Gravity–what’s it costing you?
According to recent data, the total annual cost of slip and fall injuries in the United States in over $60 billion annually. There is more involved in preventing a slip and fall accident than just placing the proper signage at a slippery entrance. Property Managers and Board Members should always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Below is an action plan to help you manage slips, trips and falls at your association. Click here to download a Slip & Fall Checklist to use at your association.
Slip, Trip, or Fall Action Plan
If a slip, trip or fall occurs…
- Provide assistance
- Document the event
- Keep your records in order
Responding to the incident:
- Offer assistance
- Provide first aid
- Call for emergency medical assistance, when required
- Demonstrate understanding and concern for the fallen person
- As soon as possible, report the incident to appropriate management personnel
- Do not give assurances that medical bills will be “taken care of”
Document the incident:
- Promptly complete the incident report
- Complete the form at the incident site as quickly as possible
- Provide the signed incident form to management
- Keep a copy of all incident reports
- Review the incident reports to identify problem areas
- Correct identified problems
- Provide a copy to your insurance company
Other action plan steps include:
- Regularly scheduled premises inspections
- Floor care maintenance records
- Keep copies of any maintenance agreements with outside vendors
There may be times when a claim seems suspicious. Be courteous and render whatever aid is necessary, and obtain as much information as possible. Hold your thoughts and beliefs for discussion with the insurance company. Do not convey these beliefs to the claimant at the time of the accident.
Be proactive by regularly inspecting buildings and grounds for slip, trip and fall hazards. Click here to download a Slip & Fall Checklist to use at your association.
Below areareas of heightened concern for Community Associations that you should pay particular attention to:
- Outdoor Surfaces: Outdoor surfaces, such as parking lots, sidewalks, and walkways, are one of the leading areas for slip and fall injuries. Rain often makes these areas slippery and dangerous.
- Steps and Stairs: Steps and stairs pose a slip and fall hazard for several reasons, and falls down stairs are often more severe. Steps can become worn over time due to heavy use and be a serious trip and fall hazard. Carpeted stairs can become torn over time and create serious trip hazards as well.
- Pool Decks: Pool decks are a dangerous area due to the large amounts of moisture, slicks floors, and minimal footwear.
- Locker Rooms: Locker rooms are dangerous, like pool decks, due to the slippery conditions. Locker rooms are also dangerous due to clothes, bags, and towels that can clutter up the floor and cause trip and fall injuries.
- Entryways: These high-traffic areas are also an extremely common place for slip and fall injuries to occur. Due to the high amount of foot traffic, water and debris are consistently tracked in by shoes making the area slippery.