assurance program, measure and monitor your floor’s coefficient of friction, make sure you and your employees are using the proper products, and leave you with a quarterly floor inspection record.


image


image