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Every year, same-level slips and falls send five million people to the emergency room with sprains, strains, bruises and breaks. That’s almost one a minute every single day. With numbers like these, it’s no wonder that most facilities view payouts from slip and fall claims as an inevitable cost of doing business.
And it’s a major expense. Consider these figures from insurance provider Zurich North America:
- Average cost of a workers’ comp claim: $18,000+
- Average cost of a general liability claim: $7,000+
For every $1 in direct costs, the company estimates $3 of indirect, uninsured costs that can add another $54,000 to a workers’ comp claim and $31,000 to a general liability claim.
But there is an upside. Combining the right products with best practices can put an end to slips and falls. The key is finding and mitigating your facility’s Risk Zones.
What Is A Risk Zone?
A Risk Zone is any area where slips and falls occur because of the following factors:
- Type of flooring such as concrete, wood, tile, etc.
- The condition of the walking surface
- Transitions from one surface to another
- Inadequate lighting
- Slippery conditions caused by weather, leaks and spills, floor finishes, etc.
- Trip hazards including uneven surfaces, curled entrance mats and obstructions in walkways
Root Out Your Risk Zones And Take Control
In 2017, a New Pig Corporation safety survey found that 70% of facility managers outsourced responsibility for safe walking surfaces to their rental mat or cleaning service. The problem with this approach is that vendors don’t bear the risk or pay the claims. That’s why it’s up to you to take control of your Risk Zones.
These five steps will help you get started:
- Audit your facility.
First, do a walk-through audit to identify the Risk Zones in your facility. As you check walkway surfaces and conditions, make a note of trouble spots requiring attention.
- Fix what you find.
Next, remedy slippery conditions, increase traction and remove trip hazards. Follow best practices including inspecting, repairing and maintaining walking surfaces.
- Engage your employees.
Educate your staff about the Risk Zones in your facility. Let them know what they can do to prevent slips and falls. Encourage them to report any problems they find.
- Use more mats.
Your entrance isn’t the only place where floor mats can help you reduce slips and falls. It’s also a good idea to use them in secondary entrances, walkways and transition areas.
Adhesive-backed mats like PIG Grippy Mat are a safer alternative to traditional rubber-backed mats. These high-traction, low-profile mats stick to the floor and stay put. And they can be cut into any size or shape to keep floors dry and safe throughout your facility.
- Get our Free Facility Risk Zone Audit.
Download our Facility Risk Zone Audit now. This 75-point checklist will help you find and correct the hazards in your facility that trigger slips and falls — and avoid costly claims.