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Fall prevention should include assessments of flooring

Many Georgians are injured in slip-and-fall accidents each year, leading some businesses to try to implement measures to prevent them. A recent study of slip-and-fall accidents found that the flooring type and cleaning methods may cause many of the slip and fall accidents.

According to CNA, an insurance provider for businesses, the flooring in half of the sites that were surveyed did not have friction coefficients that were above the minimum standard set by the American National Standards Institute. The friction coefficient is a measurement of the resistance of the floors to slipping.

The CNA reports that the problem is twofold. Many businesses make errors when they choose the flooring material for their establishments: When they choose flooring that is attractive but has a low dynamic friction coefficient, people are likelier to slip and fall. The cleaning materials that are used are the second problem. Some businesses use cleaning materials that are inappropriate for the flooring type, reducing the slip resistance. The CNA found that 40 percent of the falls happened on walking surfaces that were primarily located in the entryways. Another 33 percent of the falls happened in parking lots, and 27 percent happened on sidewalks leading to the entrances. Offices had the lowest fall risk, accounting for less than 1 percent of the slip-and-fall accidents.

The CNA recommends that businesses choose their flooring carefully and use the proper cleaning materials. Slips and falls are largely preventable accidents. When people fall, they may suffer catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries or fractures. Victims of slip-and-fall accidents might want to consult with personal injury lawyers who accept premises liability cases. The attorneys may explain whether the victims have valid grounds to file legal claims against the property owners or operators.

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