Flooring Standards and Slip and Fall Prevention
Anyone may slip and fall in at home, in a shop, or other public place. Slip and fall accidents and trips without a fall are the cause of almost four percent of disabling workplace injuries. The type or condition of flooring can be a critical factor in a slip and fall injury lawsuit. How can flooring, a critical part of a safe environment, help prevent slip and fall injuries?
Texas OSHA standards define “hazardous conditions” as any condition that threatens the health and safety of occupants: “When the following conditions exist, repair or replacement shall be completed: damaged, rotted, loose, weak or otherwise deteriorated subfloor; torn, missing, broken, or otherwise damaged floor covering that creates a tripping hazard; any other condition which meets the definition of a hazardous or substandard condition.”
Texas minimum standards also specify requirements for the safety of subfloors and framing:
“Floors are not expected to be perfectly level. However, severely sloped or uneven floors shall be repaired through appropriate corrective measures. All flooring shall be free from tripping hazards. When floor coverings are replaced, the subfloor or concrete shall be dry, clean, smooth, and free from paint, varnish, wax, oils, solvents or other foreign matter.”
According to Safety and Health magazine, “Slips happen when there isn’t enough friction or traction between your feet and the surface you’re walking on. Common causes of slips include wet or oily floors, spills, loose or unanchored mats, and flooring that lacks the same degree of traction in all areas.” Safety and Health also reports that new flooring and traction criteria, improvements to rugs and runners, and sidewalk grinding give hope that injuries resulting from these challenging risks can be reduced.”
The American National Standards Institute provides guidance on hard surface flooring materials for slip resistance testing. Flooring standards for coefficient of friction are under consideration, according to Liberty Mutual. In the workplace, peel-and-stick mat designs that reduce roll-ups, movement and crimps are durable, absorbent and serve the intended purpose.
Depending on the type of floor, “selecting the wrong cleaning agent or improper cleaning equipment and tools could impact the slipperiness of the floor,” according to riskandinsurance.com. Such information contributes to better understanding of the root cause behind slip and fall claims.
At Hudson Law Firm, we put PERSONAL back into Personal Injury Law. For an injury claim evaluation, call us at (972) 360-9898, or visit our website to chat with an associate. We understand and care about your injury, and look forward to helping you with your accident claim.