Slip and falls can cause serious injuries, especially to children and the elderly. According to Slip and Fall Facts, an estimated 25,000 people each day experience a fall injury, with the average cost of each injury totaling more than $12,000. This means that the expenses of slip and fall accidents are running at around $3.5 million an hour during every hour of the day.
With so many slip and fall injuries and with the costs so high, it is clear that preventing falls should be a top priority. Our West Palm Beach accident lawyers applaud the focus on fall accidents during this year's National Safety Month.
Preventing Fall Injuries with a Focus on Safety
June is National Safety Month and on June 2, the National Safety Council launched an annual public-education and safety event. This event is called Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls Week and is designed to inform the public about fall risks and to encourage safety efforts that could prevent fall injuries. The hope is that the educational information made available, including posters, tip sheets and crossword puzzles, will encourage people to make their homes safer from common fall hazards.
One of the big issues that will be addressed during this safety week is the issue of ladder dangers. Summer is prime time for home improvement and many homeowners will be doing work both indoors and outdoors that requires them to climb ladders.
Unfortunately, a tumble off of a ladder could cause broken bones, spinal cord injuries, brain damage or even death. Practicing proper ladder safety techniques could allow homeowners to avoid this tragic outcome and the National Safety Council has offered several tips for staying safe while using a ladder. For example, NSC recommends:
- Ensuring that you always have the right ladder for the job.
- Only using ladders that you have been properly trained on how to use or that you are comfortable making use of.
- Checking the area where the ladder is to be set up in order to ensure that there are no hazards. Cords or objects in the walkway, for example, could create a risk of falling.
- Avoiding climbing higher than the third rung from the top of any ladder. Staying on the lower rungs will help you to avoid a devastating fall.
- Avoiding using ladders in windy or inclement weather. Wait until a calm day to reduce the risk of the ladder's stability being compromised and to reduce the risk of slippery ladder rungs.
- Climbing down immediately if the weather turns bad when you are up on a ladder or at a high elevation.
- Keeping at least three points of contact with the ladder at all times. For example, if you have two feet on the ladder then you should also have at least one hand on the ladder. If you have only one foot on the ladder, then two hands should be holding on.
By following these safety tips, you can hopefully help to prevent fall injuries from occurring. It is also important for employers to ensure that workers are properly trained on ladder safety and for homeowners to ensure that any ladder they use is free of design defects that create a danger.
If you've been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact West Palm Beach injury attorney David J. Glatthorn at 800-990-9394 for a free case review.