Slipping and falling in public areas has to be one of the most humiliating experiences in one’s life.
Almost all of us has experienced this. Most of the time, it happens when we are absent-minded and distracted by our personal problems. Before we know it, we are slipping, tripping, or falling—and seeing unfamiliar faces staring at us.
Slipping or falling in the workplace and public places can lead to an undesirable aftermath such as a bruised shin, broken arm, or severe injuries. Furthermore, tripping, slipping and falling comprises the majority of general accidents. Usually, slips and falls arise from the absence of friction between the shoes and the surface or inadvertent contact with a movable or fixed object that may cause someone to slip and fall.
Slip vs. Trip vs. Fall
There is a thin line between the occurrences of slipping, tripping, and falling. These three accidents may lead to personal injuries such as back injuries, head injuries, broken bones, lacerations, cuts, strained muscles and sprained joints.
A “slip” happens when there is minimal friction or traction between the floor and the shoes.
Meanwhile, a “trip” happens when an individual’s foot touches an object en route and unexpectedly drops or stoops to a lower level thus triggering them to be directed off-balance. Sometimes, a trip may result in someone falling forward or sideward, unlike slipping which generally results in an individual falling backward.
A “fall” eventuates when one is greatly off-balance.
Two Common Factors That Contribute To Trips, Slips Or Falls And How To Reduce Your Risk Of Personal Injuries
Different sources cause injuries from falling or slipping. For instance, curbs, parking lot flaws, or uneven lawns may cause slipping or falling, which can lead to significant injuries. Being vigilant of your surroundings, watching where you are walking, and being keen to the walking surface are the best ways to prevent slipping, falling and getting injuries. There are two common factors of slipping and falling in public places.
- Wet or Slippery Surfaces
One of the most common causes of slipping or falling are slippery or wet surfaces. For instance, polished floors such as terrazzo, marble, or ceramic tiles can be very slippery even when the surface is dry and the chances of slipping increases when moisture exists. Also, residential dorm bathrooms, food preparation areas, and kitchens are common sites with slippery surfaces.
How To Reduce Your Risk Of Slipping And Falling On Slippery Or Wet Floors
● Point your feet a bit outward, and maintain the center of equilibrium under you.
● Wear appropriate footwear for better friction on slippery surfaces.
● Take slow, small steps.
● Hold onto stable objects or rails.
● Use your feet as tools to investigate the potential of slipping, tripping and falling hazards.
● Position your feet underneath your body to easily maintain equilibrium after each step.
● Secure the most susceptible parts of your body such as neck, spine, and head when you fall.
● When proceeding from carpet to tile, or dry surface to wet surface, etc., the traction between the floor surface and sole of the shoe decreases. Change your pace to take slower, shorter steps to be safe.
- Environmental Conditions
Even if snow and ice are removed from parking lots, sidewalks, streets, and crosswalks, people may still experience some slippery or wet surfaces when strolling outdoors during winter. Most injuries during cold-weather arise from falling on ice-covered sidewalks or streets. Thus, walking or strolling on ice or snow is highly dangerous.
How To Reduce Your Risk Of Slipping And Falling In Snowy Or Icy Conditions
● Dress comfortably and warmly. Wear boots without skid soles and refrain from wearing leather and plastic soles.
● Stay warm, but ensure that everything around you remains audible. Also, wear a bright hat, reflective gear or hat so drivers can notice you. Further, make sure that whatever you wear does not block your vision or make it complicated for you to perceive traffic.
● Wear sunglasses during daytime to help you see clearly and avoid risks. On the other hand, wear reflective gear or bright apparel during nighttime. It is difficult for drivers and motorists to notice you when you wear dark clothing.
● Try not to carry a heavy backpack or other loads because it alters your balance. Further, leave your arms and hands free to balance yourself better.
● Be aware that you may fall and remember to never use your arms to counter your fall. If you ever fall backward, be cautious of your head by tucking your chin. This prevents your head from hitting the ground with excessive impact.
Other Factors That Cause You To Slip, Trip or Fall
There are other underlying factors that may lead to you or anyone else slipping, tripping or falling in public places. For instance, inadequate lighting that causes blind spots in your vision or changes or modifications in elevation may contribute to slipping or falling accidents. Just remember to be watchful and have full awareness of your surroundings. If you ever get involved in a slipping, tripping or falling accident that results in personal injuries, you may consult with a personal injury lawyer if there are legal matters to be discussed.
Author Bio: Vicki Haskett is a law writing enthusiast who’s had over 25 years of experience in her field. She enjoys sharing her experiences with those who want to learn more about the legal world. In her spare time she spends quality time with her family and friends.