Slips and falls are one of the most common (and costly) reasons for personal injury lawsuits. Even a seemingly innocuous slip or fall can leave you with lifelong injuries and a ton of expenses.
Understanding the most common causes of a slip and fall can help keep you safe, and if you’re a business or property owner, then it might help you to avoid an expensive lawsuit as well.
Slips and falls in Canada
In Canada, falls cause about 1,800 emergency department (ED) visits every day, with over 400 of those visits requiring an overnight stay according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information in a study from 2016-2017. That means slips and falls account for over 30% of all ED visits in Canada. In total there were 653,808 ED visits caused by falls from 2016-2017, with 114,383 occurring in the home.
According to the Government of Canada slips and falls can be as devastating as they are common: 95% of all hip-fractures are caused by slips and falls.
Causes of slips and falls
So what actually causes slips and falls? Well, here are some important factors:
1) Your health
That’s right, one of the biggest causes of slips and falls is your own health. Your health can also determine the severity of any injuries that you suffer.
Your balance and ability to catch yourself as you slip may both be reduced by your age or any medical conditions you might have. Medication can also make you more prone to falls, so be sure to always read the label closely. Also, it’s important to always use your glasses, walker, cane, and other safety equipment you may need when moving around.
2) Lack of safety equipment
A lack of safety equipment like handrails, emergency call buttons, gripped surfaces, and footholds can all contribute to slips and falls as well. Every business – but especially businesses or organizations that cater to older clients – should have the necessary safety equipment available.
3) Unsafe workplaces
According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (part of the Government of Canada) over 40,000 workers injure themselves on the job in slip and fall incidents every year. Almost 70% of these falls occur on the ground (that is, they’re slips or trips, rather than falls from a ladder or roof). Most of these injuries are the result of:
- Improper footwear
- Poor training
- Flooring that hasn’t been tested or modified to prevent slips
- Messy or dirty worksites
- Poor lighting
- Unmarked spills
Your employer has a responsibility to provide you with a safe workplace. Any slip and fall injury that you suffer as a result of their decision to ignore safety protocols is their responsibility.
4) Environmental factors and the weather
Snow, ice, rain, fog, hail, and other weather conditions call all create slippery surfaces and limit visibility. Although no one can predict the weather, every property owner has a responsibility to clear dangerous conditions from their property, and to take anti-slip measures like applying salt or grit to slippery surfaces.
Call Zayouna Law Firm
If you’ve suffered from a slip and fall then you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, lost income and medical costs. Call Zayouna Law firm for more information today.