Simple Ways to Reduce Slips, Trips, and Falls
Published: 2/17/21 (Wed)
Each year thousands of people are injured, some seriously, due to slips, trips, or falls. To help reduce these types of injuries at your organization, here are some precautions you can take:
Snow and Ice: Snow and ice that melts during warmer daytime temperatures often re-freezes after cold nights. Be vigilant in performing walkway snow removal and have salt and/or sand readily available to apply as needed.
Wet Floors: Melting snow and ice brings the potential for wet floors within your building. Place rugs and mats in entrances to help catch snow and water in these areas and continuously monitor them, removing standing water as needed. You should also post signs, so visitors and employees are aware these areas have the potential of being slippery when wet. Also, if there is a liquid spill, be sure it is cleaned up immediately and a sign is posted to warn people the area may be slippery.
Obstacles and Debris: Keep walkways and visitor passageways clear by tucking away obstacles in storage areas and removing debris to prevent trips and slips. Even a sheet of paper on a hard surface can be slippery and dangerous!
Handrails: Depending on the number of risers, stairs are required to have secure handrails that run the length of the staircase to assist people in ascending and descending steps. Be sure to fix loose or damaged sections of handrails immediately to reduce the chance of injury.
What happens if a visitor falls on your premises?
First and foremost, make sure the injured person is okay and ask if emergency medical assistance is required.
You should then complete an incident report for your file. A liability incident report form can be found at www.ndirf.com under the claims tab. Be as thorough as possible with details about the injured person including name, contact information, and explanation of injury. Also, make note of where the fall occurred and contributing factors to the fall. Take photos of the area where the fall occurred. If there is a surveillance camera on premises that may have recorded the fall, be sure to review and save for documentation purposes.
Submit the completed incident report to your local insurance agent who will then submit it to the North Dakota Insurance Reserve Fund (NDIRF). By completing this report, you are not accepting liability for the fall. You are documenting the incident for the claim’s investigation. Explain to the injured party that you will submit the information to your insurance company and the claim will be investigated. A member of the NDIRF claims team will be in contact with them. Advise them they may see a medical professional, but it is not assumed your entity will cover any medical costs until the claim is investigated and liability is determined.
If you have any questions concerning these types of incidents or would like a liability survey conducted at your premises to help you determine if there are any slip, trip, or fall hazards, please contact NDIRF Director of Member Services Corey Olson at 701-751-9107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.