The first snowfall starts a mad rush for a few things – winter tires, shovels and ice melters! We rush to buy them because we know winter conditions can cause extra slipperiness to the places we drive and walk on.
According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, injuries resulting from floors, walkways and ground surfaces were responsible for 15% of all days away from work. The average cost of a Slip, Trip and Fall (STF) incident is $3500 in direct Workplace and Safety Insurance Board costs (WSIB) and as much as $21,000 in indirect costs*. The average liability award for injury to a customer runs from $60,000 to $100,000 per claim**.
Focus on Prevention, Not Compensation?
- Over 540,000 Slip-Fall injuries, requiring hospital care, occur in North America each year.
- One in three serious bone breaks for seniors results 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.
- Slip-Falls are the number one cause of accidents in Hotels, Restaurants and Public Buildings; 70% occur on flat and level surfaces.
- Slip-Fall accidents account for 30% of all reported injuries.
- 91% of people select a store for its appearance and 42% judge it primarily by the cleanliness of the floors****
What Can we do to Help Reduce Slips, Trips and Falls (STFs) at Our Business?
The basic precautions are simple and cost effective: clean, dry walking surfaces and proper footwear help reduce slip and fall cases for your clients and employees.
- Take care of your outdoor areas. Many slips and falls occur outdoors, on sidewalks and in parking lots. Make sure snow and ice are removed and surfaces are free of tripping hazards. Ice melter is the right choice to help improve sidewalk maintenance.
- Inspect the area daily to look for common culprits such as wet floors.
- Attend to any problems immediately by putting up warning signs and taking steps to quickly eliminate the hazard. Safety signs come in a myriad of options to suit your needs.
- Maintain all floors and walkways on a consistent basis using recommended cleaning products and methods.
- Train your employees in slip and fall safety, and establish guidelines on how employees should report problems and respond to customer injuries or hazardous situations.
- Document all of your efforts by keeping records of your daily safety inspections, maintenance work and how you dealt with any slip and fall accidents. Photos are an excellent manner to show your daily activities in safety enhancements.
*http://www.mattech.ca/marketing/Mat_Tech-COS_magazine_article-Slippery_Slope.pdf (Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine, vol.49, Issue 5, Oct/Nov 2011)