Slipping is a particularly dangerous accident to experience, and one that people in colder climates experience pretty frequently. However, as the cold weather snap in Texas proved, just about any area can be hit by unexpected coldness, and thus leave its residence that much less prepared for when things do get more slippery. In order to help prepare you for any and all slip and fall hazards, we are going to look at the most common examples of them and how they come to be in the first place.
Note: banana peels are not included in this list, despite how comical they may seem.
The most common slip hazards
This is not always going to be the same answer for everyone; as mentioned above, some areas deal with slippery ice much differently than others. People in, for instance, Minnesota, have much more ice, and therefore, much more opportunity to slip and fall on their butt as a result. On the other hand, they are also more prepared for it in general. Not to say that slip and fall accidents do not occur with ice at all in Minnesota, but people there have more than enough experience to be prepared for the inevitability of it happening again. Whenever an area becomes slippery with ice, it is imperative that the owner make a good faith effort to make it safe for traversal. For example, if a mail delivery person has to walk across your slippery driveway, and they fall and hurt themselves because you didn’t take appropriate measures to reduce the risk, you may in the end be taken to task for overlooking or otherwise ignoring that. This is especially true of businesses and governments, who hold an obligation to make sure that roads and walkways are reasonably safe for people to use if (or when) they have frozen over.
Solutions to this are varied; one common way is to simply scrape the ice off if possible. Another common one is to salt the walkways, which mixes in with the top layer of liquid water on the ice, melting it, and creating a cycle of melting as the salt moves through the ice. A specific trap that a lot of people fall victim to when it comes to the ice is when it is specifically black ice. Black ice refers to where the ice itself is crystal clear, and shows a commonly black road below it, making it virtually invisible if you are not being cautious enough. In the event that you experience heavy rainfall, this can also result in a slipping incident, as walking on wet surfaces can certainly make it more difficult to achieve proper traction. Make sure that no matter what kind of inclement weather you are in, that you avoid taking any unnecessary risks traversing it.
Another quite common way to experience a slip hazard is if there is, for example, a spill at the grocery store and no one was around to clean it up. This can happen as a result of employee negligence or even customer negligence, although in the end, the owner of the business would be ultimately responsible for handling the matter of your injuries. An employee should be sent immediately to clean up the spill as soon as it is discovered, and once the area is adequately mopped, put up signs signifying the risk of slipping and falling to anyone who may pass by. At that point, it helps prevent them from being held liable if someone were to disregard these signs and end up slipping on the mopped floor anyway. You may also find yourself slipping on a waxed floor, which should absolutely be done in such a way that no one could have otherwise gotten access to it in the first place. Great care must be taken when waxing or mopping a floor, as sometimes a person may not even be able to detect that something was freshly waxed or mopped. Even if they think that it is obvious, they need to take extreme measures to guarantee safety.
Of course, customers are not the only people to be put at risk of slip hazards, employees face these risks as well, especially in a bustling business-like fast-food service where people are having to run around a lot and, unfortunately, cut corners here and there. If a spill, such as a grease spill, is not dealt with quickly enough, this could lead to an employee slipping and hurting themselves, making them potentially eligible to receive worker’s compensation. Worse yet, being that there are a fair few sharp objects and hot surfaces in a restaurant setting, that slip and fall incident could wind up being significantly worse than just landing on your butt and being put out for the day.
If someone else is responsible for your slip and fall, it is absolutely possible to receive compensation for your injuries. All you need to do to get the ball rolling is to do a consultation with an attorney, who will help verify whether there is a case to be had.