Slips, trips and falls can present challenges to managers in nearly all types of businesses, but particularly those with public spaces, like retail establishments, hospitals, financial institutions, hospitality venues and others.
In addition to wanting to keep employees, contractors, visitors and the public safe from injuries, managers cannot ignore the escalating costs of slip, trip and fall incidents and their impact to the bottom line. For slip, trip and fall prevention in their facilities, managers must understand the causes, identify areas where improvements can be made and implement action plans.
Common causes of slips, trips and falls
Many factors can cause slip and fall incidents. Management teams can better control exposures by first understanding the potential slip, trip and fall risk factors that can contribute to an event. After completing a forensic review of a large number of injury cases, Zurich identified key risk factors that commonly result in slip, and fall claims:
- Surface composition and slip-resistance
- Foreign substances on a walking surface
- Surface conditions
- Surface changes
- Level changes
- Unusual features
- Human factors
Management opportunities for slip, trip and fall prevention
Management’s role in the slip, trip and fall prevention process is to set the standards for the organization and convey their importance by setting the example for employees. Zurich’s risk engineers recommend the use of a slip, trip and fall risk assessment guide
to survey these top loss locations and any previous loss locations at your business. The results can be used to develop corrective actions and further focus loss-prevention efforts. What to do after a slip and fall accident
If a slip, trip or fall incident occurs, the management team must be prepared to mitigate loss by responding quickly, making sure that employees know their roles and what to say, follow up with the injured person after the incident, and determine the root cause of the event to prevent similar occurrences. Other important responsibilities include promoting claim management by reporting claims as soon as possible and notifying the insurance carrier when fraud is suspected.
For more on management’s role in preventing slips, trips and falls; read Zurich’s PDF download