According to a study conducted by a reputable risk management company, businesses tend to underestimate the role that flooring plays in reducing the possibility of an accident. There are standards that were established by the American National Standards Institute that reduce the potential for slip-and-fall accident risks as they apply to the skid resistance of flooring. As many Maine residents can attest, the attention that business owners pay to these details indicates whether safety is a priority.
According to the study, approximately 50 percent of businesses do not pay attention to the current recommendations regarding the acceptable friction levels of flooring. Industry guidelines state that the minimum DCOF (dynamic coefficient of friction) is 0.42. Businesses are required to keep that figure in mind when selecting flooring for the various needs of their businesses. Along with flooring selection, there are recommendations concerning cleaning methods that will enhance friction levels.
The study showed that, over the course of time, the rate of falls increases — though the level of severity generally does not. Even a seemingly minor fall can result in a victim suffering a traumatic brain injury. Therefore, it is prudent for a business to not only select the appropriate flooring based on anticipated usage but also ensure that proper maintenance techniques are applied to preserve the required friction levels.
Businesses can test their flooring surfaces with a tribometer, which measures friction levels and can take actions that can enhance the safety of patrons. The vast majority of slip-and-fall accidents occur in entry areas with parking lots and sidewalk surfaces running a close second and third. Maine residents and visitors who have suffered serious injuries as a result of a fall often sustain significant monetary damages. An experienced premises liability attorney can provide guidance in seeking compensation for those documented losses that resulted from a serious fall.
Source: claimsjournal.com, “CNA Slip and Fall Study Finds Flooring Often to Blame“, Accessed on March 12, 2018