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Floor choice, maintenance affect rate of slip and falls

Poor flooring choices and lack of maintenance can lead to more slip and fall accidents. Employees of corporations across New Jersey and the rest of the U.S., especially those in the retail trade and real estate fields, are at risk for possible injuries as a result of these accidents.

CNA Financial Corporation has released a Slip and Fall Study Report that provides details on slip and fall liability claims from the start of 2010 to the end of 2016. The study's authors concluded that floors on 50 percent of the surveyed sites failed to have the minimum dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) level. In other words, half of floors were insufficiently slip-resistant. They also found that slip and fall accidents tend to be more frequent than they are severe. However, some accidents resulted in traumatic brain injuries. These led to more general liability claims than requests for workers' compensation.

Forty percent of accidents took place on walking and working surfaces, especially entryways, while 33 percent occurred in parking lots. Sidewalks leading to business entrances were also common accident scenes, while interior office floors were responsible for less than one percent of claims. Researchers advise businesses to retain slip-resistant floors; measure their DCOF level by testing them under wet conditions; and use, according to the manufacturers' specifications, cleaning agents that are suited to the floor type.

Sometimes, a business could do all of these and yet fail to warn customers that, for example, the floors are wet. If someone is injured as a result, he or she may be able to file a premises liability claim with the help of a lawyer. The lawyer may be able to hire investigators to look over the accident scene and to gather medical documents and other important paperwork. Once there is proof of negligence, the lawyer may negotiate with the insurance companies for an informal settlement, litigating only if negotiations fall through.

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